Kage Baker would be making sacrifices by now. She’d be filling glass vessels with ice and sea water and shards of blue glass, hoping for a weather change. The summer heat will not end.
I once suggested to her we should just enjoy such Indian summers. She replied, “This is not Indian summer. This is Aztec summer, and the sun god is out for blood!”
The weather people claim another high pressure system has settled over California. I say the dragons have overbred in the Sierra Nevadas, and we are all suffering from exaggerated brood heat. A plague of drangonlings will soon hatch out, and California will burn to a crisp.
I’d almost welcome the flames, if they were followed by rain.
We had one blessed, lying week of cooling down – fog, cold nights, actual tangible dew! Wet rose petals, little raccoon and cat prints on my car – and some freaking BIG cat prints in the rose bed, perhaps indicating lynxes or pumas come wandering down from Griffith Park in the suddenly hospitable dark.
And do not think we don’t have them here, either, Dear Readers. Lynxes or bobcats are frequent visitors in the fall and winter; I’m not sure which one, but some sort of giant kitties with tufted ears, enormous feet and no tails … one of my childhood pet cats was half wild cat, the unexpected result of her Persian mother’s shilly shallying with a beautiful stranger in the garden. I ended up with a 50 pound female cat with tufted ears, a tail coiled like a spring, and the temperament of Pirate Jenny.
And the puma in Griifith Park even has a name – P-22, which sounds like an English bobby, but stands for a cat the size of a couch, with eyes like opal cabochons. I don’t like it when they eat bike riders, but they sure do discourage the raccoons. And with the heat fading for a few days, the feline patrol had moved in right on schedule, which was sort of comforting if somewhat unnerving.
Thursday, I went North to San Francisco for a pre-Dickens Fair Directors meeting. We try to assemble before rehearsals begin, to exchange news, props and scripts; memorize the new changes to the layout and the sets, trade cast members (“I need three little kids to be Cratchitts; anyone want to trade for a spare Soiled Dove?”) and otherwise hob-nob with our fellow wizards. This year it was in a lovely Italian restaurant in the Castro, and we took over the back room for a riot of greetings, gossip and tears over our beloved dead.
It was great. And the weather was cool and misty, and the vineyards were all going red and copper. The cottonwoods had turned to gold tinsel; steam rose off the cows in the meadows off Highway 101 as I drove through Petaluma and Cotati. Pumpkins and haystacks everywhere; monolithic bales of cotton along the side of I-5, like migrating glaciers.
I was so ready for Autumn!
So what do I get? Another heat spell in the Los Angeles Basin. I drove down from exquisite fog on the Grapevine to super-heated dust in Simi Valley. It’s in the 90’s now – again – and due to remain so for this week. I am once more reduced to hiding from the daylight hours and trying to sleep through the ferocity of the tyrant sun.
Luckily, my room is on the North side of the house, where no direct sun hits. And my lace curtains filter the ambient light, and the overhead fan provides a breeze; and if I just stay here and concentrate, I may get some work done. I’ve had my runaway trips and my vacations in the Fabled North; I have cheese from the Cheese Factory in Novato, artisan olive oil, rare Faire coffee from the Teahouse of the Mullah Nasruddin’s Donkey, orange fondant wafers from See’s … everything I might need to wait out this last attack of heat.
If only the summer will end. Oh, let the harvest come soon!
Again?!? Phooey. Winter will arrive eventually, just keep your head down and the fans on until Aztec Summer wears itself out.
At this point, Neassa, I’m praying for snow!
It’s certainly been a weird year everywhere, hasn’t it?
Piglet is my co-kitty. Why is she called Piglet? Well, if you ever heard her eat, you wouldn’t need to ask! Addy calls her my sister, but just between us, I think she’s adopted. Piglet is a Maine Coon mix. Maine Coon cats are a naturally occurring breed that evolved to adapt to harsh winters. They have long fur, especially on their bellies, tufts of fur between their toes, and tufted ears. Their fur is somewhat shorter around their heads and necks, where it’s harder to groom. This makes their coats much easier to take care of than many longhairs. Like many Maine Coons, Piglet is has an easy-going temperament. She’s also pretty big, weighing in at 16 lbs, but I made sure she never figured that out. Addy thinks that this is Piglet’s phenotype: A/? because she is a tabby; Mc/? because is a mackerel tabby; ta/ta she has stripes; b/b because she’s brown D/? because she’s dark brown, instead of a paler color, she has the dominant allele for dense pigmentation; Additionally, Piglet has the following alleles: w/w because her coat has some color; S/s because she has white on half her body, she clearly inherited only one copy of the “spotting” gene l/l because she has long hair, she must have inherited two copies of the recessive allele for fur length.
That sounds like Some Cat! “Kill them now or later?” “Right now!”
A cat with the temperament of Pirate Jenny! How marvelous!
Ah, my dear old kitty … she was named T’Pring. She was a long-haired black and silver tabby: with the exceptions of enormous floppy snow-show feet, wildly tufted ears, and the fact that she was twice the height, length and weight of a domestic cat. Her eyes were amber. Her tail was extravagantly furred, and it coiled forward over her back, like a Spitz dog’s tail – only fringed with black and silver fur. It looked like she was carrying a feather boa at all times. She swaggered. She was madly promiscuous, a great hunter, and was known to chase both dogs and cars … but she was loyal and loving to me!