So a Little Hurricane Stopped by Long Island to Say “Hi”.

Oh, right. Hurricane Irene.

This is my first ever attempt at taping my [any] picture window against hurricane-force winds.

Good thing Top Cat was in charge of hunting and gathering vital provisions for our bunker:

2 bottles of cheap champagne (my fave), two bottles of 2005 Bordeaux reds, two packets of tea biscuits, an angel food cake, 1.5 quarts of vanilla ice cream, and 24 Klondike bars.

And fwhat more could you want for your Impending Doom Dinner but Homemade Macaroni and Cheese?

The candlelight was a nice touch, non?

And then it started to rain with a vengeance. Of course, I could not coax my bad boy backyard feral cats indoors. This is me, hanging out my back door, trying to cajole Bibs to come bring  his ass in out of the rain:

When we woke the next morning, it was still grey and rainy and so very windy. In fact, it was the sound of the wind that really got on my nerves. So I stayed inside and soldiered through the various power outages all the live long day, thinking that Hey–this hurricane stuff isn’t all it’s cracked up to be after all.

Because I did not see for myself, until the next day, how narrowly we missed having a totally awful hurricane experience. Because this is what the house next door looked like:

That’s not a hedge in the middle of the drive way. That’s the top of a tree that collapsed across the yard…

…just barely missing the side of the house:


Our neighbors up the road also had a close call:

And the historic district of our beloved village also managed to escape destruction by the  very smallest [insert some measure of really, really fine distinction]:

How wierd is it that this tree (see below) fell exactly in between these two historic landmarks?

The red house on the right is the oldest house in all of Long Island, having been built by some Dutch guy in1645. The pretty blue house is also old but is from the mid-1800s and I forget why it is famous.

Top Cat and I wandered further afield and saw how broken telephone poles are repaired:

That guy in the blue shirt is one second away from telling me and Top Cat to get the hell out of their way.

And in case you’re wondering, this is how our Bibs and our patio looked The Day After (Irene):

All we got was a bunch of downed leaves.

Here at Feral Cat Mansion, All Is Well.

So have a happy holiday weekend, everyone.

And to Irene, Merci mille fois.

15 Comments, RSS

  1. You officially win for Best Hurricane Preparedness Food Ever. I lived through Hurricane Juan in Halifax, no power for 8 days, military guys in the streets rescuing and cleaning, what a nightmare. Glad to hear that you came through okay…

  2. Deborah

    It’s like those trees have awareness & chose to fall without damaging buildings. Pretty amazing. But still, losing all the trees is a shame. Alec Baldwin was on David Letterman and made a joke about Long Islanders mourning their tree loss. We had Hurricane Ike blow through here (Indiana!) in 2009, a terrible ice storm in 2010, and the most recent windstorm a couple of weeks ago. Lots of trees gone.

  3. Ann

    Men in Kilts! Several years ago I went to an event in Oban, the premier of a cantata or such celebrating St. Columba (?), and all the men were wearing their dressed-up kilts. Heaven!

    I ordered a copy of a Church Mice book (on the strength of the cat-in-the-box picture) and wondered if you’ve ever looked at the Brambley Hedge series by Jill Barklem. No cats (alas), but the art work is super. Her knowledge of natural history is impressive and I am a fan of harvest mice, the species featured in the books.
    Thank you for doing all this. You’re a delight.

  4. Glad to hear you made it through hurricane Irene unscathed. But a close call in your neighborhood. Must have been the hand of G.
    Funny thing, we had incredible skies last weekend all the way across the Atlantic, in Friesland, Northern Netherlands where I also saw a man in a kilt on Saturday night. Still wondering about the underwear.

  5. CarolM

    So pleased you and all your furry friends came through unscathed.
    Clean up behind nasty storms like this can be long and pricey-October tornado in MT took many a day to clear away and many home fixes for so many.
    I know tornadoes in MT, ya they do happen on rare occasion.

