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The first snow of the season snuck last Sunday night, Dec. 13.  (That’s Bibs, the truly feral cat, sitting in the hutch in the backyard, the one that  is wrapped with four tarps on the outside and inside is a cocoon of two down-filled sleeping bags with a fleecy tie-dye cushion squished behind the Plexiglas front wall.)

Our tribe of five outdoor-indoor feral cats (the ones who found the hole in the side of the house that they squeeze into to get to the blankie-beds we’ve made for them in the basement) were none too pleased. (That’s Oscar, who used to be the outdoor cat next door.)

This kind of snow is no fun. No desperate news bulletins warning of the Storm of the Century, no pre-snowfall snowplows churning up and down our street in a frenzy of whirling lights to let us know that our tax dollars are being spent wisely by joy-riding off-duty firemen, no chance of the city coming to a complete standstill in the Blizzard of the Century. (That’s Lickety, on the back patio where the bird feeder is. Just because it’s 20 degrees outside doesn’t mean that a cat can’t do a little birdie watching.)

I didn’t even know it was coming, so I didn’t have the chance to put my bottle of Snow Day Champagne out in the drift by the back door, which wasn’t there anyway because we only got an inch of snow. (That’s Blackie,  who even though he comes into the basement to curl up like a kitten in his comforter still thinks he’s a total bad ass like in the good old days when he was the Warrior of the Backyard.)

Grass?? Grass?! I can still see grass!!

This is so not worthy of being the First Snow of the Season. (That’s Candy, who loves Blackie, and is the mom to the three kittens we call the Hobos: Lickety, Taffy, and the late great Butter.)

Nope. This doesn’t count. Even Penelope (see below) thinks so. (This is Penelope, gazing out from her nest in the dining room windowseat going Phhhhhhht. I’ve seen real snow and this ain’t it.)

Screw it. I’m not calling it Snow until I’m house-bound, snow-blind, cabin-fevered, and giddy with the cosy crazy cramped cruel comeliness of it all.  Like this:

Until then, I’m wearing my T-shirt tht says:


Got Three Feet of Snow

And All I Got

Was a Freaking DUSTING.

8 comments to Yo! Ma Nature! I’m still WAITING!

  • Anne L

    Here I am in Minneapolis, with lots of snow all around! It will be here until Spring, they are saying.

    Does it count even a little that my Amazon order of your book and A Small Furry Prayer was delayed a day, and spent extra time in Maple Grove MN because of all of that snow? Or that I needed to brush off the snowflakes from the beautifully addressed envelope that enclosed your beautiful card because I suddenly landed in a snowdrift with an arm full of mail on the first day of this record-breaking snow?

    I appreciate pages 186-187 of WWCTR, and your apt description of twice secret snow. Your snow will come. If it doesn’t, I will send you some.

  • Rachel

    That Vivian, she sure can wrap a hutch!!

    Just in case there are any snow flakes left in my account after 40 plus years of living on the east coast, I, now 20 plus years resident in San Diego, do hereby will and bequeath them to you, all of them, forever and ever.

    Sending you some nice winter trees:

  • Sallyann

    You never cease to make me laugh.

    “Screw it. I’m not calling it Snow until I’m house-bound, snow-blind, cabin-fevered, and giddy with the cosy crazy cramped cruel comeliness of it all.”

    They are my sentiments exactly!! I live in Michigan and every winter I hear the laments of the long timers complaining at the first snow flake of the season. Don’t they know that living in Michigan means snow sooner or later, more or less? Don’t want snow? Then they had better move somewhere else.
    I love all the seasons except the one I call “mud” But I am learning to play in the puddles. Seasons are wonderful things and snowflakes have their merits too. I love what you have done for the feral cats and I am sure you are loved by them too.

  • Nadine

    Man, here I am in New Jersey, only 30 miles due west of the Long Island part of Long Island (Queens & Brooklyn are on L.I. but they’re not “Long Island”), and we got nothing! Not even a dusting. Not even frost that needs to be scraped from your car windows before you drive.


  • Jacquelyn

    Love that you get excited over snow like a little kid…even tho you are from….Montana isn’t it? the first time I saw snow in an urban setting was my first year of college in the midwest. I was enchanted that all the curbs, edges, crosswalks, everyday delinations that marked where we were supposed to walk, were all just one big quiet blanket of snow. Blurred boundaries and borders and it seems to change the world.
    I loved footprints, paw prints, bird foot prints, in the snow.
    I cannot ever remember seeing a cat walk on or through snow. In pictures, some, videos, yes… so it is delightful that the little kid of you has this cat coop and takes pictures of the healthy looking and very handsome sno-cats of Long Island. I hope they were not featured on the Christmas card I didn’t get because I failed to sign up in time.

  • Deborah

    We have ice here in the Ohio Valley. No mail or garbage collection yesterday, but when insomnia had me looking out the back window at 3 in the morning, street lights glinting off the ice on the tree made it look like it was laced with stars.

  • Vivian, I love your sense of humor.

    AND THOSE CATS ~~!!!
    You do have a wonderful life, snow or no snow/. You’ve got the best of everything on Long Island,– even TOP CAT.

    And, when you were sipping tea in Buenos Aires, from Cafe Tortoni, ( pg 47, WWCTR) you never dreamed you’d be wanting snow on Long Island in 2010, did you?

  • emily m

    ah yes, snow which we have an abundance of in upstate New York always.. and I never tire of it. It has been beautiful for about a week now and how I love watching Mr. Malcolm bouncing about in the snow while Miss Lily reluctantly tries to plow through the deep spots, wonderful dogs who 99% of the time prefer to look out the window.

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