Archived Story

A barking cat, men in shorts, plans for spring

Published 9:28am Monday, March 31, 2014

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf

I know it is a sure sign of spring when my cat Natasha starts barking.

Yes, you heard me right, my cat started barking. I didn’t know she had that ability until recently.

Natasha has always been a little on the unusual side. She is part Siamese so that may explain it. My other cat Boris is big, lunky and lovable, too, but he does not have Natasha’s technique. When Boris decides to investigate something or sneak somewhere, it doesn’t usually work out without my knowing about it.

He weighs 15 pounds and is very large and tall. He isn’t overweight, just big. Boris is like a bull in a china shop when he is snooping. He is not graceful. Things fall when Boris investigates.

Natasha on the other hand, lives up to her name as she is named after Natasha in the “Rocky and Bullwinkle” cartoons. She is slinky and graceful and cunning. She slips into a closet or through a cupboard door with grace and quietness. You do not realize the trouble she is in until you look for her. She doesn’t realize she is in trouble because she is having too much fun being in trouble.

However, as I was sitting at the desk in my office the other morning with the inside door open so you could see out the glass door to the outdoors, I started hearing soft barking. I was puzzled. I didn’t have a dog. I thought perhaps it was coming from outside since it was a quiet bark. I decided I needed to investigate. I walked around a filing cabinet to the door and there was Natasha watching a red ribbon blowing in the wind that was on the wreath outside my door. I still had not taken my fake Christmas wreath off of the side of my house.

I was worried that she had swallowed something and was choking, but, no, she was barking. She is very quiet, doesn’t meow or make her presence known by making sounds, but there she was barking. I picked her up, took her outside so she could see the wreath. She promptly started meowing. I took her back inside and set her down by the door. Again she was watching the wreath and barking. Finally I closed the inside door so she would settle down.

It definitely was a strange occurrence. Since she was adopted at a young age perhaps she had puppies or dogs where she was. Maybe she was the only cat so she thought she was a dog and now she was remembering her past. Who knows?

I decided to believe that this was the first time she saw the wreath without it being laden down in snow. Or perhaps she was protesting the fact that the sun was shining, the weather was warmer and I still have a wreath in my house.

I do know since the weather has changed she has more perk to her perkiness and so does my loveable lunky Borris.

We are waking up to the signs of spring. The sun is higher in the sky and it stays light out longer.  Smiles seem to come easier to people with the weather warming up. My grandchildren have taken to their roller skates and their rip sticks. People have started jogging by my house. Golf clubs are being cleaned, fishing poles are ready and spring decorations are showing up on houses and in yards.

Facebook is alive with pictures of birds people are seeing at their feeders and the garden stores are starting to be busy. At our house we are busy planning our summer home improvements. The hope of spring is on people’s minds and hearts. They are ever hopeful that the winter is behind us although there are no leaves on the trees yet and snow is still on the ground in places.

There must be people like me who walk past my flower beds and dream of the moments when I see the first little sprinkles of plants sprouting up through the ground.

I must admit my plants in my house are still a little confused by  the weather. My poinsettia is blooming and blooming. It too is hopeful but I suspect it is hopeful that the winter weather stays since Christmas is long past. It may be longing for the season with the reason.

We put a lot of spin on New Year’s resolutions, but I have heard more resolutions now  being made because hopes of spring are in people’s hearts.

“I am going to walk more.”

“I am going to take time to smell the flowers.”

“I am going to learn to golf.”

“I am going fishing more often.”

These are a few of the comments I have heard.

Yet, I don’t recall hearing the words, “I can’t wait to mow the lawn.” Most of what I hear is the fun stuff that revives us after a long hard winter.

Is it time to find out if my last year’s summer clothes fit me? Is it time to dig out the shorts? Is it time to get out my flip flops and flip flop outside? I have to wait for a sign. That sign usually walks up my sidewalk.

I won’t believe spring is here until I see my letter carrier and my UPS driver in their shorts. For me that is the true sign spring is coming.

When they walk up the steps in their spring and summer attire I will know it’s time, time to wake up from hibernation, get out my flip-flops, think about wearing shorts this summer (I usually don’t) and put my dreams about warmer weather into action. How about you?

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” — Doug Larson


Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at Her Facebook page is