Pushing Up Out of the Winter Ground

I’m not gonna lie. February was rough, y’all.

Ramses started acting like he didn’t feel well right at the beginning of the month. At first I thought maybe I was imagining it because we’d just gone through similar symptoms with Thut. Unfortunately, he was in much worse shape than Thut was. I suspect that they both started showing symptoms around the same time, but Thut’s were more pronounced, so it’s possible Ramses had been steadily declining in the two weeks we were giving Thut antibiotics. Basically, they both had urinary tract infections with crystals that were causing a blockage. Because Ramses was so much worse, he had to spend several days at the vet with a catheter, IV fluids, and lots of antibiotics and pain meds. I was so relieved when we were able to bring him home. (I’m sure the vet techs were relieved because he decided to be ornery and kept trying to bite them.)

Eric and I suspect that their food was the culprit to both of them having issues simultaneously. We switched their food to a new prescription food the vet recommended and hopefully that will keep them both healthy. Definitely not a good start to the month.

I wrote in my journal that my February tarot card made so much more sense now because it talked about short term loss and hitting hard times. There was also a piece about feeling the reality of possible loss. And what we went through with the boys, along with some family news, it all suddenly seemed to come clear. But, I wrote in my journal that we have to focus on moving forward and pushing up out of the winter ground towards spring.

I painted my nails Romeo and Joliet by OPI and I was definitely digging that dark, sexy vibe. Work was difficult, the weather was getting colder, and was spending a lot of time curled up with a book under a quilt (or two) in the evenings.

snow-covered front yard with trees

On Valentine’s Day it was 18 degrees Fahrenheit and it snowed, which is so rare in Texas. That evening, the roads iced over, which affected our Valentine’s Day dinner delivery plans. In the middle of the night they started rolling blackouts to try to manage the load on the power grid. We had rolling blackouts throughout the day. I worked off my laptop when I could, and off my phone when I couldn’t, since it was a work day. We tried to do things like shower and make food in the half hour times when the power was on. Around 5:30 the power came back on and we heated up some French Onion soup and made grilled cheese sandwiches. The power went back out at 6pm and then never came back on. We had candles and quilts but it got pretty damn cold in the house. The internet eventually went out and when we went to bed we layered blankets and quilts on the bed and once our body heat warmed up the bed we could sleep.

tree full of robins

The strangest thing about that day though was the robins. Ramses demanded the blinds be opened at one point because something caught his attention outside. I opened the blinds to see a huge flock of robins. They were flying in the trees, sitting on our fence, eating the berries in our holly tree. There must have been thirty to forty of them. I’ve never in my life seen such a thing. And for robins, which are typically a harbinger of spring, to appear in those numbers on basically the coldest day we’ve had in forever, was mind-blowing. Butt apparently this is a thing they do – their “winter behavior” (I’ve lived in Texas for over 40 years and never seen this) is to flock like this and go where they can find berries, since it is too cold for insects and worms. And apparently they can withstand super cold temps by fluffing up their feathers which makes them appear fat – which they did!

robin on a tree with red berries

On Tuesday, it was 8 degrees that morning. Still no power and it was just getting colder and colder in our house. We were supposed to get more snow and the colder it got the more concerned I got for the boys and Eric. We finally decided to bail out, but with no power anywhere around us and the roads slick with ice, we weren’t sure where to go. The city had set up warming shelters, but Covid plus the cats made me rule that out. We finally called Eric’s parents and they had power and let us come stay with them. We packed up the boys and headed out on icy roads, but hopefully towards light and warmth.

reflection of a woman in a mirror on the back of a door and two black cats laying on the tile floor of a laundry room with a cat carrier and quilt in the foreground

We ended up spending the rest of the week with them. The boys seemed to do ok, Eric and I were both able to work, and we were able to spend some time with family. The other half of the message from that February tarot card was that even when things seem hopeless and you feel so alone in the world, there are people there to support you. I didn’t even remember it said that until I went back to look at it recently.

wet bar with ipad and laptop and cords in the foreground

My “office” for the week was the wet bar. We were able to go home on Friday. The power was back on and luckily, no pipes had burst in the cold, and we had no damage. We lost everything in our refrigerator and freezer, but other than that, everything seemed ok.

two black cats curled up together sleeping

We were all so grateful to be home. And I was grateful to be reunited with my stitching too.

cross-stitch piece on a quilt-covered lap and a black cat

February was way more eventful than I really wanted it to be, but we seemed to weather it well and we are warm and safe, the boys are healthy, and our house is undamaged. So much to be grateful for.

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