Snoop, the fatter of our black cats, was sitting in the middle of the gravel path when I got back from dropping the kids at the bus stop. In the winter he’s a committed house cat, rarely moving except from bed to bed and then to the food bowl. Spring comes, however, and a young cat’s thoughts turn to chasing chipmunks, and the morning’s victim was already wriggling in Snoop’s jaws when I came up the path.
I’ve watched this dance often enough to know the game had just begun. I never interfere in animal kingdom games – I figure Mother Nature knows what she’s doing (and, as a vegetable gardener, I do have a dog in this fight). Today, though, the cloudless sky and lush trees newly-dressed for spring created a such feeling of peace that I couldn’t believe she had allowed another torturous game of cat-and-chipmunk to begin.
Snoop stopped near the daffodils and dropped the chipmunk. The chipmunk shook its head and started to run, but Snoop got in his way. The fuzzy rodent backed into the forsythia and then, deciding humans were less dangerous than cats, raced over my foot and into the woodshed. Apparently cats are susceptible to fits of arrogant laziness because Snoop waited and watched the chipmunk for a minute before barreling past me and trying to corral his victim again.
I started walking toward the door, reasonably confident how this would end, but as I glanced over my shoulder, I saw the chipmunk make one last heroic jump into a crack in a pile of firewood. Snoop pounced, but he was too slow, and the peace was preserved.
As usual, Mother knew best. Remember that kids.