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Under the Broiling Sun

A week and a half ago we had an unusual day of rain showers – normally we’re bone-dry from May through November other than perhaps an early-August shower. That was Monday; they predicted even more rain on Tuesday, so I decided not to bike to work. I was cheated – no rain, just lots of humidity.

Worse, the strange weather presaged more than a week of high temperatures, peaking in the mid-90s around us, but getting even hotter further inland of us. Boy have we been glad we moved to the new house with its air conditioning, since we would all have been melting if we were still in the townhouse – especially Sadie with her longer fur. It didn’t stop me from biking in twice since then, but it hasn’t been comfortable to be outside.

One of Debbi’s cow-orkers gave mer a new cat shrub – a little round cylinder about a foot high with a door to go inside. All the cats have checked it out (apparently her cow-orker’s cats wouldn’t go near it), but Newton has used it to sit on top of in the morning when it’s in the full sun. I think the sun helps his creaky old bones (he is 19 after all), and it’s high enough that he can look outside while sitting there. It’s pretty cute.

In the middle of all this we threw our third annual open house on Saturday. Which might have been the hottest day of the heat wave. If I’d been smart I would have sent mail to everyone we invited telling them that we’d have the A/C on. As it was we had a smallish turnout.

We decided to try an experiment since the doors would be closed and not lock the cats up in a room this year. (This had the additional bonus of not having to deal with Newton’s don’t-want-to-pee-in-the-litter issues by sticking him by himself in a bathroom.) I spent some time trying to make sure neither of the kittens got out (I don’t think either of them really tried – Jackson seems to have lost his interest in darting out the front door). Roulette went upstairs and hid under the bed from as soon as the first person arrived until after the last person left, but the other three all stayed out.

We got quite a few kids under age 10 this year. While Newton I think got kicked out of his sleeping spot by them a couple of times, he did get some snuggling time with me and some guests. Meanwhile a bunch of the kids (and a few adults) spent a chunk of the party playing with the kittens, which they adored. Jackson actually got a little overwhelmed and retreated to the top of the stairs for a while at one point, but otherwise they had a lot of fun. At the end of the day they were about as tried as I’ve ever seen them; Sadie actually jumped to the top of the cabinets in the laundry room and curled up to sleep for a while.

It was a great party, and despite the small turnout neither Debbi nor I felt like we had a lot of time to chat with people, except for a few at the beginning and end. Before we knew it, it was 8 pm and everyone had headed out and we could clean up and collapse.

My other project recently has been to step up my skills at mixing drinks. I think I’ve mastered margaritas (I made a pitcher for the party, which used up one of the three bottles of triple sec we were given two years ago for our first open house), and next I’ll give mai tais a shot. After that, we’ll see.

And now it’s Independence Day here in the US, and I took tomorrow off to have a four-day weekend. We’ve had a pretty quiet day at home, hanging out with the cats and making an excursion downtown. Last year I was back east helping take care of Mom after her knee replacement surgery, so it’s been nice to spend the day with Debbi this year.

Tomorrow it’s supposed to finally cool off to more normal temperatures. At last.