This little guy is in the yard, a safe distance from the house. Smart. Unlike his friend, a brave woodchuck, who comes investigating right up on to the front porch, and a little rabbit who hippity hops within feet of the house. Time was when the cat, Cleo wouldn’t allow such tom-foolery. She’d chase them off. But the dear old cat is failing, and if she cares that the critters are encroaching she doesn’t show it. She only has enough energy to assume her stalking position, but she’s not in the grass or even on the edge of the porch ready to pounce. Rather she’s on her favorite blanket, which also happens to be my favorite blanket, loving placed on her favorite adirondack chair, so she can commune with nature in warmth and security. I imagine in her mind she’s stalking prey, sneaking up on birds, preparing to pounce on chipmunks. Only in her dreams at this point. It makes me sad, but she seems calm and peaceful. And when I pick her up, blanket and all, and take a seat on the adirondack chair with her on my lap she almost purrs. Almost. But I feel it, and it comforts me, as I intend to comfort her. The passing of the peace.
I don’t know how many more days or weeks we have with her, but I like to think she’s enjoying every last minute of life. Meanwhile the squirrely dude is learning from bad example and scampers up on the porch. He doesn’t know human dwelling places are not to be trusted. A camera today. A cat or dog tomorrow…or worse. But for now, I’ll enjoy his company too.
And there are other visitors to sit quietly and observe — so as not to scare them off. A turkey or two confidently strutt through the yard. A Jake turkey, taunting Tom, who didn’t catch us a wild turkey for dinner this spring. This particular youngster wouldn’t have been taken even if he had shown himself in season. By next year he’ll be bigger and more plump. He’ll also be older and wiser, no easy shot for the photographer or the hunter. Mark my words.