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Autumn

November 4, 2015

IMG_3495Pippin has been surprised by cold days and blowing leaves. The time change has made him wonder why the afternoons are so short now. We close the windows that he thought would be always open and invite him to sit in our warm laps, but he likes to sprawl, and resorts to doing it under the quilts and blankets we keep getting out.

IMG_3511Tristan, our big 15-pound white cat (part flamepoint Siamese) has started wrestling with Pippin, who I guess weighs 8 or 9 pounds now. He also appears to enjoy the occasional bit of company on his backyard hunting expeditions.

IMG_3406Sabrina, our old gray cat (part Sealpoint Siamese) still wants very little to do with Pippin. She will tolerate him, but she will not play. She lies on the front porch in the waning afternoon sun and thinks her own thoughts.

We’ve had a few warm days this week, enough to make me miss the long afternoons before the time change. As Ron and I always say this time of year, quoting from a Reynolds Price play, “it gets dark early now.”

IMG_3515This is the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing Eleanor. Real life doesn’t have a September Parent’s Weekend or a week of October Break. I don’t want to look forward into the bleakness of November, but I am looking forward to having her home for a few days at Thanksgiving.

IMG_3518Here is a poem that captures what it feels like to be living in the first week of November in central Ohio this year, “Autumn” by Joan Mitchell:

The rusty leaves crunch and crackle,
Blue haze hangs from the dimmed sky,
The fields are matted with sun-tanned stalks —
Wind rushes by.

The last red berries hang from the thorn-tree,
The last red leaves fall to the ground.
Bleakness, through the trees and bushes,
Comes without sound.

IMG_3483With the early dark comes an increasing absence of color. The red leaves look dark in piles. Increasingly, there is only dark and light, the black of shadows and the white of the sky before it deepens to gray and then black. We close the curtains and turn on the lights, so that everything inside turns to sepia.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2015 11:04 am

    I love seeing your cats, and you know I am a special fan of Pippin. I am not a fan of autumn, however, or the time change and those long dark evenings. I know that theoretically it means more time for reading, but somehow it still feels like dead time. I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving with Eleanor – we won’t see our son before Christmas, but he seems to be having a busy and productive time in London, so I’ll take that!

    • November 6, 2015 8:26 am

      I felt like the other cats deserved some publicity for getting along better with Pippin these days. Also they’re beautiful, but Tristan is hard to photograph–even the one I got of him is slightly blurry with movement.
      It’s discouraging to me that long dark evenings don’t mean more time for reading anymore–I fall asleep. There’s a period in the fall where I start hibernating, and we’re well into it.
      It’s easier to be apart from your grown child when he seems busy and productive, isn’t it?

  2. November 5, 2015 1:58 pm

    I love reading the poems you share in your posts! Big fan of poetry here but I don’t make time for it like I should. Thank you! (Also love to see the pics of your sweet kitties.)

    • November 6, 2015 8:27 am

      I’m glad you like the poems! Posting them gives me a reason to always be looking for new volumes, or just going through the ones online at the Poetry Foundation.

  3. November 5, 2015 2:51 pm

    My kitties don’t go outside but they are rather nonplussed about the windows not being open for them much at all anymore. Enjoyed the poem and your musings!

    • November 6, 2015 8:30 am

      Each cat we get recapitulates the experience Heinlein writes about in his novel The Door Into Summer. They think there is one, and that it’s our job to find it and open it for them.

  4. November 6, 2015 6:30 pm

    I’m struck again (and I know you’ve said it before) how much Sabrina looks like Chloe (who is snoozing/snoring/purring on m y lap at the moment). Sorry you are well into the dreariness of autumn in Ohio, I know this is the start of your least favorite kind of weather.

    • November 6, 2015 10:08 pm

      It is. And Sabrina is with me on that.
      We’ve had other Siamese mix cats, and the kind she is, sometimes called Lynxpoint, has a distinctive coat pattern that does make them look alike.

  5. November 7, 2015 11:28 am

    Because our wintery season is so short down here, I crave those long dark evenings. When it gets dark at six now, I feel totally happy, and I just wish it would get properly cold so I could enjoy it like I want to, snuggled up under blankets.

    • November 7, 2015 11:35 am

      You should come visit me. We have a guest room now!

  6. November 9, 2015 9:10 am

    I’ve only seen pure-bred Siamese before, your cat is gorgeous. We’ve a cat in the family that doesn’t understand we have no say as to the weather, especially the rain, but never had one that’s bothered by the cold… that we can tell at least.

    It’s not too cold here, pretty mild compared to some years, but I’d like summer back already.

    • November 9, 2015 9:50 am

      Thank you for saying she (he? both Sabrina and Tristan are half siamese) is gorgeous. I love and hate the way a person can find all sorts of mixes of breeds in the local shelter, cats that have been abandoned (as Sabrina was) or lost in the November woods (as Tristan was–he must have stuck out).
      It has been a lovely long fall here, too. I’m always wanting summer back, though.

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