Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Waxing Day, a Waning Moon and Three Cats on the Bed

The moon is a day past full on this cold morning.  Usually early February is a time when we in the northeast are complaining about the winter snows and longing for spring, the mud season up here.
 This winter we've been looking for snow.  Punxutawney Phil's prediction last week was for six more weeks of winter and it's hard to argue with a 128 year old rodent, but we ain't seen much so far.  However, no native of the great northeast can believe that we'll get away from the season without being hammered by a substantial snowfall, but this late we secretly hope we'll be spared.

I saw trees budding last month and wondered how the sugar houses were fairing.  Usually February is the time when maples are tapped for their sap as they begin to wake up from the winter's freeze, but this year the weather in January mimicked late February, with above freezing days and below freezing nights.  I know from my sugaring days that the cloudy "bud sap" signals the end of the sugaring season because the sweetness is gone.  Has that already happened?

My three cats are anticipating their morning meal, even though it is only four am and they never get fed before five.  Each has its own way of letting me know: Zorro, with his round eyes always making him look surprised, is way too cool to nag so he sits on the floor staring at me; Elvis has no compunction about nagging and sits next to me, poking my shoulder at regular intervals; Sugar is curled up at the foot of the bed waiting for the boys to get me up.  She is the old lady at twelve.  I've been watching a lump that developed a month ago on her hindquarter.  I scheduled surgery for her to have it removed but the vet said she has a weak heart and might not survive the operation, which might not be able to excise the entire mass anyway.  As a result we decided against surgery and are instead watching for any signs of deterioration in her.  So far she's fine.

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