Work has stalled on the addition. Between snowfall from the sky and snow-slide from the roof above, the drifts inside the frame are knee-deep.
In my wobbly recovery from flu, I have not had energy to contemplate next steps. Just mucking the barn stalls every morning and dragging the heavy muck bucket half a dozen times through the snow to the manure pile has felt like work enough.
Flossie, my barn cat, has been lonely since we lost her brother Freddie to a coyote in August. Flossie used to be “the shy one.” Now, confined to the barn by deep snow, every morning she sits on each stall wall to supervise my cleaning. Every night she swarms up the wall alongside the frost-free hydrant to rub her blunt head under my chin as I fill the water buckets. I can feel her purr rumbling against my throat.
I have talked to the woman who owns the dairy farm where Freddie and Flossie were born. She tells me there is a line of cats there who are so friendly they seem a little brain-damaged. The current matriarch is known as “Obnoxious,” for this obsessive warmth. She is always eager, underfoot, in the way. Freddie was like this. I had to be careful he didn’t try to jump up happily to investigate while I was running my Skilsaw. I had to spit his waving tail out of my mouth when I was kneeling to work on fencing close to the ground.
I did not find this cheerful warmth obnoxious. I found it utterly endearing.
“You like a cat who acts like a dog,” observed David, my vet.
I may try to get one of Flossie’s cousins to keep us company at the barn.