Six Weeks More of Pain!

February 2, 2009

It’s almost sunrise and I’m awake because I haven’t gone to bed.  I’m standing on the porch of Bernie the Half-Cyborg Cat and Marlie’s house with a nice cup of Irish coffee, bemused by the fact that you can make anything “Irish” either by adding whiskey to it or making it green. And then if by ironic cue, coming out the front door is Marlie with her first pot of Jameson’s in hand.

“Morning, Marlie,” I say. “Is Bernie up yet?”

“Nah, ‘e’s not up far a’natha half ‘arer,” say Marlie. “Why’re ya an me parch sa ‘arly anyway?”

“I want to see if we’re going to have six more weeks of winter,” I say.

“Ah carse we’re gonna’,” says Marlie. “Spring’s nat till March.”

“No, today is Groundhog’s Day,” I say. “And legend has it that whether or not the Groundhog sees his shadow when he comes out of his home, that will determine if we get an early Spring or six more weeks of winter.”

“My people didn’t cam’ up wit this, did they?” Marlie says.

“No, I think the Germans came up with this one,” I say. “Specifically the Pennsylvania Dutch. The Irish and pagans have Imbolc on this day.”

“The Pennsylvania Datch are Germans?” says Marlie. “Wha?”

“Because long ago someone asked them what they were and they said Deutsch, meaning German,” I say. “But since that person didn’t speak German he thought they said Dutch. They figured it out later but never bothered fixing it. You’d be surprised how many things in history end up like that, born of a misunderstanding and never corrected.”

Marlie takes a long sip of her coffee pot of whiskey. “An’ sa because a’samethin’ some fake Datch Germans started years and years aga, ya want me ta drag me kitty husband out ‘ere in tha cald at six n’ tha fahkin’ marnin’ ta learn whet’er there’s ganna be an early Spring ar nat?”

“He’s the closest thing to a groundhog this town has,” I say.  “I gotta know if it’s going to stay cold through March or not, because if it’s not then I’m going to have to deal with idiots wearing flip-flops in February.  And I need some advance warning to deal with that stupid bullshit.”

“Al’right… let me go get ’em,” says Marlie.  “…e’s sleepin’ in ‘is kitty box.”

So Marlie brings out Bernie, who is all curled up at the bottom of a cardboard box, and we put him on the porch.  Then I fire off an air horn and Bernie jumps out of the box all frazzled and bushy-tailed.

I never found out whether he saw his shadow or not.  I did find out Bernie’s claws can easily sink through a pair of jeans, and that once he sinks in it takes a hose to get him off.





  1. I hear if you sic a groundhog on cats, they’ll release their claw hold. too bad all the groundhogs were on vacation today, being ‘their’ day and all….

  2. People here are wearing flip flops/thongs in february… I suppose they have excuses though.

  3. better get him a scratching post…..

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