Monday, June 24, 2013


It was a dark and stormy night. Really. It thundered pretty strongly here in southern Alberta last Wednesday. (I am still catching up on my articles after repairing my ability to post on my blog from home). As is sometimes the case here, the sun shone even while the rain fell and the thunder boomed. In the third photograph, you may observe rain, sun and rainbow, all at once.

The reaction of cats to thunder is always interesting, from a purely analystical point of view. If one has cats, one cannot help but sympathise with them, as well. But watching them, one sees their personalities reflected in how they behave. Tungsten, of course, was largely indifferent to the fuss, though there was one large crack that made even the tiny terror herself take notice. For the most part, however, she sat comfortably, if not quite unconcerned.

Bear-Bear too seemed to take the storm in stride. He spent much of the time on the cat-tree that I had put in front of the screen door to catch the scents. The loud bang that disturbed Tungsten’s usual equilibrium made the guest-cat wonder if his position was the wisest, so he retreated to the food bowls, where comfort may always be found.

Josie is not often nonchalant when it comes to noise. She is usually not frightened but is easily startled, even alarmed. But these reactions are not the same as fear. Thunder brought a different emotion and she sought the safety of the space under the armchair. She remained in the sitting room, though, and came out once I spoke to her. It’s touching how, like children, cats will often put faith in a trusted human to protect them. A calm word from their person, and things are much better. The scary sounds remain, but somehow they are not as bad. I wish we all had someone to talk to us like that.

Among the perma-cats, the boys have always been more timid than the girls. Tucker is always skittish and Renn associates anything loud with anger: raised voices send him scurrying for cover. He is much braver than he was, and it’s a rare event now that does more than impels him to lie on the end of the bed. The bed is his safety-zone, and he feels that above it is just as good a spot as below it, where some animals may feel more secure.

Tucker too sought the shelter of the bedroom, but he chose a more traditional type of location. He has hidden behind things previously, not always to his advantage. He seems to think that any vertical object affords protection from discovery, and therefore does not take his length and girth into account when hiding. Nevertheless, fear is not a rational sensation, so what one does when feeling it is not always reasonable. To his credit, he too came out with a little coaxing.

The night ended with clearer skies, if I recall, and the fresh fragrance of the hours after a summer rain. We weren’t to know that worse was to come the next evening.


  1. We're glad you are OK and not flooded out like some areas we sea on the TV. We get thunder nearly every afternoon in the summer, and Newton hides in the closet every single time, even though he is the bravest cat among us.

  2. I get more agitated in bad storms than the boys do, though if it's really loud they might be a bit unsettled. It's me, though, who's terrified of lightning.

    I hope you're still safe and dry, not flooded out. I know you commented on my other blog that you weren't in a flood zone, so I have fingers crossed all is well.

  3. We have the heads up and what is that looks when the thunder booms. If very very loud like tree splitting next door lightning loud they all take off like a shot. Dad does too!

  4. Yes, I could do with someone to calm me down from time to time as well. But we fared much better here than in many other parts of Alberta and I guess I have to count my blessings. By the way, I too often retreat to my "food bowl" for comfort, although I don't think it will do Bear Bear any harm.