I was out storming the streets yesterday morning with my little red and yellow cart carrying Emmy and J-kabob, waving happily to passerbies and bouncing to the beat of my MP3 player strapped to my arm. (you would laugh if I told you what I walk to, heh) Thursdays Emmy has play group and I usually end up dropping her off while on my walk. Yesterday was no different, I deposited her safely at her destination but, as I began to walk away, something caught my eye.
It wasn’t really all that peculiar, just something that I don’t notice every day. The grass was rather tall, not too tall, just barely reaching that point of needing to haul out the lawn mower. Laying in the grass was gray cat, and upon observation I realized that this was not a leisurely nap in the shade. In fact, the cat was crouched down, ears pointed and alert, motionless. I could almost see its muscles tensed and ready for the pounce. “What is it eyeballing so readily,” I wondered, and followed its gaze to the nearby tree.
There was a squirrel climbing down the tree; very hesitantly. It knew the cat was watching; it knew it was being hunted. He cautiosly reached the ground and for a moment remained motionless, tail high in the air. Flick, Flick. Flick Flick. He whipped his tail forward over his head, eyes on the cat. He wanted to see what Mr. Cat would do. Would he pounce? Cats are very patient creatures and the cat simply remained, watching all the while. With great caution the squirel ventured out away from the tree, but never far enough that he wouldn’t be able to zip up to safety. He was only on the ground for a minute before he scurried back up the tree onto a branch. It was quite clear Mr. Cat was making him nervous. He turned on the branch and looked at the cat. If it were possible to read the expressions of a squirrel’s face I am sure it would be furrowed in thought, “How can I get rid of this beast?”
Then I witnessed the strangest thing I have ever seen a squirrel do. It began to bark. I’m not kidding, the squirrel was barking at the cat! It was similar to a very small dog and was not very loud, but it was actually barking! I knew that squirrels chirped, but I never heard of a barking squirrel before. I knew exactly what that squirrel must have been thinking, “hey, I bet if I bark like a dog I can scare that cat off!” It was too funny, a Looney Toon cartoon come to life.
I’ll never know if the cat gave up or if the squirrel met a sorrowful demise, I had to continue on my walk . . .