I also saw a black cat wandering the yard, with the chunky look of a tom.
The weather has been cool, wet, and drizzly. Puddles everywhere. In December. When I was little, it would start snowing in November -- not counting the occasional cold snap in October which sometimes flurried -- and we'd see the ground again in March. Sometimes a January thaw would melt some of the snow but never all of it. This area used to be Zone 5b and is now Zone 6a. The differences are dramatic. Zone 5 is the south end of north, and Zone 6 is the north end of south. It's not as big a barrier as the frost line, but close.