Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Door Into Summer

We had a cat, a street cat from Tunisia, named Cinnamon. I had taken our son to see a movie and when I got home, my husband looked funny. You know, a wife can tell. I said “what’s up?” and he gave me those big innocent Bambi eyes that tell you for SURE something is fishy, and he said “Nothing!”

Just then, we could hear loud loud miowing at the back door, the kind only a kitten can make, the kind that attracts attention. We went to the back door and there was this tiny little kitten, barely old enough to be away from her family, and she is stuck between the screen door and the back door.

“How very strange!” I said, looking accusingly at AdventureMan, who continued to try to look innocent.

“She looks cold!” he said. “Maybe we had better bring her in!”

Later he confessed, he has found her wandering around alone, wet and miowing in our backyard and had been feeding her while we were at the movie, then put her in the back door so we could “discover” her. He wanted to keep her. We already had one big cat, but we had wanted another, and here she was.

She was my Door into Summer cat. She still had all her wild instincts, even though we adopted her at such a young age. Once, in Germany, I found a dead hare on my steps, with it’s throat torn out, an offering from Cinnamon – but the hare was at least twice her size! She was always bringing us offerings of a dead nature; she was a born huntress. One time when AdventureMan got out of bed, he stepped on what he thought was a rolled up sock, but it moved! It was a badly wounded mouse!

Cinnamon hated winter. We lived in a house with a lot of doors, and when it would snow, she would go from door to door, asking us to open so she could go out. When the bitter cold with the biting wind would hit her face, she would back into the house and head for the next door – always looking for the door she remembered, the one which led out into summer.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

I used to read a lot of Robert Heinlein. His books are SO politically incorrect, so sexist, he was an old engineer, but man, could he write. His writing takes you WAAAYYY out of the here and now, and makes you stretch to think in new ways.

He wrote a book called Door into Summer, in which he wrote about another cat:

“…While still a kitten, all fluff and buzzes, Pete had worked out a simple philosophy. I was in charge of quarters, rations, and weather; he was in charge of everything else. But he held me especially responsible for weather. Connecticut winters are good only for Christmas cards; regularly that winter Pete would check his own door, refuse to go out it because of that unpleasant white stuff beyond it (he was no fool), then badger me to open a people door. He had a fixed conviction that at least one of them must lead into summer weather.”
The Door into Summer – Robert A. Heinlein

You can read about Robert Heinlein on Wikipedia and you can find many of his books still in publication on

January 16, 2008 - Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Books, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Marriage, Pets, Poetry/Literature, Tunisia, Weather


  1. Cats are funny …
    The pic is hilarious reminds me of something that happened to me like that. It was a blonde moment of mine. There was a good 12-15 Inches of snow on the ground (probably more), I got out of the car and instead of taking the shoveled route, i walked on the snow (I don’t know why I imagined it being like sand) after three steps in the snow gave in and I fell right through. I was almost knee deep in the snow.
    Funny. Haha.

    Comment by Chirp | January 16, 2008 | Reply

  2. Looking for the door to summer… your cat and i are on the same search.

    Comment by Mrm | January 16, 2008 | Reply

  3. I wish I could go there where there is that much snow…I love winter as much as I hate shivering 😛

    Comment by Amu | January 16, 2008 | Reply

  4. Chirp, I still have a problem trying to imagine you in Minnesota! “i imagined it being like sand . . .” LLOOOLLLL – sometimes it can be. Did you know people in Greenland have like over 100 words for different kinds of snow?

    Mrm – I’m imagining you going from door to window, looking for that warm place . . . 🙂

    Amu, I think snow is pretty in the forest and in Austria and skiing in Switzerland. Not so much on the roads and stuff!

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 16, 2008 | Reply

  5. What a great story! If you know cats, you can just see his little brain trying to figure out where the summer door is. I had a cat that was always trying to get behind the mirrored door to find the toys reflected in the mirror. He was always so puzzled that there wasn’t a second toy back there.

    Comment by momcat | January 16, 2008 | Reply

  6. I LOVE cats! But sadly im horribly allergic to their fur! A few years friend’s house had a pregnant street cat practically living under the outside stairs..we took really good care of her by providing her with food,water and blankets sometimes..and when she gave birth she allowed us to touch them take care of them..until they grew up and each kitty went its seperate way lol!

    Comment by Kaileena | January 16, 2008 | Reply

  7. Hahahahaha! This is truly one of the funniest and most refreshing posts you’ve , um, posted..

    Comment by This Lady | January 16, 2008 | Reply

  8. Hahahahaha! This is truly one of the funniest and most refreshing posts you’ve , um, posted..

    Comment by This Lady | January 16, 2008 | Reply

  9. Cinnamon seems dangerous with these offerings! hehe. The cat in the picture looks mean too! :p

    Comment by N. | January 17, 2008 | Reply

  10. Momcat – Love the mirror story! Our cats have had the double whammy of relocating!

    Kaileena, I believe these little cats talk to God. They will tell him of your kindness giving them food and shelter. It’s these little things that count.

    Thanks, Lady, and hahahahahahha, thanks again!

    Cinnamon was a little sweetheart, N., but once a cat is born in the wild, they always have those instincts!

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 17, 2008 | Reply

  11. I loved the implication, looking for the door that leads to summer, aren’t we all seeking new doors that feels familiar to adjust out throbbing hearts.

    Comment by Touché | January 26, 2008 | Reply

  12. Touche, you are so right, we are all looking for the door that holds our heart’s desire.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 26, 2008 | Reply

  13. Strange that somehow my heart led me to this post’s door. I felt like reading it again. Don’t you admire those posts that keep ringing into your mind and calls for you.

    I officially declare that this post is a favorite of mine.

    Comment by Touché | February 19, 2008 | Reply

  14. Thank you, Touche’. Occasionally it is a post, more often, for me, it is a body of work. We all conceal ourselves to a certain extent, but when you look at a body of work over time, you start to see consistencies, you start to get a feel for who this person might be, inside. Some just resonate with your own experiences.

    I am really glad you like this post. I hope YOU find your door into summer. Perhaps an unstated given in this post is that summer always comes.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 19, 2008 | Reply

  15. just heard a reference to this book, without author, used by announcer as lead in to a classical music piece on WQED-FM. Guess Heinlein rises up where you least expect.

    Comment by bryce swan | January 2, 2011 | Reply

  16. LOL, Bryce, thanks for letting me know.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 2, 2011 | Reply

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