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By: joealaska , 2:56 AM GMT on July 17, 2013

I knew the day was coming. The cats will want to go outside.

Last night started innocently enough. Dutchie by the door, going MROW. Just once. But I know what happens after awhile, it is inevitable. So I opened the door just as it was getting dark.

FLUFF bolted out.

Unusual. I expected her to stay close by, maybe chew some grass. She was headed toward the trees and creek area. In two minutes I had no idea where she went.

Meanwhile Dutchie was cruising outside nearby. She headed out front toward the parking lot. I tried to grab her and point her out back, but she bolted, I watched in surprise as she sprinted maybe 150 feet down the sidewalk and turned into some shrubbery. (Not LITERALLY, she CHANGED COURSE and went into some bushes). For all intents and purposes, she was gone.

So every 15 minutes I took a quick walk outside and make sure they were not nearby wanting to come back. No Sir.

For about an hour and a half I was scared catless. I knew they were somewhere having fun and would be back soon, but that first trip is a hair stressful. Especially since FLUFF was taking a LONG trip for her. Way back in Arizona she spent most of her time outside, but that has changed pretty much.

I started scanning the bush line. Eventually I saw Dutchie and went to get her. It was pretty dark, and I when I got closer I saw it was just another cat similar to Dutchie.

Good and bad. Good to see someone else lets their cat out at night. But BAD if Dutchie is nearby watching. She will hang around that cat for quite a while.

FINALLY Fluff appeared at the patio door. Then I periodically went out looking for the Former Queen of the Tundra (now Queen of the Zoysia). Who knows where they go?

Only when I glanced upward did I finally see her…kinda. I saw two ears sticking up above a bar in the distance. She is watching me as I look for her. She is on a second story (FIRST STORY in the UK) balcony. I go up and grab her, as she tries to bolt by me.

Back in the apartment, Fluff walks up and gives her new cat scratch furniture a good scratching. For the first time. So I tell her GOOD GIRL and pet her. Out of nowhere Dutchie runs up and also vigorously scratches… for the first time also. She saw Fluff get praised and now she steals the show. LOOK AT ME!


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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11. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
6:20 PM GMT on July 19, 2013
joealaska has created a new entry.
10. Arbie
11:21 AM GMT on July 19, 2013
Gee, one might think Fluff didn't care too much for that Alaska weather and is quite enjoying herself being back in the lower 48.

Hang in there UK. I guess I'd be complaining a lot more about the heat if I didn't have central A/C.

We finally got a good soaking rain after several weeks of very hot and dry weather.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. osdianna
4:11 PM GMT on July 18, 2013
OK everyone...don't hate me for doing this...it is currently 58.3F as I write this at 8:45am, the marine air is in place, but they assure us it will clear off sometime today...it didn't yesterday.

After all the whining I did about lack of enough heat units to grow tomatoes, I can now look at the positive side of the proximity to the mighty Pacific Ocean...the cool air. Reading UK's post reminded me of my hot times in California (temperatures not partying, though I did quite a bit of the partying too come to think of it) when I had so much trouble sleeping...and I too get cranky when sleep-deprived.

Then on the news this morning the press is talking about the royal baby delay and how miserable Kate must be in her advanced stage of pregnancy with the heat, and how Princess Diana finally couldn't take the heat and the press and so they induced labor with William, etc., etc. I could relate, as my daughter was born in August in the midst of the southern California heat.

So I will sit here and enjoy my sweatpants and sweatshirt, and not say another word about lack of heat units...honest!

Oh, one more thing...IAOTTER, a friend of mine has done that RAGBRAI with her father, for many summers, flying from the cool PNW to take part in this thing...madness I thought...but they enjoyed it until three years ago when his declining health thankfully put a stop to it. Now thanks to your post I see it is a much bigger event than I realized.

There is also a foot race across Death Valley going on too...I am glad my family genes prevent me from embarking on such silliness, the need to push one's body and mind to extremes doesn't seem as intelligent as the need for self-preservation. So I'll just sit here in the recliner I have reclaimed from the former occupation of Fluff and Dutchie and enjoy the coolness, and try not to gloat. I AM trying!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. iaotter
2:55 PM GMT on July 18, 2013
UK, welcome to Iowa weather. We are currently in the midst of heatwave here too. 83f right now and over 96f later. Or maybe higher.
This is also the weekend that RAGBRAI starts. The Register's Great Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa. (The Register being the main newspaper out of our capitol city Des Moines.) I think this is year 40 at least. Since they do the logo in Roman Numerals I am never quite sure. My Roman got a little rusty since we learned that stuff in grade school.
Imagine a rolling zoo of around 10,000 bike riders of all ages and sizes peddling along the back county roads of Iowa. Traveling from town to town where the locals put out as much welcome as they can muster in the way of food stands with home made pies, church dinners and cooling stations. Imagine long rows of portajohns baking in the sun. Imagine lobster red riders who forgot to put on enough sun screen.
They ride about 60 or 70 miles each day for a week. Starting at the Missouri river and wandering across the state to dip their tires into the Mississippi at the end. It's not a race or any kind of completion, just a week long bike ride for those crazy enough to want to be out in boiling hot weather.
Evenings are always interesting for whatever town they descend upon. Tents, support campers, drunken revelry, music and a swelling of the population from 700 or so to 10,700 for a day. They take over town parks, open fields, back yards, barns and any other level place they can find. Folks from the RAGBRAI organization team do map out the route and try to arrange for adequate space to camp. Sometimes they even get places where the bikers can shower.
I have friends who are going this year on a tandem bike. I assume they will survive. Most years there is at least one traffic accident of bike versus car and usually at least one rider succumbs to a heart attack somewhere along the route. Every little town fire and rescue team is on alert to treat people for heat exhaustion.
I could never figure out why they decided to do this at the end of July. It is always in the 90s for temps and humid and miserable even at night. I suspect the reason is the corn height. There are no rest stops on those county roads and the little towns with their rows of portajohns are many miles apart. By the end of July the corn fields are tall enough to insure some privacy for those who can't make it to the next stop.
I think this is an uniquely Iowa event. Don't know of other states who are crazy enough to try this. Anybody know of anywhere else let me know.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. insideuk
12:34 PM GMT on July 18, 2013

