Note: This was written on Thanksgiving, but due to unforeseen circumstances I was not able to post it until this week. Ninja passed away December 7th.
The snow is audible – wet and icy – as it hits the windows and the back of the air conditioning unit. It sounds like rain, and is intensifying as evening deepens into night. My family’s Thanksgiving is postponed because of the weather – as an hour’s driving is involved and not worth the risk. So I spent a quiet day with Ninja watching the rain, wondering when it would turn to snow. Isn’t it a wonderful thing, radar? Wonderful in the sense that we can see the silhouette of the storm and the direction in which it seems to be flowing. “She” seems to be flowing. They’re naming winter storms now, and this one is called Cara.
I cooked a turkey thigh for dinner, baked a potato and made wassail. Wassail is a traditional Christmas beverage, but an imminent snow is the perfect excuse to whip some up. And the turkey was a lovely treat for Ninja. When I took it out of the oven, she was suddenly very animated and meowing excitedly. There is nothing quite like offering a terminally ill cat something it loves.
She doesn’t have as much energy as she did before. She no longer chases rubber bands or bats around her toy mice. She sits there in a pile of blankets – sometimes on my bed, sometimes in a heap in front of the radiator, as she did today – snoozing and sitting peacefully. She gives me the slow-happy blinks to tell me “thank you for the chicken”, “I’m fine, thanks for asking,” or “I love you, too.” I’m thankful today that she ate a good meal and is in a comfy spot. I’m thankful for the storm and a quiet day and a chance to spend it with her.g Who knows how long we have?
The wassail is something for me, of course. Very English, like a toddy.
- 2qts (8 c.) apple juice
- 1 pt (2 c.) cranberry juice
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1 c. rum
- 2 Tb mulling spices
Combine ingredients and simmer on the stove top or in a crockpot.
I halved the recipe of course, and will refrigerate the rest – it does well reheated. I had a chance to use one of my little tea cups. Perfect.
Candle-light and quiet. The pings and taps of rainy snow or snowy rain. The scent of turkey and apple juice and spices. The need to write this down. It is a lovely Thanksgiving.
How to Survive a Winter Storm
- Make it special (turkey and wassail).
- Sunlight or happy lights and candles.
- Special projects – Christmas cards and start on Christmas gifts.
- Spend quality time with sick kitty.
- Eagerly anticipate the snow.