Thursday, April 1, 2010

Nature green in tooth and claw

Harry, the orange long-haired tabby with the terrific tail, loves “cat grass.” He can watch it grow through the deck window, and whenever I’m out there, he lines up inside the door, ready for a bunch of the glossy green stuff.

Winter put a stop to that. But then, in concert with spring’s arrival, a friend bought a couple packets of grass seed at the Philly Flower Show and I filled two deck containers with them. Prematurely, as it turns out: just as the grass reached 2-3 inches in height, the wacky weather turned back to cold (25 degrees overnight) and rainy.

I brought the containers inside and put them on a “plant cart” at a window. That was my first mistake. Harry soon scented or saw the grass and his persistent tries to reach it – over and around the obstacles I’d set up -- prompted me to close the door.

Then, after a day or so of “grass safety,” I relented and opened the door. I figured I’d be in the next room at the pc, and he was dozing downstairs with Billy. This was mistake # 2 – underestimating.

Before long – was it a diversionary tactic? – Billy danced in to visit me, then I followed him out of the room, glancing into “the grass room” as I passed the doorway. There was Harry, back feet planted in one grass container so he could reach into the one in front of it and help himself.

I’m glad to say I only gulped. No yell, no reproach, just a gentle extraction of Harry from both containers. He didn’t like being held away from the grass. He liked it even less when I carried him out of the room and closed the door. It’s still closed, and will remain so until the weather lets me put both containers back outside and Harry and I can resume our usual game.

Meanwhile, I was proud of him. He had reverted to his cat nature, which domestication mutes. He stealthily stalked his prey, the grass. He knew what he wanted and went after it, necessarily playing possum to lull me into enough of a false security to open the door. Then he struck.

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