Thursday, June 8, 2017

Allan's 8th Birthay

After three "siblingss", I try not to let my poor kitten get lost in the shuffle.  Sometimes I remember that he used to be a major topic of this blog.  He's still as cute as ever.  He has gained some weight over the past year or two (only about four pounds...which is hardly anything on a cat who has always weighed 11-12 pounds and now weighs 16 pounds...that's what he tells us anyway!)

His birthday was two days ago.  Eight years ago he was a tiny two day old kitten with his eyes still fused shut as he fought with his siblings to be with their mother who came to the shelter as a pregnant stray.  I wonder what his father looked like, that gutter cat that he must have been.  One thing I can say for sure is he isn't inbred.  I have seen enough farm cats in my life to know the signs and he isn't.

Happy birthday Al...enjoy your rare blog feature. 

In other news, you may have seen my ND hometown on the national news yesterday or today.  There was some unusual weather there yesterday and a guy I went to high school with took some pictures and a video that has gone viral and it was even on the Today Show and the other morning shows this morning. 

Of course, my social media was full of pictures yesterday afternoon.  Apparently there were a few funnels. 

Jesse's was the famous one but I think this one is a bit more terrifying.  It turns out they weren't real tornadoes but some kind of whirlwind phenomenon.  I want to say a cold air funnel but I think it was pretty hot out.  I knew the pictures did not look like real tornado weather.  They sky looked too light in the first one and in the second one the sky is blue with fluffy clouds.  Real tornado skies are so dark and strange they are unmistakable.  They are still quite a sight though.  I think the tube one would have sent me speeding in the other direction very quickly.

 I have some anxiety over tornados and severe weather even though I've never experienced the worst of it.  I always worried what would happen if a tornado came in the middle of the night when no one was watching TV (now our phones alert us but that hasn't been the case until a few years ago).  We lived in the country and couldn't always hear the sirens at the fire department that would alert the town when questionable weather was happening.  My closest encounter happened a few years ago (2011 I think?) when I was driving to my sister's house for a week of work on Memorial Day.  As I approached Fargo on the Interstate the temperature spiked twenty degrees higher and as I turned at the exit into Fargo the sky turned so black it was like night and I got a really bad feeling.  The wind came up as I parked in her driveway and I left everything in my car and ran for the door which almost ripped off the house when I opened it.  I'll never forget the weird feeling of the air pressure and my sister said, according to the news, that I had barely missed being out in a tornado.  I don't know if a funnel was spotted that evening but the next morning the shingles were ripped off her room and there was crazy debris all over town.  I think I have a post about it way back in the archives.  My other close encounter was when a neighboring town was hit and heavily damaged by a F4 tornado in 2006 and I was at my parent's farm that night.  We knew bad weather was brewing in the area and I saw some very strange animal behavior that evening.  It was so still and calm but our dog was racing around the yard like a lunatic when he usually spent all his time hiding under a shrub in the shade and we saw a family of deer calmly walking down the road past the house like they were in a daze.   We all know animals have instincts about these things...

All animals except, apparently, my beloved childhood cat Rascal.  One summer when I was a teenager, I think it was after my freshman year of college, my brother and I were home by ourselves and had to take to the basement because of severe weather.  A tornado never happened but there was strong winds and hail that piled against the sides of buildings.  When the sun came out  after the brief deluge I opened the door to survey the damage and saw Rascal sitting at my feet, curled in a ball.  When I picked him up there was  dry spot under him.  Yes, he sat on the step through a hailstorm and torrential rains waiting to be let in the house while all the other cats and the dog went to the garage like they were supposed to. 

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