The Cat Days of Summer

It's been a godawful hot summer here in eastern North Carolina. As I'm writing this, the thermometer on our side porch, which is in the shade, is touching 98, and the humidity makes it feel like a sauna. And more of the same is expected tomorrow.

It's so hot, I'm recalling the heat jokes I heard years ago when I lived in Macon, Georgia. How hot is it in Macon? So hot that they keep the charcoal in the refrigerator. So hot that in the summer, Satan rents out hell and lives in Macon.

We're deep into the so-called "dog days of summer," which run approximately from early July through mid-August. The dog days got their name from the ancient Romans, who attributed the heat at this time of year to Sirius, the dog star.

The heat affects every living thing. In his 1815 book, Clavis Calendaria, Or A Compendious Analysis Of The Calendar, John Brady noted that this is the time of year "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics and phrensies."

Cats personify the "languid" effect of the heat. Felines are more prone to sleep on their backs during extremely hot weather. I'm assuming it's somehow cooler.

The picture at the top of this post shows Ike, our rather large (14+ pounds), two-year-old tuxedo tomcat, snoozing on his back on the bed during the hottest part of the day.

I've seen Ike sleep like this often this summer. I snapped the above photo a couple days ago, when I spotted him snoozing in his favorite basket atop our bedroom closet. Those are Ike's paws visible above the rim of the basket.


So We're Back . . .

Jane and I got back a few days ago from our July 4th trip to Baltimore, where (1) We watched our nephew, John Morrow, play in a lacrosse tournament; (2) We had lots of crab cakes and beer; (3) Visited the house where Edgar Allan Poe lived from 1832 to 1835, and (4) I was sick in bed in the hotel for a day with some kind of flu-like illness (and no, it wasn't related to the crab cakes and beer).

So it's been hot and I'm lazy. I'm working on a few ideas for new postings. In the meantime, here's what the view looked like earlier today when Jane, Beaucat and I went out to the front porch for Sundowners. And by the way, I usually drink my vodka martinis with a slice of Vidalia onion, but we were out. So I was forced to substitute an olive.

Anyway, more to come soon . . .