You went UP and grabbed Dutchie off the first storey balcony?


Spiderman, Spiderman,
Does whatever a spider can...

Pets that are free to roam have always worried me. In my student days my roommate had a pet hamster, who went by the name of Penny, that was an expert escapologist. Despite having a huge phone directory weighting down the cage door she still managed to reach freedom (the hamster that is, my roommate was always free range). She nibbled her way out without us noticing her sudden increase in bedding materials. She spent almost a week behind the fridge that time. But the 24 hours spent inside the armchair was the worst.

There was only one comfy armchair between 5 housemates (if you include the hamster) – so we all sat on the floor and tempted the furry creature out with Jaffa Cakes.

Jaffa Cakes work better than praise with small rodents.

Thought you all might enjoy this latest mobile/ cell phone company advert doing the rounds over here...


img src="">

It's now week 873 of the British HEATWAVE.




After the first 10 days of 85-90f in the shade stuff I was desperately searching any and all forecast services for some better (read COLDER) weather news. I discovered they all agreed we have another 2 or 3 weeks of 90f stuff – AT THE VERY LEAST.


To put this into perspective, this is the first time since 2007 that the British Isles have experienced heat for any prolonged period of time. That is a long time to have become accustomed to average UK summers of around 65-70f.

I own 2 pairs of shorts and 2 sleeveless tops. That's it. Everything else is for sub 70f. Would YOU splash the cash on more hot weather clothing if it was as rare as hens teeth to need it?

Those shorts took some digging out.

Readjusting to night time temperatures that prevent sleep before 2am is a bit of a nightmare, for everyone. For me, it's painful. I sleep with windows open right through a normal British winter. I LIKE COLD BEDROOMS. That first 10 days I was averaging less than 4 hours sleep a night in 82f at midnight.

That alone equals bad temper with me.

Then, having seen that long range weather forecast, I snapped and bought the biggest, most powerful tower fan that I could find left in stock anywhere in this country and put it on overnight delivery.


I'm now getting almost 5 hours sleep. Not enough.

BUT - provided I don't move from in front of my tower fan until this monstrous Azores weather system buggers off - I am OK'ish.

Still very grumpy during late afternoon/ early evening though.

I now find myself with multiple weather APPS on my phone – I search each one in turn until I find the one suggesting the coolest temperatures and praise it until it proves to be completely wrong.

Right now they are telling me that this weekend might be cloudy and down to low 70's for a blissful couple of days before the heat returns.

I swear I shall burst into tears if they've got it wrong...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. iaotter
1:38 AM GMT on July 18, 2013
Cats are comfort seekers and know when they have a good home and food and lots of loving. I don't think you need to worry too much about them wandering off permanently unless they find some unsuspecting neighbor who takes them in.
In the article about cats wearing camera collars it said that a number of roaming cats had a second home where they appeared for chow time on a regular schedule. Neither set of humans had any idea what the cats were up to. It seems the extra meals didn't put them off their regular kitty chow at home.
It might be a good idea to get them microchipped though. Microchips wouldn't get caught in things like a collar and tags. Plus tags jingle so they couldn't sneak up on things.
Glad you are all settling in and getting used to the new home and outside spaces.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. miyuki
9:34 PM GMT on July 17, 2013
Glad this story had a happy ending, I was getting worried there for a minute.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. Ylee
4:41 PM GMT on July 17, 2013
I think your kitties are road-tested enough not to get themselves in a bad way. Sometimes you get survivors, and in your case, you have two of them!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. dix608greys
3:22 PM GMT on July 17, 2013
PHEW! Glad to hear they are both safely back home.
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2. dotmom
12:56 PM GMT on July 17, 2013
You are right Dianna, trust - but some times that is easier said than done. (Especially with those two-legged KIDS!) Glad they had their first experience and found home. That is a big apartment complex and every door looks the same. Guess they don't all smell the same - well you know what I mean.
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1. osdianna
4:24 AM GMT on July 17, 2013
They will drive you crazy...you just have to trust they will be OK.
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