The Cat Days of Winter

We refer to the hottest time of year as the dog days of summer.  However, right now in Maine, winter is at its coldest.

Frost gardens have grown on the windows.

Perhaps we can refer to this cold season as the cat days of winter?

The frigid weather has finally frozen the lakes, but there are no villages of fishing shacks as there have been in past winters. I wonder if Covid-19 has discouraged people from gathering on the ice. I miss the busy hubbub of activity that the villages bring to deep winter. This year the lakes seem so quiet.

But there is always the consolation of bare branches against a bright blue sky.  The pandemic cannot take this away.

The first blizzard of the season is blowing up the East Coast. My New York City daughter has reported that it’s snowing like crazy in Brooklyn. Soon, it will be snowing like crazy in Maine, too. A foot is predicted, but we shall see.

However, we have plenty of wood for the furnace, and our snow thrower, Little Green—with its belts repaired—is ready to go.

Time to make a white bean soup for tomorrow so that after we’re done cleaning up the snow, we will have a nice meal that can be reheated with little effort.

Winter is a lot of work, I know, and staying warm can be expensive for those of us on a tight budget. Still, I love this hunkering down time of year, when the world is cold and white on the outside and snug on the inside.

The Danish and Norwegians have a word for this notion of coziness—hygge—and I am sure many of you have heard of it. As someone who loves all things cozy, I feel as though this word, this concept, was made for me.

Essential, perhaps, for a woman who was born north of north in the lower forty-eight states, where winter can start in November and often doesn’t let up until the end of March or the beginning of April.

58 thoughts on “The Cat Days of Winter”

  1. The pictures are so pretty and they do convey a sense of coziness! Wool socks sound good too… 🙂

  2. This line made me feel very cozy: ‘when the world is cold and white on the outside and snug on the inside.’ Ours is usually grey and wet on the outside – which doesn’t sound or feel quite as romantic as snow. But I too appreciate all things cozy and look forward to this time of year. Maybe it’s the Norwegian in me. My grandparents on my mum’s side immigrated to Canada, and both grandparents on my dad’s side have some Norwegian ancestry, as well. Snow is a huge amount of work, especially when it knocks out the power here. We’re ill-prepared for it in the NW since it happens as an event rather than a season. But it means our woodstove will be blazing and I’ll get to cozy in to work from home. And perhaps go for a powdery walk on the river trail with my husband and camera. Sweet times! Thanks for bringing the memories…no snow that stuck yet this season for us.

      1. Yes, but for me there’s an extra level of such with snow. Maybe it’s because snow makes everything so quiet – especially if there’s enough to keep the cars home. Rain tends to patter on or batter the rooftop, where snow has this lovely delicate tick on the windows or skylights until it makes a blanket that wraps you in peaceful white.

  3. Hi, Laurie – Hygge is an awesome concept, and white bean soup will pair perfectly with that. I am just about to begin a Zoom Cooking Call with my niece. Tonight we will make Lentil Soup together from Angela Liddon’s ‘Oh She Glows for Dinner’. My niece will be cooking in her Winnipeg apartment where it is currently -6C outside. In comparison, I will be cooking at my home on Vancouver Island where it is a balmy +7C outside! 😀

  4. It’s so weird that your winter is colder and snowier than ours this year. I love the coziness of being snowbound and ready for it. The world outside is so beautiful. But, once again, this storm seems primed to turn from snow to ice pellets to lots of rain in our neck of the woods. I’m jealous, Laurie!

  5. Brrrr …. for me. Even those I did attend one of the coldest pro football games on record. Oh … that white bean soup sounds good to me. Stay warm. …. and your winter is probably past the half-way point … well, maybe by a little.

  6. Whew! Just emailed with my niece in Queens. It’s crazy there. Her nutso boss kept her at work until 6, although he did pay for an Uber–but suppose Ubers had been sane and stayed home? We had between 2-3 inches, then it stopped, maybe rained a bit. Then today it sleeted a while and then started in with the fine blowing snow again! it isn’t what you’ll get, but it’s been nice to walk in and snug into. Stay warm and well fed!

  7. The cat days of winter…I love it! The pics are beautiful. I made beans and cornbread yesterday. Although we don’t have the snow you have, it seems Missouri can’t make up its mind what kind of weather to settle on. And so we all wait….And while we wait let’s cozy up with beans, books, and hope!

  8. The image of a cat curled up snug by the fire is a good way to think of winter. I have never had to shovel snow and do the hard jobs of winter, but I still like the idea of spending time resting inside, keeping warm before the busy time of spring.

  9. I love the idea of the ‘cat days’ of winter – what a way you have with words Laurie! It sums up beautifully the idea of curling up in the warmest spot and waiting for the weather to warm up. There is little you can do outside so unless you have to get out just stay warm indoors. I have arranged the furniture in my sitting room around the fire and even my desk looks over the back of the sofa to the flames!

  10. Lovely images. We are also heading towards the cat days of winter 😂
    January 2021 has been recorded as the coldest January in the last 10 years.

    1. I am not sure about the Danes but Norwegians are out on the mountains 😃. Sun and snow together are a great combination for skiing.

  11. We’re sending you that nasty winter storm — sorry for the inconvenience, but I’ve got to say Good Riddance to it! Cozy is a great concept, but methinks we’ve already had far too much cozy (thanks to this pandemic); some of us, at least, are ready to get outdoors again. Stay warm, Laurie!

      1. Most of the 3-4 inches we got has melted … just in time for the next onslaught, probably this weekend, when temps are supposed to feel like minus 20. Brrr!!

  12. The Dog Days got their name from Sirius, the Dog Star. Maybe there’s a Cat Star shining in the sky — it has to be named Humerus, right? Stay curled and cozy. We’re supposed to get all the way down to 50 tomorrow night! I need to find my long underwear, and whip up some of that bean soup that you mentioned. It sounds wonderful!

  13. I’ve often thought it might be nice to live somewhere where you can’t garden in winter, as long as retirement meant you didn’t have to battle the weather to get to work. More reading time.

Comments are closed.