As a child, I thought the "dog days" of summer referred to the fact that because it was so hot and humid, dogs just wanted to lay in the shade and keep cool. Whenever I hear the term "dog days," I still get a mental picture of a big Golden Retriever laying under the shade of a picnic table, panting.
|The Official Blog Cat is standing in for the Golden Retriever|
The dog days of summer are the hottest and muggiest part of summer, but "dog" refers to the star
Sirius, the dog star, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog).
During the hottest time of the year in ancient times, Sirius rose at the same time as the sun, so ancient peoples assumed it was the cause of the oppressive heat. The ancient Romans would sacrifice a red dog in the spring to try and appease Sirius.
And even though the dog days of summer are officially well and truly over, it sure doesn't feel like it here in Michigan. Lots of heat and humidity. Even though students are mostly back to school, and some leaves are already turning, I do not have my customary "fresh start" feeling that comes with the beginning of a new school year.
I love that feeling . . . low humidity, warm, clear days, cool nights perfect for sleeping with the windows open; new school supplies (I never can resist buying fresh new pencils and a pretty notebook or two this time of year); pumpkin spice lattes and homemade gingerbread; and best of all, a renewed energy and zest for creating, learning, and growing.
But alas, I still feel lethargic, kind of oppressed by the humidity. Like those poor hot dogs, laying panting under the shade of a picnic table, I am at a low energy level. In ancient times, the dog days were considered to be an evil time, when dogs went mad and all other creatures became lethargic, disease ran rampant, and even the oceans boiled. I am one of those "all other creatures." Can only hope for a change in the weather soon.
I think it must be dog days all the time for cats.