  6. Susie

    So glad you, Top-Cat and kitties lived to tell the tale of Irene! When there wasn’t a post on Monday, I wondered if your electricity was out or your house was gone…here at the northern edge of the southern tier, we never even got rain from Irene! Clouds and breeze and that’s all.
    Reading of your adventures makes me realize how to deal with these things!
    Did you ever watch the series Monarch of the Glen? For the scenery and kilted men legs, of course…

  7. Nadine

    I think Bibs established his Alpha Cat bona fides by resisting shelter. He’s adorable.
    We in NJ also lost many trees. I’m on high ground so we weren’t flooded nor did we lose power, but the surrounding towns were inundated — Wayne, Paterson, Little Falls. However, the weather post-Irene has been perfect.
    I’m going to put Monarch of the Glen on my Netflix queue pronto. I’ve heard of it but I never watched it. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Jacquelyn Hoag

    I usually read my email and check out FB all before going to your blog each M and F morning. A special occasion time, it is, ……But, today, for some reason I broke the rountine. Wouldn’t you know, the cat didn’t even notice. I am relieved to know my friend -in -Vermont,s river only rose to the first step of her mid-19th century home basement.
    And, of course that you, your cats, top and feral, your trees and even the whole house are all good. I spent the day, all day, driving up I5 from Portland, listening to radio, tuning in to hear news of the east coast.
    So this post of today has all the juicy elements of a good story…Cats, storms and all the drama post Irene of historical places altered forever. I completely forgot I was waiting to read damage report, so caught up in your experience of the Scottish games. Some years ago I discovered a paragraph in the now defunct “Common Reader” that told of a series by Diana Galbadon called “Outlander”. The Reader mentioned that the sex might be a little robust for some ….and I went right to the library. One of best fiction series I’d read in a long time…actually, normally, usually, I don’t read much of this kind of fiction. But I was thouroughly enchanted……..and kept reading each book until finally the scene switched to America from Scotland and I lost interest. But I was inspired to attend my first ever Highland Games held on a riverbank in Mt. Vernon, Wa. and had and did everything Scotch. I had never seen so many men in kilts….I just loved everything the whole day there, the brogue, the banners, flags, and shortbread But the real highlight was the parade of clans….I stood up for Jamie from- the- books clan….MacKenzie? Frazier?….now,the name escapes me…I could go on and on about the history, landscape, story….I learned so much.
    So this brought back all those memories of a time when I was wholly immersed in all things Scotland.
    A candlelight MacCheese comfort food dinner. Wow.

  9. Jeannie

    Ah, a man in a kilt, be still my wee bit of Scottish heart. I am glad all is well with you and the felines. Top Cat is a fine provider of foods to take one’s mind off the weather. We don’t have hurricanes, but we have horrid winds every fall and spring. Dust (actually sand) storms and up rooted trees. The wind has a strange effect on people here. Some find it envigorating, I find that it makes me a royal witch with a B. It gets on my nerves and I can feel the crankiness flow into my body.

  10. JOAN

    So glad to hear that all were spared Irene’s wrath with exception of a few downed trees (always sad to see that) and the cats made it unscathed.

    We don’t have hurricanes in so. NV but we do get the blasting heat that takes me indoors for 3-4 months…and the winds of someone’s nightmare, and flash flooding which is enough to scare the pants off you.

    Wind bothers me the most. I get a sense of anxiety, tension, especially when it howls around the corners of the house and buffets the windows making them rattle. I just want to scream. I read in The Worst Hard Time, about the Dust Bowl years, that women would actually lose their minds from the wind. I can relate. If I have to go outdoors I come home feeling beat up and bitchy.

  11. Mindy Clark


    I am glad you and your crew came through the storm in good shape. I was thinking about you when she crossed Long Island and wondering what tales you would have to tell about the experience.

  12. Linda Jacks

    Hello to all. Vivian, Love your comment about trees obliterating the landscape. First time m-i-l from TX visited us in VA we drove her to Williamsburg. Next morning she said she had nightmares all night about that highway with so many trees on both sides you couldn’t see where you were! Amen to that sister. After 20 years here I still long for my Texas highway vistas where one can see the good, the bad and the tacky from every road.
    RE: fiction. A friend hooked me on the Outlander books when she said, Who knew you have to time travel to get amazing sex. Had to listen to audio versions after that.
    Vivian, you didn’t tell your earthquake story – do you and Top Cat have one?
    Linda J
    Texan in exile

  13. nicole

    Glad you survived so well!

    Your avisit to the Games reminds me of a fun book I enjoyed a long time ago – “Highland Laddie Gone” by Sharyn McCrumb, a light murder mystery that takes place at a Highland Games.

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