I have this wonderful cat. I’ve had a few wonderful cats, but this one is different from all the rest. This one proved to me last summer, the second summer that I had her, or she had me, yea, that’s better, that she needed to go outside. She’d get up in the windows and try to climb to the top, to see if there was any way out up there.
But there was no way out….and she really wanted to go. So I got a strong harness and a sturdy leash, and figured out what kind of flea and tick stuff to use, from advice from her vet. And out we went!
I needed to hear what she was asking for, and because I did, her adventures outside have caused me to spend many pleasant hours out in my yard while she looked, and smelled, and hunted and just laid there and looked around. I’ve always loved being outside when it’s warm, and live as close to the earth as I can. And I stop to smell roses, and look at things that many people might pass by. But sitting out there while she roams or sits, I have an excuse to slow down and just enjoy every minute. And she gets to do the things she loves best: be an animal in nature, sometimes roll in wet grass, sometimes roll in dry dust, eat grass, chase bugs. Sometimes just look and hear and smell the earth.
She likes to try to catch bugs, and she noticed right away that her toys inside are different than the toys she finds outside. The toys outside do things by themselves! First couple trips out in the spring there isn’t much adventure of hunting and catching, cos all that’s out early is ants. But ants are ok, when a cat’s been cooped up in the house all winter. (We tried going out in the cold and she didn’t like it. My bare feet on cold ground wouldn’t feel very good either. And snow….? ABsolutely not!)
But once you tire of catching ants, there is lots of territory to smell and just generally check things out. Once she got close to a big maple tree and in three moves she was 6′ up. (On a 6′ leash, and willing to be gotten back down.) I learned a valuable lesson that day, we don’t go too close to the trees any more. This is the kind of cat that would keep climbing as long as there was tree left to climb in. Fire departments won’t come to get them down any more! So, no more trees.
In the summer there are butterflies, and the white ones are more numerous than the others. Quite a few times she raced over and batted one to the ground, held it with her foot for a few seconds and then lifted the foot to see what she had caught. Hey, no fair, these fly away!
In the fall, she really likes hunting then, cos there are crickets. Big black easy to see ones. They hang out along the side of the house in a strip of ground where a flowering herb grows. She’ll go around the corner and listen……it didn’t take long for her to figure out that that sound means there’s a nice bug in there! Then she jumps right in and starts looking. She has caught several of them too, and, again, not fair! When you take your foot off of them, they jump away really fast.
The other day she was in a patch of spearmint, which is waning now cos fall is coming. Also there, beside a retaining wall, is lots of pieces of wrappers that come off of bamboo in the spring. It’s like paper and last for years. She was jumping at something and I thought she had a cricket. Then I heard squeaking, and pulled her back, while a little mouse ran away as fast as he could. No, we can’t be allowed to catch real animals that could bite a cat or give them illnesses. Sorry, girl, you can’t have that one.
She sees and hears a lot of things outside, many more things that I do, actually. But she also misses some things, that I get to see. She missed the lady bug on the Sweet Annie. Sweet Annie is an herb that goes back to the middle ages and was used for scent then. It’s supposed to get about 3′ tall but mine gets 6′ tall, cos everything likes to grow here.
She missed the grasshopper on Sweet Annie too.
She didn’t know that I’m letting some of the late green beans go to seed so I’ll have seeds for next year. They were the best green beans!
She didn’t see the rain on a trumpet vine flower.
Or the beautiful and complicated center of a holly hock flower. Holly hocks are such an old-time flower that lots of people don’t know what they are.
The last couple roses of the year were spectacular, the way the first show in the spring always is.
So she missed some things that I saw this summer, and I missed some things that she saw. But that’s ok, cos there should still be crickets to catch for about another month. And she got to catch butterflies, and crickets, and one poor scared mouse.
Fall is near and the pictures and the memories of MaChatte adventures will be nice to look over in the winter. During those cold months, she’ll have to look out and dream and remember. Until the snow flies, and then she tries to catch the flakes as they fly past the windows. But they’re just not fun, like the crickets of the late summer are.
Fall is nice except I know what comes after it. So I enjoy fall every minute that I can!
It’s all ok; we’ll start over with ants in the spring.