Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2002
Dear Diary:

The good thing about having a cat as a pet is that you know that if there's some sort of emergency--you know, like a fire or something--then the cat will wake you up.

Of course, it will wake you up by scrambling over you, using you as a launching pad towards some place safer, but it WILL wake you up.

I was reminded of all this this afternoon when we were steamrollered by a very scary thunderstorm. You know how you see the lightning flash and then count off the seconds to the crack of the thunder so you know how far away the lightning is?

Well, there was no time to count it down. It was FLASH and then an instant CRA-AAAACK, with the sort of force that made the whole house vibrate. When I heard random circuits being thrown in our electrical box, heard the hum of the fridge and then the freezer stop, I knew lightning was striking much, much too close to our house.

Scary. Very scary.

I think we can all agree that if I was in this situation with, say, Lassie, the big collie would be doing everything she could to comfort me before going outside and installing an ingenious lightning rod she'd made by shaping twist ties with her teeth.

So what's my cat Zubby doing through all this? He's pacing up and down the porch, yelling his head off, refusing to let me hold him or pet him, begging me to open the front door so he can go out.

"LADY, YOU'RE ON YER OWN. LET ME OUT OF THIS FREAKING DEATH TRAP, LET ME OUT *NOW*!" pretty much sums up the cat's attitude.

He was SUCH a big comfort to me.

It's funny how time seems to slow when you're afraid. I mean, the really bad part of the storm probably only lasted ten, fifteen minutes max and then it moved past us ... but oh, man, those minutes seemed just endless.

Then it was just another heavy rain shower. The birds re-appeared and kept working the feeders while the soggy squirrels chittered insults at them. The cat calmed, went back upstairs, flopped on my bed, and continued clocking that 22 1/2 hours of daily sleep he so desperately requires.

And me? Me, I had a little moment of gratitude that things were back to normal.

There are times when ordinary feels very good indeed.


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