THE HEATING SYSTEM came clanking and gurgling to life in the small hours of the night, and was still gurgling in one bedroom long past daybreak. An electric leafblower was humming across the avenue. The breeze was chilly through the screen of the window where the kitten had stationed herself to observe the outside. Along the street, sun lit up the innards of cars and trucks behind their grilles, and sparkled on the purple metallic-flecked steering wheel of a parked Ford. People had gotten out their tartan things or puffy outerwear. Golden leaflets from the honey locusts were working their way into the sidewalk joints. Three police officers stood behind a barricade at the north end of a street fair, gazing proprietarily at a moon bounce. After so many hot and soggy weeks, it felt unusual and surprising to be out in a normal fine October day. Later, sudden silver streaks of rain appeared diagonally on the window, under a darkening pink sky, whose pink reflected off the roof and hood of an SUV painted zenith blue.