Thursday, April 7, 2016
I can tell when Simone has a mouse on the bed because she works to wake me up. She stands, with her substantial bulk, on my chest and meows with her mouth full of the draped body of the mouse. The mouse, by the way, is usually unharmed, and the moment I turn on my headlamp, Simone will drop it and it will flee. Then Simone, her prize, and my lack of sleep are off to the races.
Last night the mouse wasn't a mouse but a pack rat -- a plump, white-bellied, big-eared denizen of the chicken coop. Simone was extra proud as she stood on my chest and did her best to wake me with the insistent, muffled "mrr," "mrrr," "mrrrr."
I'll leave what followed up your imagination, but will tell you that it took a while to capture our reluctant hostage/visitor, put in the cat door so Simone could not follow it to the back yard, and then shake the little guy out of my best biking T-shirt. He sprung for cover behind the cactus garden.
Simone kept looking for the missing prize long after I was back in bed.
She is far more connected to the back yard than I am. She sits back there for hours, unmoving, watchful. She sees birds, bugs, spiders, animals, and more subtle things like seasons far better than I do. She seems happier for it, and is tolerant of my lack of situational awareness. She still talks to me and tries to explain the wonders back there.
Sometimes, though, she runs in to the house and bolts behind the couch. When I go check to see what scared her, I sometimes catch the elusive glimpse of a bobcat jumping over the fence.
There is a price to pay for connection, for residence in the web that is life, and there is a price to be paid for its lack.