The neighbors called to ask if the gate between our two properties was closed for a reason. Their llamas usually move between properties and keep a couple of our small paddocks well-trimmed. No, it wasn’t closed on purpose… or, rather it had been but that was days ago, and I had merely forgotten to reopen it. I said I would remedy the situation as soon as there was a break in the rain.
We’ve been getting a fair amount of precip the last few days, and today has given us the most. I am happy about this, The tadpoles are just now starting to swim away from their egg masses, and it will be quite a while before they morph into frogs. The rain forestalls the need to run a hose to the seasonal pond.
There are two ways to get to the gate in question. One way passes in front of the lean to that contains the owl’s nest. The other follows alongside the barn and alongside the wall of the lean to. The latter also requires crossing a little bridge across the little stream created by the pond overflow. Thinking that it must be close to egg hatching time for the owls (if there are indeed eggs to go with the owl in the nesting box), I took the latter path today.
The stream runs underground through dual culverts for a bit and opens up again at the back of the lean to only to disappear again under some blackberry brambles before the bridge. It was in the dark sky shadow of the brambles that I saw something in the water. It took some discerning to figure out it was a dead gray cat.
Gray is a pretty common color for feral cats, just as it is for domestic felines. I am familiar with most of the gray cats in these parts, both pets and pests, but the decomposition, moisture and perhaps lack of light had made identification impossible. Yet, the only one I would be sorry to see go is the one owned by the neighbors of industry, for, although I may be mistaken in this assessment, the amount of joy their gray cat brings, whether a small comfort or great, distracting release, might be critical to sanity. Despite the fact they manage to burn their garbage on the days when the wind pushes the foul smoke directly to our back door, I wish them no ill and will keep a hopeful eye out for their pet.
Nor did I have a desire to fish the thing out. Yet, I did stare at its corpse a good while, and while doing so a sparrow flew down through the brambles and bathed near the dead animal’s head.