That may have been the most unpleasant stretch of weather that Sagaponack has ever known. This isn’t to say there were never harsher times—just not so many people to kvetch about it.We got up earlier and earlier, trying to harvest vegetables at the magic time when the previous day’s heat had risen out of the plant, and the coming day’s had not yet wedged in. Eventually, there was no such hour this could be done. If you believe in averages, then July will balance the cold, wet June. We are taught to believe in averages, because we live in a democracy. However, being a farmer is teaching me to believe in the extremes, because therein lies the limiting factor. Heat like that can scorch your yields, burning and dropping what should have been fertilized blossoms.
Out of nowhere, a cat begins to walk the perimeter of the house, calling as he goes. I put some food down and return to a window in the kitchen to watch. A large, well-marked gray-and-white cat steps out of the darkness and begins to devour the offering. He is twitching by his own watchfulness; his ears tuned to the night, he stops chewing and freezes in an effort to determine how safe he is.
When a friendly cat appears and does its damnedest to get into your house, you do have to wonder whose cat it is. If he’s yours, send me a note. I am calling him Pog, which is like “Bob” in Poxabogue.
One of the reasons I try to help cats is to curb their intake of wild things, if only because they spend less time hiding in the wild and more time waiting for you. I am pretty sure he’s been living in the woodpiles just beyond the lawn. I see him coming from there every night now to the sound of my car advancing up the driveway. Still, from his attitude, I am fairly sure he’s lived here longer than I have.
This is the other reason I like finding cats. It is much like meeting regular friends. There are circumstances that put you together, and it feels like fate. Fate is a reassuring sensation.
Cats have an impenetrable past. They have their own stuff going on—they don’t always stay. Nine lives to our one.