One of my late mother-in-law's six cats became the fifth of that zoo to venture upstairs last night. Bob, a big, 12-year-old orange tabby, came up to the landing and peered around the door jamb only to find himself face-to-face with a doppelgänger -- our three-year-old Buckaroo. Eldest of the downstairs population and a confirmed scaredy-cat, Bob did summon up the nerve to step across the threshold for just a few seconds, but Buck's intense stare eventually sent Bob back to the landing.
Eldest upstairs cat Suzie Q, 15, has been spending her days downstairs -- even yowling at us in the morning to open the door to the basement stairs for her. Aside from illicit excursions by 11-year-old Mickie before we started leaving the door open, Suzie's the only one of ours that has gone down there. The downstairs cats seem to take no notice of her at all. And when she comes back up the stairs at bedtime, it's not entirely of her own free will.
After months of excuses culminating in almost two weeks of rainy-to-damp weather, two days ago I once again jump-started the mower and tamed the field that lies between our house and the road. Last time, I had cut right over a number of sweetgum seedlings; in the intervening time two of the victims came back. Since they, like a trio of pine seedlings I've now let grow to some six feet in height, are sprouted in holes we suspect were dug by armadilloes, I've decided to leave them be and see if they can eventually serve as vanguards for the surrounding woods to reclaim the field -- bringing shade and privacy, and further reducing the mowing chore (though pines would be more effective toward the latter, with their constantly refreshed mulch).
<update, Saturday> All the various driveway surfaces I cleared of leaves Wednesday are covered again today. </update, Saturday>
Mrs. McG has mixed feelings over this prospect, since her home weather station needs open space for valid weather readings. It already needs to be relocated because of the new shed.
This year we've had a small family of deer frequenting our property, along with Lenny the great blue heron (named after the great blue stand-up comic) and at least one owl, Darius, who's been hooting it up most nights for the past several weeks.
As the leaf cover between house and pond dissipates toward winter, maybe we'll see more.