Tag Archives: fall

Chloë Changes Seasons

A foggy day on the Parade Ground.

One day it was summer and then, all of a sudden, fall was upon us. The afternoons grew shorter. The air felt crisper. The sweet smell of rotting leaves wafted from the forest floor. Then the south wind picked up. And sure enough, it started to rain, followed by a couple of days of pea-soup fog. Heather turned the heat on in the house.

I also knew it must be fall when my nose got covered by spider webs instead of those pesky geranium burrs. I just see lower webs in the tall grass when I’m chasing after a ball; the better action is usually a bit over my head, fortunately.

Hello, Spidey! Aunt Susie is looking for you!

But the way I really can tell it’s fall is when I notice a rise in rodent activity in the park and in our neighborhood, sometimes right around our house! Although I haven’t actually seen a mouse, vole, rat, rabbit, raccoon or squirrel in our yard in a while, I can smell them when I go outside in the morning, so I know they’re around. I’ve even seen Mike stuff poison pellets, chicken wire and steel wool down suspicious holes. It’s an annual chore.

Road kill.

I had not been able to nab anything myself, however, and it was starting to wear on me, another uncomfortable feeling to digest in these uncertain, unprecedented times. But my fortune turned instantly on an ordinary, once-around-the-block, 10 o’clock walk with Heather on Sunday morning, I saw it zip across the sidewalk, not three feet in front of me. Without hesitation, I lunged and caught it just before it hit the ground cover, my teeth piercing the rat’s flesh so swiftly and so strongly that it died instantly. I felt so powerful, like I was immune to the coronavirus! There was no need for me to pick it up and throttle it until its neck broke, like I practice every day at home with Lamby. Quite satisfied and proud of myself, as soon as Heather ordered me to “Drop It!” I complied, and I pranced home with a big grin on my face. I’d much rather have Mike return to the scene to document my deed where it happened than carry it home to him as a surprise gift. No way I was going to keep that disgusting, furry thing in my mouth that long.


Besides, hunting season isn’t over yet. That same morning, Heather and I saw the rotting carcass of another rat on the same stretch of sidewalk where I killed mine, so there must be a whole pack of them around, too many for Fred and the other neighborhood cats to keep up with, that’s for sure.

Now every time Heather and I walk down that block, I’m on high alert. Bring it on, rodents, bring it on.


Chloë Faces Fall

Playing fetch with Charlie

Playing fetch with Charlie

In Mike’s continuing effort to introduce my pal Charlie to Seattle’s best walking spots, the four of us trekked all the way down to the Discovery Park lighthouse last Sunday. This two-hour hike really wore me out, since we had to hustle all the way back, up the steepest part of the bluff, just so Mike and Charlie didn’t miss too much of a dumb baseball game on TV.  Nobody asked my opinion, of course. That hike was a long, quick climb for my stubby little legs to manage, especially since I was already tired from playing fetch many times along the way. One good place was on the lawn of the lighthouse keepers’ cottages, where we had never been allowed before. We had the fenced yard all to ourselves. There was a black-and-white boxer that stared at me from the other side of the chain link fence, licking his chops, but he never threatened to come inside. I saw him but avoided eye contact.

I once again refused to go anywhere near the gently lapping waves of Puget Sound, even though I realized this could be our last warm Sunday until spring. Everywhere we went last week I noticed sure signs of fall. Lots of huge spiders and huger spider webs, for instance; the one below was right next to our front door for about a week. (Good thing my Aunt Susie wasn’t visiting.)


Arachnophobia, anyone?

I also noticed the leaves on trees changing colors and eventually dropping to the ground. The sounds provide many distractions when I’m supposed to be concentrating on finding my ball. When the leaves get deeper on the ground, finding my ball will be more difficult.

Discovery Park in fall

Discovery Park in fall

The swiftly changeable weather patterns produced  dramatic, threatening skies all week. I even heard thunder a few times.

Storm clouds move in

Storm clouds move in

So I’m no genius, but I’ve been around here long enough now to know what’s coming next. Where’s MY Seattle Sombrero, for crying out loud?


Wet days are coming soon enough