If there were a pill that would make me grow fur, I’d take it in an instant. Fur is soft, beautiful, warm, and a natural sunscreen. Furs were used as money here in the Pacific Northwest in the 17th century, like tulips were being used in Holland. Furs and tulips both have a sensual beauty, a magic, that everyone agrees has value.
We live in a fiber rich environment. It’s the light, not heat, that triggers shedding, and on this Midsummer’s week when the sun rises at 5:14 a.m. and won’t set until 9:12 p.m., the fur is flying around here. Fibers stick to our corneas and hang from lampshades. We inhale them, drink them in our coffee, and watch them float across the room like bubbles. Clops of fur glued together with sap and seeds dot the landscape.
But it’s this fur that is the big lure for our three Twenty Somethings, who are all working full-time, real-life regular jobs in the Emerald City this summer, and crave the comfort of fur, as well as long naps and good food, to recover after the work week. They come here separately or in pairs and sit with the finished-shedding dog and still-shedding cats for hours.
Yes, catS. Ditto, our younger daughter’s visiting cat, who dislikes our tabby Garfield (a lot, apparently…), is staying with us for ten more weeks until she returns to her duties at nursing school. We put her on Craigslist and our older daughter, a social media maven, put her whiskers out, but people who want a cat now can have their pick of kittens, and anyone who loves cats and just wants another one already has one, and Ditto just doesn’t like other cats. AND our daughter just broke up with her boyfriend and needs her cat. This daughter also wanted to cut her bangs this weekend, an archetypal impulse. Women cut their hair after relationship break-ups.
The CATastrophe was a month ago now, and the whole upsetting issue is finally resolved. Ditto has the cat condo and the east side, Garfield has his little trailer house and the west side plus the inside of the house. In between is Ruby, who they both like, and a spray water bottle which either one will experience with any hissing or growly-prowly posturing. Détente. Compliance not optional. Sort of. They’re doing better. We have yet to squirt one of them, but we told both cats and the bottle stays in plain sight.
Time-out. A retreat. A nap. That’s what this place is to the kids. And as they pick up the dozen eggs on their way here on Friday night as I requested, they joke about whether or not we will ever get the chickens, much less the goats. We explain that we are doing all of our fencing grief up front.
We point to the finished hoop house, make them walk through it and check the temperature. It’s 105 degrees! Too hot. Open some doors.
And then they return to the napping house to pet Ditto and sip a bowl of homemade chicken soup before falling into bed. Fur, food, sleep. It’s worth a lot.