The long, dark winters of Alaska can be tough, even for the most seasoned sourdough. To keep from going completely bonkers, Alaskans have learned to seek out things to help them escape the maddening embrace of cabin fever: either literally, through various winter sports; or figuratively, through flights of imagination. Being the bad-Alaskan that I am — one who does not enjoy snow-machining, and who can’t really understand the allure of camping when there are perfectly good hotels with flushing toilets around — I am naturally inclined toward the more cerebral escapes. However, there is one type of outside winter event that I look forward to each year: watching the flocks of migratory birds when they come through town — in particular, the Bohemian Waxwings. I remember, several winters ago, when I was able to spend a lazy morning watching them from my living room window. As with many such activities, this particular one was made even more special because I got to share it with someone special: my then-boyfriend’s cat, Marv.