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The Patio

Autmn is here and it's time to clean up the patio. It's especially messy this year. The patio has been neglected. Oh, it goes without tidying from time-to-time no matter what. But this past summer that's about all I did out there. Tidying. It's not usually like this. Unfortunately, aside from the fact that I stopped tanning a couple years ago (thanks, rosacea), it wasn't any fun any more to sit out there. It was just too darn lonely.

Rascalbear photobombs Norman's performance.My husband, Norman, has never been a big lover of the great outdoors, much less the small one. A fan of dirt, sun (he's a redhead), heat, and bugs he's not, so the rare occasion that sees him on the patio is worth celebration. We ate one—ONE—meal outside this summer, on an especially nice, dry, shady, and bug-free day. I cherished it. But it was bittersweet in that it was only the two of us.

There was no Rascalbear trying to steal the picnic-intimacy. Or even the photo-op.

Rascalbear owned the patio. From the time we moved in, it was his domain. Afraid at first that he might escape (with the exception of the wide-banister balcony of my Arizona apartment, he'd always been confined to the house), I was relieved to discover he had no aspirations of scaling the wooden fence and running off into the great, wild green yonder of West Island Montreal. He loved his patio, and whenever I could let him enjoy it, even without my accompanyment, I did.
The irresistable Rascalbear 'flop and wiggle' move.But what he loved best was when I was out there with him. Indeed, he'd often sit and cry at the door as though he couldn't wait to get inside, only to jump from the step and promptly flop and show his tummy the moment I opened it. It wasn't "let me in" but "come out here with me". And I always did. Who could resist that fuzzy, wiggly, kitty-belly?

This summer, the weather was beautiful, the sun warm, the air fresh, yet I couldn't make myself sit out there and just…sit. With no fuzzy, wiggly, kitty-belly to rub, it seemed like a waste of time. I mean, could be in the Reddy Room, writing, playing guitar, or at least trying to keep up on Twitter. Why sit outside, even with a laptop, when ultimately the best part of doing so was being human companionship to a little furry critter, who had little else in his day to entertain him? I couldn't come up with a good answer. So, I didn't.

Now, there's a blizzard of leaves on the concrete tiles, which will soon turn into a blizzard of snow. The furniture will be taken apart and packed away in the shed, and the patio will see no one again until the spring thaw. I sit out here now for a few last moments, and I'm sad that it saw so little activity this summer. But I could behave no differently. Perhaps next spring, when the kittens are big enough to go outside. Then, I'll be ready.

Wait. Kittens? Yep. Stay tuned...