Monday, April 07, 2003
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
What Month Is This, Anyway? Or, It Ain't a Blog 'Til You Talk About Your Cat

This morning I awoke to the sounds of wet, slushy tire treads on pavement and honking horns: the promised 3-5 inches of snowfall arrived overnight, snarling up the already dreadful Sheridan Road Sewer Project traffic. This wasn't just any snow; it's the sodden, heavy, sticky and slippery kind that sticks to your shoes and windshield wipers like mud, and slides like Crisco under your boots and tires. Eecch.

Snow can sometimes be a non-Newtonian fluid, or at least the inverse of one - think of sand on a beach, soaked with water. The consistency is almost like muddy liquid. Push down on it, and suddenly it seems to solidify into a packed mass. Well, this morning's snow was the opposite...it was a solid on almost everything when you try to remove it, but when you apply pressure, as with your foot - squish! Like buttah!

Adding insult to injury - it was completely dark when the alarm went off next to my bed, thanks to the modern miracle of Daylight Saving Time. No, this can't be real. It can't be time to get up yet.

Oh, yes it is, bucko. Wake up and smell the (litterbox) coffee. Anyway, our cat Nathaniel knows what time it is. It's play-with-me-feed-me-I-don't-care-that-it's-6:00-in-the-morning time. Rrrrowr! He's a 13-pound black cat, 12-to-14-years old, very interactive talker with huge teeth and an unusual diamond-shaped head that makes him look like a small black panther; he's a curmudgeon among cats. The paperwork at the Harmony House shelter said he's a domestic shorthair, but the brownish cast in his fur and his especially varied vocalizing have me convinced he's a defrocked Burmese.

Then, the drivers on the LSD (Lake Shore Drive, to you and me) are p*ssed off about the weather and are speeding far past the reasonable-speed limit for the lubed-up pavement; the radio traffic report says "snow emergency contingencies are in effect," which includes the rule that if you're in a fenderbender and your car is still operable, you have official permission to drive it (out of the) away and file your report later. That's because in a city the size of Chicago, if everybody stopped for every bumpertap on a day like this, the roads would come to a complete bottlenecked standstill.

Are you sure this isn't Mother Nature's little April Fool's Day joke?