DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
Hot and humid, afternoon thunderstorms, evening lightening shows…it must be the dog days of summer. The Old Farmer’s Almanac considers the Dog Days to be the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11. Here we are smack dab in the middle!
The “really old” Farmer’s Almanac from 1817 describes it thus:
“Dog Days are approaching; you must, therefore, make both hay and haste while the Sun shines, for when old Sirius takes command of the weather, he is such an unsteady, crazy dog, there is no dependence upon him.”
And who is this Sirius that brings such a dubious summertime blessing? Sirius is also known as the “Dog Star”. This period of sweltering weather coincides with the year’s heliacal (meaning “at sunrise”) rising of Sirius, the Dog Star. Sirius is part of the constellation Canis Majoris—the “Greater Dog”—which is where Sirius gets its canine nickname, as well as its official name, Alpha Canis Majoris. Not including our own Sun, Sirius is the brightest star in the sky.
I had to wonder if there were the Dog Days of Summer, what if there were the Cat Days of Summer? This is what I thought that might look like:
Dog Days of Summer?
Why do the dogs get all the attention?
Waggy tails, drooly jowls, pathetic eyes.
Come on? What is wrong with cool, elegant cat indifference?
And why do they call it “dog days”?
It is the sultry part of summer when Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun.
Described as a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.
That may be the Dog Days of Summer
Let me tell you about the cat days of summer.
There is no such thing as a Cat Star….because we are all stars
And who would want to rise with the sun?
Lethargy, inactivity, indolence? All dog words.
Laziness, dreaminess, applied apathy? All cat words.
During the Cat Days of Summer, you will find us in the coolest spots.
In the soft dirt of the shade loving flowers
In the tall grasses under mighty shade trees
Smack dab in front of the air conditioner
We have a seasonal non-aggression treaty with mice.
Who wants to get all hot and bothered?
And an agreement with the butterflies that we will only perform the Cat/Butterfly ballet
In the cool early morning or early evening hours.
We lay on cool tile floors
Stretch lazily, yawn and ignore all things but a call to the food bowl
We look with disdain on those with hot wagging tails, drooly jowls, and pathetic eyes
With our approval, we may allow a gentle touch perhaps rewarded with a purr
If it isn’t too much effort
And those are the Cat Days of Summer!
Lesson at hand? Stay cool and love one another!