one in the hand

Today while Ralph and I were making up labels on a little home-brewed project of mine (see below) I spied our kitty Harris outside with a bird in his mouth. This is the second one in three days. The bird from Friday was quite dead, and perhaps not even by his hand (or paw, such as it is). This one was still alive. Ralph ran outside and retrieved the cat and went inside the house to look for the phone number of a rehabilitation group. I picked up the bird. The children ran outside and crowded around me. Our neighbor’s daughter called over the fence, asking for updates which my kids gave. I couldn’t hear them because I was rather distressed.

The bird went through agonies in my hand, arching back it’s head and opening it’s beak as if gasping. It’s gasps began to have sound. Then it died in my palm. I laid it down and it changed very profoundly from something fighting to live into something dead. Something left it’s body so obviously as if it was an entirely different thing altogether. I cried. I don’t care if you think that’s silly. You weren’t there.

Sophie cried a little out of shock and then went inside to tell Ralph. She came back outside and the children took turns holding the bird and talking about what happened. They weren’t upset. Ralph dug a hole in the yard and we placed the bird, a few worms, and a flower inside the hole.

Life went on. For us.

Madame Marie's Elixer for Mature Gentlewomen
My mother asked me to make something nice up for a few friends.

it was a brilliant, clear, and lovely day today

Today I was blessed with many things. Not just time with my most loved ones, ever – and also fresh air and exercise and good coffee. Most of all: walking home after picking up Sophie it was streaming sun and the sky was laden with puffy, white clouds accompanied by a few glowering dark ones. And predictably out of this rose a rainbow; a brilliant, vibrant presence that inspired its own shallow doppelganger just above it. I listened to my children’s delighted descriptions and a block later we were met by Harris the Fierce Not-So-Kitten; he follows us most of the way to school these days then disappears a block a or so from the final destination. Then on our return he prounces up to us out of whatever yard he took to exploring that day, running ahead and behind and inspiring liquid giggles from the kids.

It must have been a special day because only a few blocks later cross-traffic commenced with the Coleman Mortuary’s hearse (a new one, it looks like) passing by up the hill to the cemetery. A caravan of twenty more cars followed, fresh from rain and transitioning from the service to the burial. The faces in the cars, some are sad, some are happy, some preoccupied, some are tear-stained and devastated. I watched them all as we waited the cars out and I answered the questions the children asked. Harris hid in the tree behind us and then, when we crossed, darted after us on hunter’s paws to skid ahead of us into our front yard.

lady driver, let me take your wheel / touch my bumper, hey let’s make a deal

Today I had about two hours to myself with both kids in school. I spent about an hour doing some computer work, thirty minutes of chores, and thirty minutes getting set up to sew. While I was doing all this I was in mellow, steady-moving state. Kind of the perfect time you think a certain little kitten would want some love. I mean, I would have been happy to put down the dishes and sit with a purring furball on my lap for a few minutes.

But no, it wasn’t until I sat down and started winding a bobbin that the wee kitty finally stumbled out of bed (currently favoring the “hammock” of fabric in the box spring) and came at me all sleep-eyed with stick paws kind of stumbling around. He climbed up on the sewing table and started to purr then saw thread spools and then started batting with harmless velvety paws. He was really warm from sleep and really energetic.

A few days ago while on our trip our housesitter came up with a good word regarding Harris:

Paige: Harris has only gotten out once!me: Oh, that’s good. He seems to know how to come home. I probably won’t let him out regularly until I can chip him and collar him.

My neighborhood is a little sketchy so I want him to be fully protected.
Paige: Ah, yeah. He prounced around the back yard for a little bit, letting me know that I couldn’t catch him if he didn’t want to let me, then he let me.

“Prounced”! That is exactly what kittens do!

I actually love this song and was belting it out in the car today; I felt inspired to search for the video and, um?:

(Billy, check out the move at 1:24. Or the stair declension here at 0:57. Watch and learn).