MARTHA SEZ: ‘Like all cats, he is basically a psychopath’
March came in like a lion this year, and it usually goes out like a lion in the North Country. Still, there are signs that we are heading toward spring.
I woke up to a gray day that will reach a high temperature of nearly 50 degrees with rain, according to the meteorologists.
I use the term “woke up” loosely. It takes me a long time to achieve consciousness, even after I am out of bed and ambulatory. In a televised advertisement for some medication, a grandfatherly patient was asking, “What is this, just another pill?” and a kindly doctor was answering “No, it’s not a pill, it’s a permanent eggplant.”
Naturally I wondered, what is a temporary eggplant? After drinking some coffee, it came to me that the commercial was for a permanent implant, but by that time I was on to the weather.
Meteorologists are predicting highs in Keene, New York, above freezing for most of this month. Temperatures not above zero, mind you, but above freezing. Can this be true? Let’s see what the groundhog had to say on the matter.
Last month, Jeanna Bryner, editor-in-chief of Live Science, wrote that the famous, “seemingly immortal” groundhog Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow on Feb. 2 and did not see his shadow.
“No shadow indicates that the (Punxsutawney) club thinks the U.S. is in for an early spring,” Ms. Bryner continued, tongue in cheek, “And this year, the chubby groundhog has weather-science on his side, as meteorologists say an early spring is likely.”
Gardeners and orchard keepers now will worry that the apparent benison of an early spring may be just one of Mother Nature’s tricks, waiting for tender shoots and blossoms to emerge so that she can blast them with a polar vortex or bomb cyclone.
If it’s true that we are in for an early spring, Jupiter the cat may soon be relinquishing the sheepskin he finds so luxurious to curl up on. It is a pleasure to see a cat luxuriating. He will find ways to do it, with or without a sheepskin. One of his favorite ways, once the snow has melted, is to nap in the sunshine on the porch roof.
When I was a child, and a better person, I wanted to practice vegetarianism. Not only because I didn’t like meat, but also because I was sensitive to the way animals are treated. I cared about the feelings of animals. “Friends, not food” was basically the way I looked at it. The grown-ups would not allow it. “Eat your pot roast,” they said.
As a grown-up, I still love animals, but I am not a vegetarian, even though I think I should be. Neither, of course, is Jupiter. Cats are obligate carnivores: They rely on nutrients found only in animal protein.
I recently learned that vegans eschew not just foods that come from animals, including insects, like meat, fish and even honey, but also nonfood animal-derived products, including down. This should be obvious, I suppose, but avoidance of down had never occurred to me.
Nor has it occurred to Jupiter, I’m sure, but even if it did, he wouldn’t care. Like all cats, he is basically a psychopath, however lovable, as well as an obligate carnivore. He will continue to puncture down jackets by kneading them with his claws and luxuriate on sheepskins as well as sweaters carelessly left in his range.
More signs of spring: Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday, March 8 at 2 a.m. The Vernal Equinox, when day and night will be of (nearly) equal length, will occur at 11:49 p.m., Thursday, March 19, in Lake Placid. Soon the blackbirds and their cowbird and starling traveling companions will be back in town, making a ruckus and looking for nesting spots. (Cowbirds don’t build nests, but that’s another story.) The full moon of March 9 will be the first of three supermoons in 2020. The other two supermoons will occur in April and May. A supermoon is a full moon that coincides with the point in the Moon’s orbit where it comes closest to earth. If our skies are clear, we will see a moon that is brighter and about 7 percent larger than usual.
It’s time for me to get ready to go out. There is enough cat hair on my sweater to identify me as nonvegan, but it seems unavoidable.
Have a good week.