The cats have been busy on a little game of hiding, or just vanishing altogether, this past week. The older (gray) cat got us going that really warm day earlier, when we had the windows open, since she went missing around night. Since we hadn't opened the screens it didn't seem like she could have gotten out, unless the slipped through the garage when I took the trash out, but a search of all the normal hiding spots, including in the linen closet (she likes sitting on towels), couldn't find her. I'm glad to say I was able to flush her out by simple cleverness: I turned on the fireplace (it's a gas-fueled one) and went off to watch television. In about fifteen minutes I looked over and there she was, sprawling out in front of the fireplace, quite happy. Out of kindness and since I didn't feel particularly like getting up I let her warm herself in front of the fire for another hour or two, and waited until I was going to bed to turn the fireplace off. When I did turn the fireplace off, the cat gave me such a glare.
The other cat, the mostly white one, was all over the place most of the week, but vanished the day the cleaning lady came. Our theory is that she's frightened of the cleaning lady, which seems peculiar because you'd expect the activity of many things being moved around would appeal to her. But all the cleaning did scare her enough that she vanished for most of the day, and she didn't reappear until my mother came home from work. The cats are very excited by my mother coming home from work -- they've got her schedule memorized and become noticeably more active about a half-hour before she usually comes home -- although they only sort of notice my father (they know they can bump their heads into him) and haven't really decided how to process my existence. The grey one will occasionally bump her head into me, I suppose because of how much I do look like my father. The white one will just bump against my legs and occasionally swat it. Our theory is she wants us to either play with her or to fall over.
Trivia: Maine's Bangor & Aroostook Railroad spent $59,356 in snow cleaning for the first three months of 1933; it spent $105,003 for the same period in 1934. Source: The Story of American Railroads, Stewart H Holbrook.
Currently Reading: A History of the Habsburg Empire, Robert A Kann.