Harley's Winter Wonderland

How her feline friend frolicking in the snow inspired her to think about winter differently.

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I hate winter.

Winter means getting up earlier to scrape ice off your car, darkness falling at 4:30 p.m., and wet boots tracking snow and salt across floors and carpets. Not to mention those heating bills when temps plunge below zero!

This week, when we woke up to a world of white, my cat Harley stood at the window, fascinated by all that snow. I opened the door so he could go out, but he just let out a little whine and backed off.

Now, Harley is used to spending most of his daylight hours outside. So that snowy morning it didn't take long for cabin fever to strike. By 10 a.m. he'd already squabbled with Pearl and Catillac, and he was sitting on the windowsill, chattering like crazy at the birds on the feeder.

I opened the door again. He cautiously put one paw onto the white stuff, then another. Snowflakes fell on his black coat, and he sniffed the air. Then—zoom!—he was off, running at top speed through the backyard.

He raced around the frozen pond, sped in a circle around his favorite tree, then ran and frolicked in the snow, leaving the yard criss-crossed with tiny pawprints. A half-hour later he appeared at the window, covered in snowflakes, and I let him in to warm up.

“That was fun once you gave it a try, huh?” I said as I dried his fur and feet with a towel. Hmmmm. I wonder if I'd enjoy winter more if I let go of this negativity....

“Harley, you've inspired me,” I told him.

I bundled up and went for a walk and took photos to email my family in Florida, where “cold” means “in the 50s.” Then I relaxed on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate, watching the flakes drift down and the birds hopping from branch to branch, their colors brilliant against the background of white. Beautiful.

Now, I'll probably never love winter. But from now on, I'm going to try harder to find things to like about it. #1: Harley with snowflakes caught in his whiskers....

Watch this short video of Harley in the snow!

—Allison Ruffing

Does your cat love to play in the snow? We want to hear about it! Email us at [email protected].

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Tags: Cats,Pets
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