West Tisbury: Beloved cat, Climate Book Club, lobster picnic, and emergency preparedness

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—MV Times

I have already noticed the light changing. The sky starts to quiet by 6 and, if Mike gets home closer to 7, I will have turned on the lights for him. Trying to read or work in the evening is becoming more difficult. My aging eyes probably have something to do with it, but I need more light, and electric lights are so much more glaring than when the last rays of sun shone later through the windows behind me.

School will begin across the Island on Tuesday, the day after Labor Day. Iyla and other children I know are so excited to be going back to school. I always mark the first day of school with relief that I don’t have to go. Then I take another cup of coffee upstairs to read under the covers with my cat.

I haven’t written yet about the passing of my much-loved cat, Mona. She had been failing through the summer, in retrospect more than I chose to notice.

Mona was my friend Martha Fleishman’s cat. When Martha died, her daughters asked if I would take Mona. I did. Gladly. I loved her and she kept my connection to Martha. We grieved together. That was 5½ years ago. She was old then and no one expected she would live this long. I think she enjoyed her last years. Sleeping in the sun on our porch was her favorite thing and she spent the whole of this past summer there. I still look outside for her.

My thanks to Dr. Atwood and Dr. Jasny, who cared for her through her long life, and to Dr. Ross, who met her under difficult circumstances and made her comfortable enough to come home with me for her last weekend. Iyla came to say goodbye and brought Mona a beautifully decorated box she made for us to bury her in. Iyla loved her, too.

Nelson, our original cat, seemed perplexed at Mona’s disappearance. They had always been uneasy housemates and I didn’t expect he would be particularly disturbed. But he was.

They hated each other from the start. Stalking and hissing was the way they related. Both had been only cats and both preferred it that way, keeping their distance.

Abby had always been Nelson’s dog, so the two of them have continued along much as they were before. Nelson was Abby’s playmate, while Mona was too old and dignified to give Abby the time of day.

Funny how animals sort things out.

The Ganz family has announced their plans for a memorial service for Robert (Bob) Ganz, who died this past April. It will be held at the Grange Hall on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 2 pm. For anyone who cannot attend in person, the service will be live-streamed online. Email ganzpoetry@gmail.com for the link.

The Climate Book Club will meet on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 4 pm on the library porch. They will be discussing Part 5 of “The Climate Book; The Facts and the Solutions” by Greta Thunberg. Copies of the book are available at the library.

The best news is that the library will open on Sundays beginning this week. In the book club’s announcement, they mentioned that the meeting could move inside if it was too chilly on the porch. Hurrah.

The Howes House serves lunches every Thursday at 12:30 pm for $4. Next Monday, Sept. 11, is the annual lobster picnic, including a lobster roll, chowder, chips, a beverage, and dessert, all for $35. Sign up for one or both at 508-693-2896. Come on Thursdays during the Derby for packages of freshly caught fish. There will be a free class, Emergency Preparedness 101, on Friday, Sept. 15, at 11:30 am.

It feels nice to be settling into the next season, to acknowledge that changes come, and that the Earth spins in a familiar cycle.

If you have any West Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Hermine Hull, hermine.hull@gmail.com.