Gardens at Effingham: Where Cats Tell the Tales

Spring Dreaming: (Not, Ahem, Spring Cleaning)

photo of 2 young cat siblings playing on a stone ledge wall in winter

Photo of a young tabby cat named Golden Paw on a Stone Ledge in Winter

Welcome to the Long, Arduous Days of Winter

What happened?

Where is Spring? Where are the warm days?

Earlier this week felt stellar: 72 degrees and sunny. And now? Good grief, we are lucky to have reached a moderate 45 degrees (and it’s taken all day to get there). It was 21 degrees this morning when I awakened She-Who-Loves Me-Most to feed me num-nums. 16 degrees if you count the wind chill (which I don’t because, of course, I’m the only indoor cat in the big house).

Photo of Most Beloved Cat, a little white cat with a few tabby markings, sitting on a wooden table looking out a window. Green plant in background
Most Beloved on Table

We are “marching” (pun intended) towards spring, but right now, we are in the sluggish days of February. The winter doldrums, by any other name, plod along slowly.

February is the longest shortest month of the year

I am dreaming about spring, about basking in the warmth of spring sunshine. I am spring dreaming of birds chirping and flitting about.

Have you ever seen a courtship between birds? How a male bird offers a tidbit of food to a female bird who might just be the one? How a female bird, if interested, will flit to a branch nearby and how the male will follow, morsel of food still in his beak?

And, of course, woe be to the male birds who are rejected for their efforts. Deemed an unworthy suitor by whatever hierarchy she abides by, the female does not want to be bothered with pretense and poppycock. She simply takes one look at the male and that’s that. Duly unimpressed, she found him ill-suited to be her mate (her call, not his). First impressions can cast images of permanence.

I am spring dreaming that there are teeny-tiny little song birds (House Sparrows, a Pair of Wrens) up high on the walnut tree. I love that these walnut trees, pesky as they might be, stand noble and strong, hosts to birds, squirrels, and ugh, a hawk who hunts our birds.

I welcome spring’s song and summer’s ease. When winter ceases its mighty grip, retracts from covering all with hoary frost and broken branches, relinquishes its pell-mell teasing of spring. Spring brings promise. Gone is the cruel offering up of warm, sun-laced temperatures forcing blossoms to bud in preparation to bloom, only to cast a killing frost and even colder-than-normal temperatures. Gone is the lingering gray of skies sketched in monotone.

Arrived, finally, comes spring, bathed abundantly in smatterings of yellows and pinks carrying new life. Trees, greening and reawakening, stretch their winter-stiff limbs to blue skies. Song sparrows sing spring. Robins perform acrobatics to reach service-berries just ripe. Mourning doves now mated call gently to one another.

Knowing never how many I can count—springs, sunny skies, bird songs, clackety-clack drilling of our woodpeckers,

I celebrate this day for what it brings: Spring Dreaming.

Most Affectionately Yours,

Most Beloved

P.S. Here are a few photos of the Garden Cats in Winter.


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