As anyone in the Portland area knows it is cold right now. The streets are icy, school and piano lessons were canceled today, and anyone who could stayed put since we Portlanders are simply unaccustomed to a normal winter as other people understand it.
I've been worrying about some of my plants. I know my little daphne isn't terribly hardy so it's got an upended landry basket as a shelter. Our fig protection blew apart in the wind so I'm hoping they'll tough it out. And I really hope my blueberry bushes, finally productive, won't be harmed.
But what I worried most about was Chet. Formally known as Chester, the big orange male tabby who showed up here a few years ago and declared it home has refused to come in the house for months. He wandered out about the time Miss Chutki showed up. Once the balance shifted to 3 female cats I think he decided not to stick around as the lone male cat.
He's mostly been hanging around the apartments across the street along with a bunch of scruffy looking unkempt toms. I'd call him and he'd either ignore me or run away which made me terribly sad since I'm quite fond of the big dope. He's big and strong and loud and makes his feelings known. There's no way to have him in the house if he doesn't want to be here.
Since the Big Chill started I've seen Chet hanging around our patio. I put out food and made up a nice nest for him which haven't been touched. This afternoon I found him huddling by the basement window and, despite his protests, dragged him in the house. He headed straight for the food, wandered around nervously, and then settled down in his old place on the rocking chair. I kept my distance all afternoon but finally went over to give him a little love. He growled a bit and then, I guess realizing who I was, started licking my hand, rubbing his face on me and, yes, purring the mighty purr I hadn't heard in months. I'm so happy to have him back.
I think he looks happy to be here as well.