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.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Good afternoon Mr. Drye,
Sorry for this contact, but I wasn't sure where else to reach you.

I am in the process of preparing a package for the Islamorada Free Press and Key West Citizen to mark the 75th anniversary of the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane.

I’d love to talk with you for some insight sometime tomorrow, or perhaps this afternoon.

Please call me at 305-853-7277 ext. 18 if you have a moment. Alternatively, you could give me a number where I can reach you.


Robert Silk

Staff Writer

Key West Citizen/Islamorada Free Press