Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Casualty of Spring Delayed

Okay. I admit it. I’m getting a little discouraged. It’s not that this winter has been so bad — it hasn’t. But it won’t GO AWAY. 

It’s not getting above 33 degrees out there this morning. Most demoralizing when you consider that temps were finally climbing into the low fifties just last week, and the nights didn’t get below forty. I threw open the porch and even some windows. 

When you get a taste of something, it’s just cruel and unusual punishment to have it taken away.

I haven’t seen any sign of my daffodils yet, and that’s got me worried. I tell myself that they can’t all be dead. But what’s keeping them?

The worst thing of all is that my outdoors cat, Tiger Whitestockings, who has stayed with me through thick and thin ever since the move, seems to have gone. She was last seen with her boyfriend, a big stupid cat-about-town (She likes them Big and Stupid. Typical woman), and she had been gone for several days before that, so I still hold out some hope that I’ll see her again. At the very least, I hang onto the hope that she’s still alive, but has maybe just found herself a better gig, somewhere with her boyfriend that’s at least warmer than the shelter she had here (I don’t see how the food could be any better — I sometimes gave that cat Fancy Feast fer crine out loud). 

I’ve seen it happen with other outdoor cats in other winters… they survive through the most terrible cold, the deepest snows, they come through winter like a champion. Then a whiff of spring comes and something happens; you never see them again. 

It will save me some money, not having to put fresh food out two times a day… but I miss her. For a wild outside girl, she was a great cat. We kept an eye on each other. She was the last of the three outside cats who outlived my mother. Big Stupid Yellow Cat Junior was the first to go, he disappeared late that first summer, before I ever moved. Tiger Grumpyface and Tiger Whitestockings actually transplanted well to the new house that winter. But Tiger Grumpyface disappeared in the late summer of that year, after an awful catfight in the night. 

Now, Tiger Whitestockings is gone. No more outside cats. That’s another sad milepost in a long string of them. I haven’t lived at a place with no outside cats to care for since I was about thirteen years old. 

A long-time-ago ex-girlfriend (who may actually be reading this fershlugginer blog now) used to complain that I expressed myself almost entirely in quotes. As it turns out, it’s an Asperger’s Thing, and I’m going to do it again now. I invoked Uncle Billy Faulkner yesterday here on the blog, and the quote that comes to mind now is from his The Sound and The Fury, my all-time favorite novel.

“ ‘Whyn’t you quit dat, Mammy?’ Frony said. ‘Wid all dese people lookin. We be passin white folks soon.’ ‘I’ve seed de first em de last,’ Dilsey said. ‘Never you mind me.’ ”

I used that one in my high school yearbook, well over thirty-five years ago. Folks didn’t understand what it meant. “Never you mind.” I did, and it’s only gotten more meaningful, and more depressing, with the passage of time.

— Freder.

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