• Creatures,  Ramblings

    Little Lights in My Heart

    I just deleted nine drafts — nine drafts of posts I attempted to write over the last five months. I am still at risk for bursting into tears, so I’m going to make this return to the blog a list that doesn’t really go into any detail. 1. On September 29th, Reyka was put to sleep. I have to write that out without much thought or this will become the tenth draft. 2. The day after Reyka died, a tiny kitten showed up. His innocent joy and desperate desire for love helped to temper our sadness and pain. I would have loved to keep him around but fear Levee’s chasing drive would have gotten the best of her. Now he lives with one of our vet’s assistants. I think about him from time to time. 3. Pickwick was missing for months. I didn’t know if a coyote got him or someone took him in, but he was missed. A few days ago I heard the familiar thud of his jump from the porch railing to the floor. I was glad to see his pudgy little face. Wherever he was, he was cared for, and I’m glad he was out of the bitter cold. 4. The nameless…

  • Creatures,  Ramblings

    The Longer I Run

    The window beside my desk overlooks a huge thicket canopying a substantial ditch. Six months ago I noticed a tiny bobbed tail cat using a small passage through the brambles to sneak around to the back porch and steal Pickwick’s food. The first time I saw him I opened the window, said “Hey ki…” and the cat bolted. Weeks went by and I repeated the process until finally he stopped running. The next step was to sneak outside before he got to the back yard. More often than not he would hear the door squeak open and run back to the protection of the thicket. Occasionally I’d manage to get outside without him noticing, but as soon as he rounded the corner and saw me, he’d flee. More weeks passed with me sneaking outside and frightening him with horrifying hellos and terrifying offers of food. He eventually stopped running but would just sit at the corner of the house until I went inside, never getting any closer. I don’t know what prompted him to come over after being petrified for so long, but one evening, as I sat outside with Pickwick, peripherally I noticed the movement of soft grey fur as he slunk his way to the porch, stopping at the foot of…

  • Creatures,  Ramblings

    I’ve Got the Sky, the World Is My Home

    It’s been a while. I’ve been trying to be better about posting more regularly but there are times when I just don’t have anything to share. I’m certainly fortunate to live such a peaceful life but it doesn’t make for very good blogging. “Today was another beautiful, endlessly sunny day. I watched the mule deer chew their way through a neighboring pasture and listened to the magpies squawk as they took turns stealing Pickwick’s food.” Repeat daily. Today I saw something else. The first time we pulled into the driveway, to decide whether or not we wanted to rent this place or buy a camper and make that our home for a year or two, the “yard” was nothing but grasshoppers and weeds. The ground shimmered, like heat off asphalt, with the movement of thousands of insects. It was unnerving. We were given a week or two (I can’t remember which) of free rent because it was so overgrown and the work it would take to fix it was going to be extensive. Well, fix it we have. We’ve maintained the grass from the very moment it started sprouting again. Now, where long tangles of weeds once stood, green has begun to spread.…

  • Creatures,  Ramblings

    Stand up When You Hear Your Name

    Right now our new friend seems to respond to tongue clicking, the rattling of the food bag, and “Hey, good boy!” I couldn’t very well refer to him as SHUSH-SHUSH-SHUSH here, and I didn’t want him to get accustomed to Good Boy as his name either since there are quite a few wild cats around, and if another happens to start enjoying my company I’ll probably say “Hey, good boy” to him as well. We can’t have everyone thinking their name is Good Boy. This isn’t the Foreman house; everyone here gets their own moniker. So, after nearly three weeks of going back and forth with names, we finally settled on Pickwick. Hopefully he’ll acknowledge it in time. If not, I still have SHUSH-SHUSH-SHUSH to fall back on. What made you think of Pickwick, you didn’t ask? Well, let me tell you… I came across the name while doing research on my genealogy. I resumed working on my family line a few months ago, after pausing for our year without internet in Connecticut. I’m trying to make as many connections as I can on my own. It’s very easy to link the wrong people when 96% of your ancestors are named Mary, so I don’t want to depend…