Adobe Cat Day

old adobe doorway

Gold ore (!), fan, spotlights, jar of pennies, WD-40

For behold! From deep inside the dried mud cave with windows—look how thick the wall is in the doorway—a brief report on July at seven thousand feet. The cat, you see, has been outside, where it’s a little over ninety. Not inside these old adobe walls, however, and that is where she rests. The cracks in the concrete stucco are from water damage. Not so bad here on the floor, but consider what happens with load-bearing structures. Dry adobe expands when it gets wet, and as it dries again, a portion collapses into powder. Repeat this process over and over until the stucco is all that’s holding up the wall, and then the ceiling falls into your lap. Over the years preceding this inevitable end, the finest dust you ever saw sifts secretly over everything you own.

But all is cool and quiet here just now. Through the open screen door I hear doves and magpies—if there’s a breeze, the rustling of the elm tree leaves.

John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

  • Judy Copek July 15, 2016, 10:55 AM

    With all that fur, I hope the cat stays in during the heat of the day. Do you worry about coyote’s getting her? Even in Massachusetts that is a big concern.

  • kaye July 15, 2016, 12:07 PM

    Thanks for the pictures of Callie. Here, we have to keep our cats inside, we live in town and everyone drives way too fast.
    They would be roadkill in no time….also, we had a black bear in our neighborhood not long ago. I think they are vegetarians though!

  • Tim July 16, 2016, 2:25 PM

    From what I’ve read, what adobe walls need to last forever are a good hat (weather resistant roof) and good shoes (moisture resistant foundation). The addition of a stucco coating (cement, that doesn’t “breathe” well) has been the death of many an adobe wall in California (and also NM, I would presume), since it traps moisture that enters the adobe bricks in the walls. The fix in CA is to remove the cement stucco, and apply a lime-based plaster. Not that your landlord would ever go to that expense 🙂

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