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Mon., Oct. 22, 2012, 6 a.m.

Feline weather forecast

Our neighbor's cat always puts on weight as winter approaches.

We've seen it happen for a dozen years or so. She packs on a pound or two in anticipation of her neighborhood star turn as a small snow leopard. Then, come spring, she goes back to her sleeker silhouette.

Perhaps the annual added poundage is partly a result of reduced activity levels. I don't know. She has never shared her workout schedule.

What I do know is that she seems like a cat in a feeding frenzy lately.

This fall she has been demanding snacks with an urgency I cannot recall seeing before.

Maybe she knows something.

Oh, she has always been willing to express herself. And she has a pretty good vocabulary, both vocal instructions and body language.

But usually she is reasonably patient, at least once she is convinced that the food is on its way.

Lately though, it's as if she's got a train to catch.

One conclusion, obviously, is that we are in for a serious winter. And this cat is feeling a hurry-up need to acquire a protective layer of stored calories.

Animals know things.

Don't ask me how. They just do.

So if we really do experience a ferocious winter, don't say nobody warned you.

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The Slice

The online home for Paul Turner's musings and interactions with disciples of The Slice.