Uncharacteristically, it was Jon who suggested that the cats should go outside late last week.
Jon, who accuses me of being Nun-like in my efforts to get Minnie and Flo out of the basement on warm and sunny winter days.
It’s true that I worry about the cats turning into vampires after too many days downstairs. The basement windows let in little sunlight when they’re deep in snow. And even though I leave a light on during the day, it’s not the same as daylight.
“Vampyr my Vampyrs” I sing to them as I walk down the stairs, knowing that vampires need an invitation and hoping they don’t come to me.
After finding a bat’s head, face-up near their dinner bowls one night, I became convinced that the transformation was underway.
That’s when I started opening the basement door in the mornings to see if the cats would come up while the dogs were outside.
But they’re content in the basement. Usually cuddled up together in one of the many beds.
After all, if they were outside like barn cats are supposed to be, Minnie would be perched on the hay bales in the barn all day and Flo would be sleeping in the woodshed.
Dark is dark and at least the basement stays a constant 50degrees. Much warmer than the barn or woodshed.
This morning, though the thermometer read a bit below freezing, the sun was shining and to me, it felt like spring. So I disturbed the cat’s cozy slumber, picking them up one at a time and putting them outside.
Minnie immediately ran off to the stone wall surrounding the sleeping dahlia garden, where she hunts and pees. And Flo found the pillow on top of their summer bed on the porch to continue dreaming.
Just before 2 pm, they were both at the back door waiting to come in. Minnie dodged her way between Fate and Bud to the basement door. And Queen Flo, still sleepy, waited for me to pick her up and carry her in.
As long as it’s dry and sunny, I’ll continue to put the cats out, at least for a little while each day. Until the time comes when they no longer want to be inside and prefer instead to spend day and night as true barn cats, outdoors.
I saw a Turkey Vulture yesterday, the first of the season. So it won’t be too long before this happens and I can stop worrying about the cats becoming vampires.