bunt sign

Monday, December 22, 2003

When I saw the cream-colored cat sleeping peacefully in the planter box outside my front door last night, I was surprised. It's the first time it's come that close to the house, and for once it didn't seem to mind my presence at all.

In fact, I wouldn't even have known it was there, but when Tammy and David came by to pick up a tape I'd made for them, I walked out to the car to say hello to the boys. Dakota has this little game he plays whenever I open the car door. He immediately starts saying, "Bye, bye. See you later." Or sometimes, "See you tomorrow." He says it with a smile, but I pretend to be bothered by it.

At least D.J. was glad to see me.

Anyway, as I walked back to the house, I saw the cat. It looked so cute that I got my camera and took a picture of it. I didn't get close enough to disturb it, because I know how skittish it is. It wouldn't have had anywhere to run and might have jumped right at me if it had known I was there.

There is, unfortunately, more to the story. When I got up this morning, the cat was still there, in the same place. In the same position even. Apparently it wasn't just sleeping.

There were no marks on it, no sign of trauma. It still looked asleep, but as I nudged it with the shovel I noticed it wasn't as flexible and pliable as cats usually are. Stiff as an overstuffed ottoman, it was.

With some difficulty, because it was wedged tightly into the corner of the planter box, I pried it out with the shovel and carried it out back to the edge of the property, under the old oak tree. Luckily the ground is still soft from the rain and I could dig a deep hole. No use leaving it out for the buzzards. Let the worms have it instead.

22 December 2003

A small grave.

That's how I started my day, by burying a cat. There will be no more cat photos, although I now have pictures in my collection of a dead bird and a dead cat. I'll miss it if the rat population increases, and I'll miss seeing it prowling around the premises.

But it never got close enough for me to touch it. I never fed it or encouraged it or gave it a name. It was just part of the natural wonders of living in the country. I have no idea if it had a human family who cared about it.

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That's not really how my day started. My day really started at about four in the morning, when I woke up with a violent gastric episode. My first thought was that I'd poisoned myself with my own cooking. I survived, but it cost me half a night of much-needed sleep, so I was sluggish today as I made my last (I hope) trip to the mall.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Winter Wonderland
"Shirtsleeve weather on the blustery Pacific coast in late December, with no mist and no fog. Incredible."

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