Up a Tree

Spring                                                                             Planting Moon

A neighbor stopped by this morning to report that our dogs, Vega and Rigel, had treed a raccoon.  Uh oh.  They’re half coyote hound, which is basically a coon hound used to hunt coyotes.  A doggie genome activated by its primary motivation.  Watch out.

So, Kate and I wandered out, me still my house slippers, into the yard, past the orchard, around the truck gate to the corner of our land where the electrical junction box sits.  Kate got there first and found, not a raccoon, but a rotund gray tabby up a skinny ash maybe 15 feet, clinging to two forked branches–the first on the trunk–wide-eyed.  The pose and the expression were close enough that I expected it to wink in and out of existence.

Talk about two happy dogs.  Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.  Barking up a tree at last.  Yes, up a tree at last.  We’ve got one.  Something.  Up the tree.  Come see.  Come see.

Now I don’t have a lot of sympathy for cats that enter our yard.  We’ve always had dogs, usually several, and you have to cross either a six-foot or a four-foot chain link fence to enter.  So, you come inside, you deal with the dogs.  Stay outside.  No problem.

This cat, obviously a house cat, will live.  If it has the sense to get down from the tree and leave.  Some don’t.  I can’t say I feel good about that but I don’t feel exactly bad either.  Paying attention to your own survival is rule number one in the animal world, and if it isn’t always number one, it’s second to whatever trumps it at the moment.

Which, of course, is not to say that animals always know the threats to their own survival.  Our dogs, for example, escaped from their safe hectare, would wander blindly onto a highway, or, as has happened, will slip down deep ditches filled with water and be unable to get out.

I hope that Chesire cat, having slipped through its own looking glass, has found its way home by now.

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