We have a lot to be thankful for

Monday June 20, 2005

It started to cool off today, at last, much to Dolly’s relief. And mine. Seems we’re two of a kind, Dolly and me, both loving the sunshine and the long, langourous days of summer, and both of us loathing the heat and humidity.

Dolly decided early yesterday or the day before that the best way to survive it was to hide in the deep shadows under the spare bed, coming out only at night to feed, drink, and stretch. There’s no way I could fit under the bed or I might well have followed her example. But then I can draw the curtains and blinds against the sun, and she can’t.

I had a horrid feeling that the hot spell might last a lot longer than the forecasters were promising and was just gearing up to improvise a cooling arrangement I devised back in 1976 when we had the greatest of the Great British Summers. Somewhere around four weeks, that one lasted.

It’s an easy thing, but quite effective. Freeze a large block of ice in something like a family-size plastic ice-cream container or a large Tupperware box. When you need relief from the heat, empty it out on to a large flattish tray, place it on the floor, position an electric fan on one side of it, and dispose yourself to take best advantage of the cool air stream that results, making allowance for cool-seeking cats, of course. All you need be careful about is that the tray is big enough so that the ice, when it melts, doesn’t run all over your floor. And to refill the container to freeze another block, of course. Dear old Smidge and Milly—the cats of the day—and I survived pretty well by that method in our flat back then, when people were flaking out all over over the place. Mind you, I’m thirty years older now, and I assaulted my lungs with an awful lot of tobacco smoke until recent years. I’m not sure I’d manage quite so well if we had a similarly lengthy hot spell today.

Contrary creatures, Dolly and I. In summer we moan about the heat, and in winter we complain about the dark. No pleasing some people. Mind you, it’s difficult to imagine an average Mega-Cat who’d be consistently easy to please on any score.

So we stayed home again today. Mostly reading on my part, the playing of computer games for Graham, and an adequacy of snoozing for Dolly. Oh, and waiting for house buyers who’ve better sense than to turn out in the heat of summer anyway.

“We’re living in uninteresting times,” I said, not really complaining, just filling a quiet moment in a long afternoon.

“Oh, I dunno,” said Graham. “I’m finding it quite interesting.”

“Yes, but you’ve just killed a trillion or so nasty vicious alien creatures. You’re bound to feel you’ve had an interesting time when you’ve just killed a trillion or so nasty vicious alien creatures.”

“And you have a problem with that?”

“Good heavens, no. I wouldn’t want them running around all over the place.”

“Well, there you are, then.”

“Yes. We have a lot to be thankful for.”

 

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