It’s “Flat-Cat Weather” here in SacTown.
For the next three days this week, the temperature is supposed to hover around at a high of 100 degrees.
I suppose this could be considered appropriate since tomorrow is officially the first day of Summer (or, perhaps, the first day of the Three Months Of Hell).
We just had the MILDEST Spring that I can remember in the 16 years that I’ve lived here. Into the FIRST WEEK OF JUNE and even a little beyond, the weather was cool and breezy.
I was in a kind of “Central Coast” dreamland of bliss while the Extreme-Heat Lovers all around me were carrying on (i.e. whining) about “Where’s the sun?” and “When is it going to be Summer??”
I personally don’t “get” wishing for Summer while it’s still Spring, especially when it’s only 70 degrees outside.
But now, here we are…Summer 2011. It’s that time of year for the whirring of fans, the white noise of air conditioning, the aroma of sun-block (remember when it used to be called “sunTAN lotion”? ha!), people wearing shorts who maybe shouldn’t wear shorts, the “wishing-I-had-a-light-colored-car-instead-of-a-dark-car.” And, ’tis the season of Flat Cats.
When the weather is cold, as most feline slaves know, cats curl up into tight balls when they sleep in order to conserve body heat.
When it’s hot, however, they stretch out to their full length, paws and legs extended, bellies often exposed. They can often be found underfoot in this position lying as close to the floor as possible since they seem to instintively know that heat rises.
There is also the possibility of finding them passed out in unusual places such as the bathroom or kitchen floor where the linoleum or tile is cooler to the touch. Or one may nearly start the water running in the tub or the sink only to be startled by a frenzied fleeing feline.
So I basically can note the passing of the seasons by the behaviors and positions of my cats. Folks in New England have Autumn leaves, mid-Westerners have Winter snow, Southerners have hurricane warnings and here on the West Coast I have Flat Cats.
They’ve been spreading out like melted ice cream more and more each day for the last week and are now nearly at one with any surfaces they recline upon.
I know it’s officially Summer when the cozy cat piles disappear. Suddenly, the urgent need to all be on my lap at the same time disappears. Dust Bunnies of fur collect more quickly in the nooks and corners.
Of course they are still close by but not AS close and I find myself having to go through a mini-grieving process not only over the increase in temperature, but also, over the decrease in cuddling.
And so it goes…. The cozy curled-up days of Winter give way to the stretched-out flat days of Summer. But there is comfort in knowing that the curling-up will come ’round again.
©June 2011 by Phyllis J. Hanniver