Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Too much Joe and Mariah; California Needs a Visit by Tess

Away out here they have a name for rain and wind and fire.
The rain is Tess, the fire's Joe and they call the wind Mariah.

The morning the news reports that almost 270,000 acres of southern California have burned since last weekend. In San Diego County alone, seven separate fires spurred the evacuation of 300,000 people—ten percent of the county's population. It seems that Joe is taking his toll.

Of course, Mariah is also doing her part. The desert winds stoked destructive wildfires and sent Joe blazing and skipping around so that he was much more difficult to contain.

For those who think of southern California in terms of celebrities, a bit of research this morning informed me that a ranch belonging to Sean Penn burned Sunday; properties owned by David Geffen, Barbra Streisand, Pierce Brosnan, James Cameron, Mel Gibson Olivia Newton John, Mark Hamill, and David Duchovny are threatened.

I suppose southern California could use some of the fire quenching power of Tess. Unfortunately, she isn’t in the southern California forecast.

And so I pray for rain, as well as the safety of the folks in California, especially the firefighters and those folks whose homes are threatened or who have already been burned out.

Tess, who we’ve seen for too little of here in Kentucky this year, has been visiting Louisville for the past 24 hours and the weather gurus predict that she’ll be visiting us through the end of this week.

Tess, Tess, go away

Of course, I am thankful for the rains. But, I am now being regularly harassed by Alex because, as I have written many times in this blog, he has an aversion to water. Even as I have been writing this blog, the furball has, as I reported in the post Rain, rain go away, been repeating his “I want to go outside” dance:

By the time Alex finished his breakfast and I was drinking my first cup of coffee, the boom of the thunder had diminished. Alex—as is his habit—stuck his claws into my leg to get my attention and meandered toward the front door. I followed him and opened the red door to the sight and sound of the rain. I stepped out onto the porch, but Alex backed up away from the threshold. As a cat, he has an aversion to water in any form—including rain.

So I came back into the house, turned on my computer, and began writing this blog. A few minutes later, Alex again used his claws—this time on my thigh—to get my attention. I jumped up and asked my feline master, “Now what do you want?” He strolled out of my library, through the kitchen, to the hallway that leads to the back of the house, and stopped by the back door.

“Alex, it is raining in the back yard, too,” I told him.

Of course, being the cat that he is, he didn’t believe me until I opened the door and he saw and heard the rain falling upon the deck. Alex looked up at me and, like my friend who had lived in Arizona, seemed to meow, “I hate the rain.” ~ Nick’s Bytes, March 6, 2006

Update from CNN

  • More than a half million people have been ordered from San Diego County homes today.
  • More than 1,300 homes have been reduced to ashes.
  • The fires still threaten more than 56,000 homes.
  • At least two deaths have been attributed to the fires.


  1. That's cute. I was watching Paint Your Wagon over the weekend for what must be the 20th time.

    California is really struggling at the moment.

  2. Fires in California just seem to get worse every year.

    I don't understand why they aren't being more proactive in clearing the brush- it seems like that would be less expensive than fighting these fires constantly.

  3. I feel for the hundreds and thousands of people dislogged from their homes, and especially to those who have lost homes. I pray the couragous men and women fighting the fire will succeed and stay safe.

    They have laws against clearning the brush because they feel it hurts the natural habitat of the forest creatures. (I am sure there is a specific one or two.) So they sadly aren't allowed to clear the brush.

    I loved your story about Alex. I am the owner of two cats myself, and I could really appreciate your story. My grey cat, "Scrappers", wants to go outside in the worst way, but living in town makes it near impossible. He will manage to squeeze by when the door comes open, only to immediately panic with the traffic and other goings on.


  4. I am scheduled to leave for a five day conference in San Diego next Tuesday. Now, they are thinking of canceling the whole thing. Giant bummer for me because I have never been to San Diego.


  5. California has got to stop having these fires. There won't be anything left pretty soon.

  6. All of these fires frighten me even though I'm north near San Francisco.

  7. China Girl, I'm in Merced (still pretty far north) and it's still scary.

    They do warn homeowners to clear the areas around their dwellings. I don't know what good it does if they don't do it.

    Nothing could have stopped this once it started. Delliberately set (or so I've heard) with those high winds.

    So far my So Cal online friends are okay.

  8. Jake just came back from there. He told us Mel Gibson had to be evacuated.
    I'll be happy to send Tess over. She's been here, pouring down buckets since last night.

    Awful way to loose your home, you know? Cause not only is it gone but all the trees,'s a horrible thing. My prayers are with them.

  9. I love that song...

    Have not heard from my brother again since this morning...the worries continue.

  10. I appreciate your steady "bigger 'n bytes" of compassion. Alex is blessed to have such a caregiver.

    I know, I know. And vice versa.


  11. I don't want to take over your comments, but answered you on my blog with this:
    St. Nick - My prayers are there also... a good webfriend of mine that lives in CA gave me this link to keep 'tabs' kind of: they seem to have good coverage. I also looked up the city my brother lives in, and there are emergency numbers listed for shelters, who should have a list of people staying there. The Red Cross may be able to help also, if your friends have registered. Much luck, please let me know!

    I copied & pasted it here in case you didn't get back to my place...thought maybe this could help. Much luck, many prayers!

  12. Bush has ordered money and help for California--a good thing. But it still makes me remember his response to Katrina--grrr.

    My cat, Muffin, will only let me bathe him, but instead of drinking water from his dish, he puts his paw in it after using the litter box! Gross!

  13. We can see the smoke from the fires here in Arizona. Prayers are truly needed, Rev Saint.

  14. Hi Nick,

    Last night I watched CNN and got to know of the situation in California. Nature can sometimes be very challenging indeed. But it was nice to know of the efforts the fire men. Plus of course the aerial dropping. I am sure the situation will soon come in control.
    Best wishes!

  15. That is dreadful. We haven't heard much about the fires - or perhaps it's just me that hasn't!

    I'll add my prayers to yours for safety and rain.

    I remember walking my dog of the time when she was quite young and it began to hail. She started nipping my leg as good as to say, 'Stop throwing things at me, you rotter!'

  16. i tell you - its frightening, theres no other word...

    and alex is just soooooo sweet!!!

  17. The Wayward Wind...I remember that song...and the lyrics you quote. From the show "Paint Your Wagon".

    Ah, Alex...yes that sounds like typical cat thinking!