One Inch of Snow, Richmond Paralyzed

January 27, 2015

By Cole

It’s noon and I’m sitting on my cozy kitty perch watching snowflakes meander down, even though our local weather gurus said the snowfall would end by 9-10 a.m., tops.

Their inaccuracy aside, I’m kind of embarrassed to be a Southern domestic shorthair today.

Richmond must have really, really, REALLY wanted to be part of the “big snow event” that just whumped the Northeast. When we woke up this morning, local meteorologists on the 3 major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) refused to cede to the national morning shows, which were, presumably, discussing actual blizzard conditions north of here.

Instead, our guys stood steadfastly in front of maps showing puny and fast-dwindling snowstorms across the area, trying to whip us all into a frenzy that there was something life-threatening afoot.

They had reporters in thick parkas and knit caps posted all over town with little rulers, futilely trying to find somewhere to measure an inch of snow.

Even the school districts embraced the madness and canceled school at the last minute so the little darlings could stay curled up with their toasty Xboxes, rather than battle “treacherous conditions” in some feckless pursuit of an education.

Richmond “International” Airport canceled some flights. Morning commuters were urged to stay off the roads unless they absolutely had to go out, so many vacation days were probably called in for nothing.

I say “nothing” because, by 11 a.m., our residential backstreet had no trace of snow. Karen didn’t shovel because the driveway was already clean, too.

People, get a grip. We got less than an inch. OK, maybe an inch in some spots. But a blizzard?

Adele calls this a classic “head up our own ass” moment. There’s nothing more embarrassing than watching fellow Southerners throw a hissy fit over a mere dusting, while those who are seriously butt-deep in snow aren’t whining.

We Survived Hurricane Irene

August 28, 2011

By Adele

Cole and Max thought Karen was a crazy when she packed Sam’s freezer with old vodka and soda bottles filled with water, started charging every little gadget that took a charge, and put fresh batteries in 2 radios and some flashlights.

Then she brought in an old kitty litter pail and ran a full tub. She said it was for “flushing the toilet.” Helpful Hint: Loosen the screw on the overflow thingy under the tub faucet and turn it upside down so the tub will hold a few more inches. It buys you extra flushes.

I’m the only cat here who remembers Hurricane Isabel in 2003, so I knew what Karen was up to. We lost electricity for 2 days, along with a freezer full of meat, and had to drink water with a dash of bleach in it for a week. This time, she wasn’t taking any chances.

Irene’s rain started Friday night, and the wind kicked in hard Saturday morning. For us kitties, it was biz as usual. Max acted like he’s in hurricanes every day. He even tried to play with the rain beating against the sliding glass door. But Karen kept looking nervously out the windows and up at the skylights.

Our 30 trees are mostly oaks, and sometimes they seemed to go sideways when 40+ mph gusts hit them.

Occasionally, a big branch would Thump! as it hit the roof.

At 2 p.m., what Karen feared worst happened. The lights flicked, Sam beeped like a maniac, and the power went out.

But only for about 20 seconds. A miracle! Around Richmond, more than 300K people weren’t so lucky, including Karen’s parents.

It was still half-heartedly raining and gusting when we went to bed, but this morning, everything is calm and sunny. The yard is strewn with branches, with wet green leaves slapped across everything.

But all our trees are vertical, and nothing huge fell on Karen’s car or the house. The whole neighborhood seems OK. We totally lucked out.

During Hurricane Ike, Texas Went to the Cats

September 18, 2008

By Yul

No one knows if Shackle, the 11-year-old lioness, thanked God for saving one of her nine lives during Hurricane Ike on September 15-16. But she took a fancy to His altar at the First Baptist Church in Crystal Beach, Texas, after spending the night there with a bunch of humans.

Did Shackle find religion? (Photo - Tony Gutierrez, AP)

Did Shackle find religion? (Photo - Tony Gutierrez, AP)

Shackle and her owner, Michael Ray Kujawa, were trying to drive to higher ground when they got caught in rising floodwaters on the Bolivar Peninsula. The media reported that Shackle was a zoo animal, but a commenter in the Dallas News who claimed to know the cat said Shackle is actually a pet, tame enough for occasional outings at the beach.

That would certainly explain her pious behavior in church. After humans helped Shackle calmly wade into First Baptist, they apparently had second thoughts and locked her in a sanctuary. At one point, the water inside the church got waist-deep, but they said Shackle remained cool as a cucumber.

Makes you wonder if maybe Shackle should have locked them up for their own safety.

When the worst was over, they let Shackle out and fed her roast pork so she wouldn’t try snacking on People Chow before the National Guard arrived with supplies. The only time they were reminded who’s still Queen of the Jungle was when Shackle allegedly snarled at some Guardsmen who were gawking at her from the choir loft.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, a tiger escaped from an exotic pets center was wandering around. Last word was that no one’s trying too hard to catch him because they think he’s hungry.

“Dog” Days of Summer?

August 16, 2007

By Fred

The temperature’s supposed to hit 101 degrees today — hot enough to barbecue a cat on a hot tin roof. We have reached the dog days of summer.

To us cats, it’s no surprise steamy days that make you regret being furry have a canine association. It’s August and summer is going to the dogs. Hurricanes are popping up on both coasts, the stock market is making a suicide plunge, and man’s inhumanity to man is on every page of the newspaper.

Dogs thrive on misery like this. You can beat ’em, tie ’em to a tree all day with no water bowl, throw sticks off cliffs and tell them to go fetch. They love it and keep coming back for more.

Besides, calling such miserable weather “Cat Days” would be ludicrous and nonsensical.

But if there were such a thing as “Cat Days,” they’d be in the spring when you want to dash outside and chase butterflies, or lie in sweet grass so green and lush you’re tempted to pet it. Or they’d be on the cusp between fall and winter when you can curl up in front of a cozy fire with great book and a hot toddy. (Actually, I’d curl up on Karen’s good book and spill her hot toddy.)

As for this pad-scorching melt-down that’s good for nothing but raising the price of shade, the dogs can have it.

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