With autumn promising to come soon it is time to think about getting ready for the winter. This year especially, I will need to seal up the house against the cold, in order to keep Mi Sun comfortable and warm so her arthritis won’t be too bad. Hopefully the winter will be mitigated by global warming. I will prepare as though it will not, however. Since everything I need requires travel, I have to stock up with extra cat food and litter, firewood and everything one might need in a power outage. This includes things to do when there is no way to charge the laptop or cell phone. I can write with pen and paper but it also means plenty of reading.
I will have the old standbys, detectives I never tire of, like Sherlock Holmes, Spenser in Boston, the tribal police Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn in Dinétah., the Navajo country and Commissario Brunetti in Venice. When housebound by inclement weather escape is possible in a book.
I have also decided to revisit another old standby in a different category. I have a very large library of cat books, as many cat lovers do and among them are those of Paul Gallico. The Silent Miaow, which Gallico ostensibly transcribed from a manuscript written by a cat is first on the list. Another is Honorable Cat which covers all aspects of the feline phenomenon and includes sixty lovely poems which I will read aloud to the cats. I have the out of print original version which I picked up in a used bookstore because of the Siamese on the cover. The photos are by the well known Japanese photographer Osamu Nishikawa and complement the poems. The book is still in print, however, in fact it is so popular it made it to a twelfth printing.
Another book I want to revisit on my winter reading list is The Tiger in the House by Carl Van Vechten. It was written in 1922 so to many it seems outdated. For me, that it was written for another age is part of the charm, also the quotes from French sources. Thanks to my grandmother French is not a problem and we are looking for escapist reading for the housebound. Time travel is also possible with books. In any event a cultural history of the cat will be enjoyable reading and something I can use as a resource should power go out and the internet with it. I originally read it years ago as a library book, so I will treat myself to a copy. It too is still in print in spite of it’s age and in a version with a cover of ukiyo-e cats that I love..
Even as I write this arborists are taking down a huge dead branch from the big tree in my neighbor Merv’s front yard. It is visibly dead and extends over the roof of the neighbor on the on the other side. Better to pay a tree surgeon than a lawyer should it come down on it’s own. When I went next door suggest Merv park in front of my house to give the workmen more room I asked if they sold wood. It turns out they give it away and I can hear them dropping it into my front yard, very happy to not have to split it or transport it and move pff the truck again. It never hurts to ask.With every thud I envision fending off the cold with a crackling fire, a cup of hot coffee, chocolate or cider and cats on my lap. So while today is quite warm still, I know we will stay warm regardless and I am happy.