In light of the horrific devastation caused by the 200 mph tornado that cut through Moore, Oklahoma, which appears to be a suburb of Oklahoma City, I thought I’d just touch base on this subject. At least 91 people have been killed and the number is likely to rise
For Brits, America does have extreme weather that we don’t experience. Oklahoma City is in tornado alley, a large strip of land in middle America where tornados are more likely to occur.
My personal interest in tornado alley, and extreme weather generally in Oklahoma, comes from my connection to A1 Savannahs, where I have stayed (they have a nice guest house). Even when I was there, they had a spectacular storm in the distance and when I went to a cat show in Oklahoma City the wind was howling outside clattering poles and slamming doors.
A1 Savannahs is in tornado alley. So, incidentally, is Helmi Flick’s residence which is near Dallas in Texas.
A1 Savannahs are extremely professional so I know they have systems in place to deal with extreme weather but how do you protect against a 200 mph tornado? You can’t. I suspect that A1 Savannahs have to keep a watchful idea on extreme weather of any kind in order to protect their cats, of which there are many. They have a big facility over a large area.
The Oklahoman landscape is wide and open. It is quite flat. The landscape is completely different to the English landscape.
The human causalities from this extreme weather event are tragic but I would like to mention the companion animals. We should not forget them. I am sure some cats have been killed.
I wonder if cats can predict the arrival of a tornado? It is said that they can predict the arrival of an earthquake and animals in general are very sensitive to weather changes.
Cats Predicting Weather
Back in the old days in England, almost 400 years ago, cats were considered good predictors of incoming, inclement weather. Here are some quotes:
Puss on the hearth, with velvet paws
Sits wiping o’er his whiskered jaws (Signs of Foul Weather)
“It is a common notion that when a cat scratches the legs of a table, it is a prognostic of change in weather”
“She useth therefore to wash her face with her feet, which she licketh and moisteneth with her tongue; and it is observed by some that if she put her feet beyond the crown of her head, this kind of washing, it is a sign of rain” — (John Swan “Spectum Mundi” 1643)
“While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o’er her frolicks and pursues her tail no more.” (1710)
I will guess that many Oklahomans have cellars where they can take refuge during a tornado. Some of them will have been constructed for the purpose. I wonder if cat owners watch their cat for signs of foul weather.