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Gardening: Earl, aka our cat FeatherChaser, tells us what winter’s like

Earl, otherwise known as FeatherChaser, explains that he must wait for his humans to open the front door so he can test the temperature in winter.
Earl, otherwise known as FeatherChaser, explains that he must wait for his humans to open the front door so he can test the temperature in winter.

Good morning. My name is FeatherChaser, the cat, and I am going to be the guest columnist for Pat Munts’ usual garden column this week. I have been trying for years to get her to let me tell you my side of living with winter.

Pat, known to me as TheOneWhoFoundMe, and her husband, TheOther (aka Steve), adopted me 10 years ago when I got them to fall for the fact that I hadn’t had a decent meal in a few days. They call me Sir Earl Grey (Earl for short); something about being gray in color. I prefer FeatherChaser, but more about that later.

The worst thing about winter is the cold. If I want to go outside, I usually have the humans open the door so I can first test the temperature. It always takes a few minutes to do this right and I hate it when I get shoved out before I’m done with my observations. It’s so embarrassing to have to beg to get back in.

Every once in a while a lot of cold, white stuff falls from the sky making it difficult to make my rounds to check for intruders. It takes a little convincing to get the humans to shovel a path to the shop so I can at least make sure the food and water supply there is still adequate. My feet can only stand so much cold. At least the snow hasn’t been as bad recently as it was several years ago when I accidentally hopped into a deep snowbank and had to howl to be rescued. That was embarrassing.

Getting back in the house is tricky. I often have to beg for five or more minutes in a pot outside the front door before someone notices me and lets me in. If I need to come in more quickly, it’s usually best to hop up to a window near where TheOneWhoFoundMe does her writing and howl. As retribution for their slowness, I usually demand 10 minutes or more of cuddling and scratching as soon as I come in.

Once I am back inside and have received my appropriate cuddle, it is time to play. After all, the cold weather outside certainly wasn’t conducive to hunting and chasing stuff. Many years ago the humans discovered that I love chasing long, flexible peacock tail feathers. They thought it was cute until I began demanding that they get one out several times a day. Now the best method is to be as annoying as possible and simply sit on a feather and meow until I drive them to distraction and they pick it up. This is why I call myself FeatherChaser.

Then it’s time for a nap. While I have many choices of warm, comfy beds scattered around the house, my absolute favorite is one of TheOneWhoFoundMe’s quilting projects. Especially when the project is in the hoop being quilted and she happens to be working on it at the moment. Now that’s a little bit of heaven.

Pat Munts has gardened in the Spokane Valley for more than 35 years. She can be reached at pat@inlandnw