Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Official - Hades Has Frozen Over

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here. We have reached a temperature so low that I fully expect to see penguins migrating through our paddock any moment. The device that records temperatures this morning announced that it was -28 degrees.

We breakfasted inside but then Doc became so agitated with the idea of staying in his room that the woman put a second blanket on him, Jack's checked coat on him and let us out into the elements. We all immediately grew a heavy frost coating on the side away from what passes for the sun these days. Doc and I were quite comfortable but Jack grew more and more upset, stamping his feet and trotting back and forth to the barn door. Finally, he began rapping on the door very sharply with his hoof whilst making loud honking noises. The woman let him in. I didn't wish to go in and loitered in the run-in. Jack didn't want to be inside without me and the woman tried to coax me in but I feigned deafness and stared into the distance. Eventually she gave me a lecture about letting the heat out of the barn and chivveyed me indoors.

Jack was still quite upset and shivery so he leaned on the woman for a bit and she rubbed his ears warm and convinced him to share a pile of hay with me. She decided that the heated pet mat bought for Sally simply wasn't up to the job and brought out a quilted, pillowy heated rectangle used by humans. She installed this in the bottom of a plush cat bed and surrounded the whole thing with a blue blanket. Sally is very taken with it and has consented to move out from under the saddle rack.

Sally has been very badly treated by humans and expects to be struck every time she sees a hand attached to a person. I find this most puzzling; she is a shy and retiring sort who desperately wants to lead a quiet life. She is slowly coming around and has begun to eat a bit of tinned food. She is the smallest feline I have ever seen but I am assured she is full grown and is in fact the mother of two. She has had some sort of procedure to prevent further offspring but I don't care to know what that involved. She still has a bare midriff, which must be a tad chilly in this weather. Because she is so frightened, I am trying to be patient but ruffling cat fur is one of my favourite tactile sensations.

This weather nonsense is supposed to continue for the forseeable future. I'm looking into the process of hibernation as an alternative to living in an arctic air mass for days on end. Our local bear is slumbering in a cosy den at the moment but next spring I will quiz him on the finer points of remaining catatonic for the winter months. On the bright side, the woman says I have enough body mass to hibernate non-stop for several years straight.

5 comments:

Buddy said...

Oh Sheaffer - Miss Sally is beautiful! I hope she warms up to everyone soon - abuse is just unbelievable - how can someone be that way towards an animal - it makes me shudder.

Tell Miss Sally that I send my love and tell her my mom is Sally too - so she is VERY special.

PS - tell Molly I love her.

billie said...

Sally is lovely! Given your temps, I'm glad she has the woman to help her stay warm!

My gosh, Sheaffer, we need to book you and Jack a luxury train car (I'm thinking something like the Orient Express with extravigant traveling clothing, including those lovely Russian hats) and get you both on your way down here for a few months' visit.

Don't come until AFTER this weekend though, as even we are heading down to 9 degrees F and reportedly will have 40 straight hours of below freezing temps.

Ginger (Baker not Rogers) said...

AGGGHHH
Billie - you may have more guests than expected.

Minus 36 degrees here this morning. Fred and I am coatless in Seattle and eating nonstop just to stay warm. With its 10 foot warmblood-height ceilings our barn could not be called heated by any stretch of the imagination. The fat lady left all the lights on last night, possibly thinking it would add a bit of heat. Instead it was trying to sleep in a supermarket - without the large displays of fruit and vegetables.

Miss Annie is wearing two large blankets. She looks like the abominable snowman and is getting very possessive about food supplies.

We would like a cat or two to wrap around our skinny little necks but the resident felines are firmly entrenched in the house.

robert5721 said...

Sheaffer,
your protege, er, cat, will be a GREAT HUNTER..see the way the lines up on her forehead form a W? Means she is a Maine Coon Cat, a NATURAL born hunter..make friends with her QUICK, so you can have her leave her leftover body parts for the woman, and NOT in YOUR bed....she looks like a REAL WINNER to me..just make sure to tell her that if ANYONE tries to hit her again, your and Mr Jack's buddy will come up there and take care of some overdue business..my Mafia buddies do NOT like Cat (OR DONKEY) abusers..good thing that I keep them on retainer.. tell her that your buddy will take care of it in short shape..smile..
hope that it warms up for you guys..if it does, it will warm up here too maybe..
Mr Gale

ponymaid said...

Thank you Buddy, the woman tells Sally about all the wonderful greeting she is sent from my blog friends and Sally purrs her approval. She is soooo tiny, I don't know how anyone could think of doing her harm. I find it hard to believe they saw her as a fierce predator in their midst. Your love note has been passed to the Golden Pony and she smirked and tossed her golden mane.

Billie, have you booked that train?? The mere vision of Jack and self travelling south in such style warms the very cockles of my donkey heart. Does the Orange Blossom Special still exist? A private car pulled by a steam engine - now that's civilized travel. Nine degrees Farenheit? A veritable heat wave - sigh.

Ginger, these are desperate times -they must let you inside their house. You are not gigantic warmbloods(the horse version of Redwoods) and need a cosier dwelling. And they left the lights on all night?? No, no, simply won't do. Lie on your backs with your legs stuck rigidly in the air - that should do it...

Mr. Gale, I have passed your offer of protection on to Sally and she purred her approval. I am so anxious to meet her that I hang over the stall guard and call her to come out of her cat igloo but so far she is staying put. I too am very disturbed by the thought of someone abusing such a small, terrified being - it keeps me awake at night, trying to figure it all out.