When I moved to another state across the country, I emailed a friend to let her know where I was. Her response intrigued me. She asked me how Georgia smelled to me, what the air was like, how the light from the sun was different from California, and other questions like these. It caused me to think differently as I composed my answer. I never looked at another place the same way again. To me, Georgia was a place where your skin and the air around you came together--where I felt like I absorbed the place through my pores. I didn't just smell the jasmin heavy in the air, sometimes I felt it on my face and arms.
And lately, I've been pondering how to describe my physical experiences of Michigan. Where I felt bound in Georgia's atmosphere, in Michigan I resist the tendency to float here, feeling the chilly wind as it buffets me around, and I wrap up and dig in to stay on course. When I drive, I lay a small blanket on my lap to increase the coziness factor even in the car. I crave warmth, snuggling, and cloth. I wear a jacket under my parka, to keep out the frosty drafts inside buildings even after I peel off the outer layers.
This is all I can come up with right now.
Carmelita, Our Cat
When she runs outside, I usually can catch her. It's usually a ploy of fake left and go right. This last week, she wasn't catchable. Usually, no problem, because she comes to the door a few minutes later, done with investigating whatever she needed to investigate. But for several nights, she didn't come back. It was snowing. I thought that she had enough of us, she found a new home to crash in. Then, I saw her later with a boyfriend and realized that she was in heat.
In heat? She is too young, so I thought. I thought I had at least another month to get her spayed. I was wrong. The healthy young tom that was visiting was a jet black fluffy short hair tabby with amazingly bright yellow eyes. I saw him a few years ago, hiding in our bushes as a little kitten. There was a dead, eviscerated mole next to him, his lunch caught by his jet black feral mom watching nearby. He mewed at me, but wouldn't let me near him. It's likely that a neighbor caught him and raised him. So, there he was, all grown up and a handsome dude at that. At least, Carmelita thought so. They were inseparable, and Carly preferred her romance than coming back home. She was somehow keeping dry and warm.
She finally came back, and I put her in Ginger's kennel to keep her away from our overjoyed and pesky dog who missed her terribly. She slept, drank a little water, had a bite and slept some more. She was gone for five days. But she looked fine--I wondered who was feeding her. She's snoozing right now, in her basket next to my computer, like she never left.
Carly was in heat during the holidays, and our vet's office was closed. I'll bring her in to get her checked, and spayed. There is a strong possibility that she isn't pregnant. She had only one male, and he might have been fixed. If she is, it's too bad. I would love the kittens but she's too young to have them. If my vet says otherwise, though, I'll change my mind. A co-worker put a request in for a couple of male kittens if Carly has some.
Ginger, Our Dog
She's fixed. I saw pictures of Golden Retriever puppies and felt a little pang of regret that Ginger wouldn't have any. But a dog in heat is entirely a different matter than a cat (whom I didn't even realize was ready). So, I got over it.
She's growing bigger and lost her puppy looks and behavior. It's nice that she understands what we want, and that she can get us to understand what she wants, which is pretty basic: food, outside, water, play, play, play....and snacks. I like mature and well behaved dogs. She's getting there--and having fun along the way, making friends with everyone. She is right next to me, on the floor next to my feet, taking a nap.