Impossible: Hunkering down with cats in bad weather

Published 12:41 am Wednesday, August 8, 2018

It’s rumbling to the east and so dark my security lights outside are on at 7:30 a.m. The dogs hunkered down under the back porch after gobbling down their food.

My cats pulled themselves into a circle at the door, lying in wait for weather headed our way. Even my stray showed up to wait out the rain under the cover of the porch.

I’ve observed bad weather doesn’t bother cats as much as dogs. I try my best to be more like cats than dogs, but sometimes hunkering down feels right.

Just before the rain starts, my phone rings. The caller ID tells me it is my mother.

“She’s up early,” I think.

“Are ya’ll all right,” she asks the minute I say hello.

“Yes,” we are fine,” I say. “Just rushing around getting animals situated.”

“The sky sure looks black over your way,” she says. “Really black.”

I reassure her that I am fine and hunkered down like my dogs. She tells me to call her later.

Clicking on the weather service site, I watch the blobs of red and yellow on the radar. They slowly inch across the screen headed toward the spot where my house sits by the lake.

I hurry outside to make sure all the umbrellas are down in case of wind. The hanging pots on the front porch come down. I set them out on the steps so they can get some of the rain that’s starting to fall.

Now I’m sitting here listening to it raining in earnest. There are deeper rumbles in the distance. As I type, I fear I’m racing the storm to get a column emailed.

Chances are the internet will go out any minute. It tends to if it thunders within a 50-mile radius of my house. Sometimes it’s days before it’s back up.

It’s raining harder. I look at the radar, praying that the heaviest stuff will pass north of us. The red blobs still look aimed at my house.

I hear the front door bump. Thinking it’s the wind, I hurry to see what’s going on and discover my inside/outside cat using his head to try to push it open.

“You do not want to go out,” I say pulling him away from the door.

His loud meow tells me he doesn’t agree with my assessment of the situation. He follows me down the hall and if I spoke cat, I couldn’t publish what he is saying to me right now.

Another rumble of thunder shakes the house and my fingers fly across the keyboard. Will I beat the weather and possible internet outage to get this emailed?

I check the word count. (There are a certain number of words I need to feel the column is complete. It’s an obsessive-compulsive writing thing I have). Nope, not there yet.

The cat is at my feet howling his displeasure at me not letting him out in what is a downpour.

“You DO NOT WANT TO GO OUT RIGHT NOW,” I say in my mother-of-cat voice

He meows, flips his tail and walks away. I think he uses profanity.

The phone rings again. It’s my husband saying he arrived at work safely. I made him promise to call when I realized he was driving right into those red radar blobs.

“I made it fine,” he says. “Drove through heavy rain and some lightening. What’s it doing there?”

“Just a steady downpour right now,” I answer. “Not any bad lightening.”

The cat is back. I think he is threatening me and I’m tempted to let him find out for himself why he does not want to go outside right now.

Finally, the rain slows down and the rumbles sound further away. I check my word count.

I made it. Got it written with the internet still up. A loud clap of thunder close by makes me jump. I spoke too soon.

The internet is gone.

“Oh, no,“ I say, grabbing the cat and hunkering down.


Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.