Monday, June 8, 2009

I Could Have Danced All Night

Seems like a long time ago, that we'd act silly. Dawn would sing in a high operatic voice and we'd waltz to a tune such as the title of this post. It has been ages since we've done that. Three decades ago, on a memorable warm night camping in Terry Andrae State park on the Lake Michigan shore, some long, lost friends and I ride the swings in the playground, high on wacky weed, and push ourselves higher and higher to the tune of I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire. This morning the light is subdued. It rained all night. Dawn and I snuggle a little closer to keep warm and I change the tune to, I Could Have Slept All Day.

There's a possum in the live trap. I get my sweat shirt on, muck boots and a yellow slicker when I see the gate to the trap is closed. Darn. The possum is wet and paces the cage. I notice that the wire at the back of the trap is bent. The last occupant tries a Superman stunt to free itself. I'm too lazy to drive the critter to the park outside of town but I won't repeat the last episode of "varmint wars". That's where I open the gate to the trap and the possum quickly scurries under the deck. I still haven't bothered to remove the back of the deck boards and crawl under the deck to find what died under the rear addition. Being smarter than the average bear, I pick up the trap and move it to the cornfield behind our house. My video brain sees the possum scurry between the short corn plants and down to the edge of the river. The possum is agitated having a human so near. I'm glad the wires handle are far enough away from sharp claws and teeth. To set it free, I hold the cage vertically. My left hand keeps the door open while the right hand holds the trap. At first the possum clings to the back of the wire trap. Then, probably because this is the same varmint I caught a few weeks ago, he drops to the ground and scurries off into the weedy edge of our property and the corn field. The Pooch is right behind him. Oh Jeez.

To keep our cat from following the animal into the weeds, I whistle to him and walk toward the house. He's on top of the woodpile deciding: fun with possum or treats from Pork Chop( his name for me). If he follows that possum, I fear there will be a cat with a ripped ear and a bite to the nose to take to the vet. Treats from Pork Chop win out in the decision making. I let him out the deck door hoping the hummingbird circus will keep him entertained and away from the rat tailed possum.

In the sheltered corner of the junction between the rear entryway and kitchen, I hang three nectar feeders. Three feeders are necessary to keep any one male from claiming it as my territory and the ensuing fight. It's like O'Hare field without an air controller out there. I count 8 different birds. Some are feeding. One can see their throats gulping as they insert their long beaks into the artificial flowers on the feeder. One bright red breasted male swoops down on a few females, chasing them off. Sometimes a macho male will make U-shaped loops between the house and the pine tree near the kitchen window to ward off encroaching males. It reminds me of a state trooper on I-17 in Phoenix swerving from side to side across all four lanes to let motorists and me driving 85 mph know they're way too far over the speed limit.

I'm upstairs changing clothes. The Pooch comes up with his wet punk look. His fur is spiky. I grab a hand towel from the linen closet to dry him off before he jumps on the bed. Then, in the course of an hour the same scenario is repeated several more times. I thought cats didn't like water. I get the feeling that he's thoroughly enjoying the attention and the rub-down when he smiles one of those cat smiles. You know, his mouth slightly open, eyes closed. If he could talk he'd be saying, "oooo that's so nice." When the rain turns from drizzle to a serious downpour, I remove the stop on the pneumatic door closer. The cat jumps on the back of the couch, sinks deep into the cushions and snoozes. I'm tempted to join him.

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