Today (Wednesday) turned out to be the first truly cold day of the season here, and an overnight forecast that’s triggered the winter ritual known as “the drip” – the piping for the downstairs bathroom is somewhat exposed and freezes when overnight temperatures go too low. Mistakes over the years have defined “too low” as low 20s, so when that’s forecast we turn the taps in the basin to a slow dribble to keep water running and hopefully avoid frozen pipes.
They’re well enough made that we don’t get burst pipes, but it’s a right pain having a non-functional loo. Having to traipse upstairs to the proper bathroom is a bit of a pain if I’m in a hurry – and I’m at the age where the signal can be a bit on the weaker side and sometimes it becomes a case of “now, damnit”.
Of course, the cooling weather is also something the cats notice. It’s quite remarkable how much more eager Princess Buttercup is to curl herself up in my arms when its chilly. At least, when the heater that’s on thermostat shuts off, anyway. While it’s running she’s in the kitty bed that’s beside said heater.
We’re in an old house – built 1900 – and have… interesting heating. Primary is the heat pump that keeps things relatively comfortable until the outside temperatures start to drop to around freezing. In summer it runs air conditioning. The main part of the house also has baseboard oil heat which we use to supplement the air in the colder weather. We try not to go overboard on that because oil isn’t exactly the cheapest method of heating – but in a mild winter we can go the entire winter on a single tank fill. This is not looking like a mild winter, alas.
Then there’s the back room aka the study. It’s an addition to the rest of the house, and on the other side of the foot thick walls, so it has its own gas heat in the form of a stove that’s hooked to a thermostat. That gets supplemented with electric space heaters during the day because electric is the cheapest form of heat, and of course, the heater usually has at least one cat curled up beside it when it’s on.
After all, the kitties must have their warms. Kitties without warms is a Bad Thing.
So is Kates without warms. Because until I fully adjust to the change of climate I spend most of my days at home wrapped in a nice warm blankie trying to thaw out. It does not help that my body seems to be deciding to get cold in odd ways. Right now my feet are nice and cozy, my thighs and knees are cold and the rest of me is comfortable. Who knew? I’ve had the blankie on and off and on and off all day.
The blankie is nice – and a cat attractor. Her Royal Highness who rarely lowers herself to demand cuddles from her lowly peon (at least not during the day. At night when the lights are out is a different story) has climbed into my arms several times today but only while I’ve been wrapped in the blankie.
Of course, the armful of affectionate kitty is a tad awkward when you’re trying to work, but I can deal with that. I can even type fairly well with just one hand – it’s when I wind up with two cats in my arms that it gets challenging.
Oh, and have a photo of Midnight looking dignified and Westley looking dorky.