cat_calicoHERE IN MINNESOTA, it feels like the winter just wouldn’t end — it even snowed in May! Although I enjoy getting cozy with the kitties and a nice hot cup of tea, I’m ready to venture outdoors without a coat and gloves.

Now that the sun is shining, my toes are painted and I can drive with my car windows down, I look to my cats as models for truly enjoying the warmer months.

Cats are excellent sunbathers. Back in the ’80s, I’d slather on Hawaiian Tropic oil and spend hours by the pool. Now we know that’s less than safe; however, getting some Vitamin D is a total mood-booster. I love lying on a blanket in the grass and feeling the sun bathe my face in good-mood-juice. Sometimes I lie in the grass without a blanket — I love the smell of fresh dirt and springy things. Although my cats don’t venture outside, they rock a mean indoor sun-puddle and I know that if they were the outdoorsy types, they’d totally sprawl out on the sunny grass for a snooze.

I love watching my cats watch wildlife. They chirp at birds, are transfixed by squirrels and chat at the chipmunks. When the weather is nice, I love taking walks and looking at the local critters. There’s a great park by my house and I’ll sometimes stop at a bench and just watch the activity happening all around me. I’ll even close my eyes and focus on the sounds. It’s absolutely magical. I do draw the line, however, at doing any chirping. My neighbors think I’m crazy enough already.

Cats are great sniffers, and when the window is open, they constantly sniff the air wafting in from outside. I adore the smells of spring and summer. Aside from the aforementioned dirt smell, nothing beats the aroma of a freshly mown lawn or a BBQ grill cooking up some tasty eats. I love smelling the flowers in my neighborhood when I’m on a walk. I’m not much of a gardener, so I reap the benefits of other people’s green thumbs. The warm months are just brimming with happy smells. I want to remember to stop and be completely present with them.

After the extended winter weather, I’m especially looking forward to savoring every bit of the next few months. I wish there was a way to bottle all of it and enjoy little tastes of summertime goodness during the middle of January. I guess that’s why snowbirds travel south that time of year. But for those of us who don’t, we can be particularly conscious of basking in its beautiful and bountiful glory!

My cats are all about being present with each delicious moment and, once again, we’d be wise to follow their lead!

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