Animal Kingdom

The early morning silence was broken up by the chirping of the first birds looking for breakfast.  The trickling of the fountain in the pond added a soothing cadence to the flurry of breakfast activity. Birds flying from feeder to feeder pushing each other out of the way. Squirrels waiting to eat the food that falls from the birds mouths. The sound of hooves in the woods cracking branches as they scavenge for their food.  As I sat quietly and soaked all of the noises of the morning up I felt the familiar brush of Lucy’s fur next to my leg. We were enjoying watching the world awaken from slumber together.                

We have our own routine’s now, together finding a rhythm without Ricky. It is still strange to only have Lucy, but we are healing our hearts.  Lucy has taken on many of Ricky’s traits these days, except outside. She does not hide in the bushes as he did, or try to outlast me looking for her. She comes as soon as I call her and stays usually where I can see her in the yard. In many other ways, however, it is as if he has joined her in spirit.

Lucy never used to chase her tail. Ricky on the other hand did. He would see his tail move and growl at the point. He would look at it with disdain trying to figure out what the tail was going to do next. Ricky’s way to chase however caused him usually to tumble around the room going after his tail as if it was detached. It reminded me of the scene in the Wizard of Oz when the Lion thinks someone else is pulling on his tail!

One day I was in my bathroom getting ready for work and heard this noise in my bedroom. I looked in only to see Lucy tumbling around looking for her tail. I just stood their half laughing and half in shock that my cat was acting like my dead cat. Could it be that Ricky’s spirit had entered Lucy? She is chattier than ever, brushes against me more like he did, sleeps more against me than at the foot of the bed, etc. Many of his traits have now become Lucy’s.

This morning though she stood by me as we surveyed the morning animal rush. We both watched the cardinal push the little chickadees away from the feeders and then the big blackbirds push the cardinal away. It truly is the strongest survive and the littlest of the world need to fight the hardest for what they want.

As we watched all of this I was reminded that my cats, none of them, generally chased any animals that are ever back here. They may find a bit of interest in an occasional chipmunk or bunny but it is short lived. I have seen all 3 of my cats over the years chase a frog, well not really chase. It was always more fascinated interest in the jumping. They would get their nose very close to the froggy only to see it jump which would always cause a cat to jump backwards! In fact my cats lived very much in harmony with their surroundings and the animal kingdom that is my yard.

If only people could behave as these animals. They all seem to move among each other with respect and with almost a laissez faire attitude about what the other is doing. As long as they can still get their food source, they leave each other alone, and live in harmony in my little yard. The beauty is in the ease by which they move around each other. There is nothing that is causing them strife, just because the birds like the seeds, the squirrels go after the nuts and the deer eat the plants. They all just co-exist.

Lucy, being the natural predator for some, should be big and scary to these small creatures. But alas, she is not. She is just another member of their society, moving among them as freely as they move among each other.

As I sat on the top step of my deck watching all of this I sighed. Why can’t we just all co-exist.  Could we?

I do understand that in the animal world the mantra the strongest survive is true. But what I see in my yard is far beyond strongest survive. They all thrive, no matter their size. I think they have a true respect for each other as Lucy does for all as well.

Oohh…there goes Lucy in her hunters pose looking all threatening as she stares down a chipmunk. Then just like that, she is by my side and taking in the sun, the morning air and the quiet start to the day. She never really hunts! She truly enjoys her animal kingdom and co-exists with them all….the way we all should.

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