It is still cold around here. But not snowy. Every year we get less and less snow which is nice since I don't like driving in the snow and Tetsu doesn't much like shoveling snow. I remember there was one year when the first day of school after winter break was cancelled and instead all the parents were asked to shovel the sidewalk from our neighborhood all the way to the school (about a normal 20 minute walk). So far this year no snow.
But the water in the gutters freeze. The bushes along side the river freeze. Even the usually damp soil from in the forest and rice fields freeze. And Tetsu complains that he is freezing.
Yesterday I went to the electronics store. Truth be told, I was looking for a cat kotatsu. A kotatsu is a low wooden table with a heating element under it and blankets over it to keep the lower half of your body warm. It is the traditional way Japanese stayed warm in the winter and it used to be heated with coal. Ever since I've lived in Japan kotatsus are electric and most homes use them. We don't just because they take up space.
BUT...! I heard that the stores sell small CAT kotatsus! Just small enough for a cat! And I heard that they are a little pricey (but cats love them so it's worth it, right?) And I realized with 6 cats I'd have to buy at least three (one cat can sleep inside the warmth, one cat can sleep on top). But no cat kotatsus to be found. It must be so cold that everyone with cats has bought them (or no one is as cat crazy as I am and so the stores don't even sell them...) (Cat kotatsu picture from the Internet).
While at the store I noticed an electric sofa cushion "for people who like to lounge around on the sofa". And they were less expensive than cat kotatsus. And Tetsu is the all time sofa lounger who is always complaining that he is freezing, right? Hmmm. Do I want this? How much is it? Hey, if I was willing to pay more for my cats' comfort then I should be able to afford this for my husband's, right? (Of course I feel sorry for my cats. My husband I think should just put on another sweater.) So I bought Tetsu an electric sofa cushion.
Tetsu was very happy and "lounged" all over the sofa late last night and said it really kept him warm.
And the cats like it too! Successful purchase.