Here are two cats sparring across the chess board. Incidentally, Cat Chess' is a game played in southern England. In this outdoor game
dozens of cats watch each other. The idea is that each cat has to keep at
least two other cats under observations.
In Lewis' Carroll's book, Alice Through The Looking Glass, Alice meets the
enigmatic Cheshire cat while fleeing from the white Queen.
The bushy-tailed red fox with her ears twitching starred at me through
glowing brown eyes. I waited--still as could be except for the beating of my
heart--until as suddenly as she appeared, she was gone, back into the thick,
dark, shadowy woods.
Was she looking for prey? Had she been the one who had killed the poor
soft cuddly baby rabbits? Did she have a nest nearby with babies who needed
food too? Had I chewed out my cat for something he hadn't done?
Life in my woods was chaotic for the creatures living here, from the
insects swirling around in the night sky to the white opossum blindly
searching for food, to me, the human frantically searching for my
16-year-old tabby cat.
Walking around in the woods at night was not one of my favorite things to
do, but my beloved pet had run away and I would do most anything to find
I had no idea how long I had trudged through the woods adjacent to my
property, calling his name. Only thinking of finding my cat, I had left the
sweater--the one that could be warming my rapidly chilling bones--on the
chair in my kitchen. Instead, I had grabbed a can of tuna, hoping to lure my
cat with the fishy odor and succulent taste he loves so much.
Taking my cell phone and a flashlight would have been smart, too, but
hindsight is 20/20. I hadn't realized how soon that beautiful orange glow of
the sun could disappear and deep dark night would take over, especially on
an evening when the moon was throwing off just a mere a sliver of light.
The terrifying howl of coyotes sent chills down my spine. Hopefully, it
was the cool clear night that made the barks and howls echo from a more
distant place than the woods in which I was walking. The shriek that came
from my trembling lips was meant to scare off a possible attacking coyote,
not for the tall, erect, glowing-eyed doe who whisked by me.
I had had enough. My beloved woods at night took on a different feel. I
would have to continue my search tomorrow, I thought, as I bee-lined as fast
as I could back to my home. Panting for my breath, I slowed my run down to
nearly a crawl as I approached my front porch.
To my surprise, a tabby cat stood up from his prone position on the
concrete stoop and proceeded to give me an indignant meow. I think he said,
"Where were you?"
Cats know the value of staying close to home, even if we humans forget it