The summer marches on or oozes on depending on the ambient humidity. The vegetable garden is struggling to grab hold, its biggest predator being our marauding dog intent on trampling tender shoots into oblivion. Bumble bees, wearing little furry vests that remind me of raiders from the Mongolian steppes, slowly muscle their way from clover to clover. The compost pile heaps higher and higher as the weeds lose ground in the flower beds. The garden lives its own life as the season swings into high summer. It houses many creatures great and small and sometimes we are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of its secret life.
After a day of heavy weeding I was watering the garden beds (as is my way in place of an apology for whatever grievances my daytime activities may have caused). At the back of the house, behind the mudroom, the foliage is heavy with hostas and honeysuckle. The heavenly scent of honeysuckle strengthened as the water from the hose played over the small blossoms and spattered on the hostas below. Suddenly a small form shot out of the underbrush. It was a wee bunny not much bigger than one of my own hands. We stood, watching each other. I, frozen in shock at this unexpected glimpse of wonder and the bunny, instinctually frozen to protect itself from the predator it deemed me to be. Poor thing, it must have wondered what insanity had gripped this large creature as I yelled to my husband for a camera to make a memory of this unexpected opportunity. It stayed long enough to have it’s picture taken before it risked a dash back to the bushes.
Now I must explain that I have a companion that has been with me for many years. He will be 16 exactly on July 8th of this year. He is an irritator and a conceited beast. He is either the best of friends and the worst of enemies. He has been with me through good times and bad. He is so handsome that people can’t help but notice. He is brave and strong but not the least bit graceful as his kind is said to be (perhaps that is his greatest saving grace).I was there at the exact moment of his entrance into this world and I will most likely be there when he leaves it (at least I hope to be). I have seen him in torment and even though I could not help him ( I could not even help myself) he never held it against me. He is the last of his adopted line, his biological family having been lost, long in the past. His name is Buddy Lou Ben Baroudi. He is the last of the Ben Baroudis and he is my cat This may seem like a strange description for a cat but if you were to meet him you would agree that it fits.
Now knowing this, imagine my horror when I looked out the window the next day to see this creature involved in an activity that was the epitome of catness. Crouching low, Buddy dragged his prey towards the garden patch. Its head tilted to the side, little white belly hanging below the jaws…the little bunny was terrified.
Horrified,I cried out. Was it too late? My husband tore out the door. What is that sound? It’s the bunny. It’s screaming. Later, when I ask, he can’t describe the sound. He can only say that it was horrible, heartrending.
He says "Drop it Buddy" but Buddy is "Buddy the cat" not "Buddy the dog".
A dive, he has the cat and the bunny is gone like a shot!
"Good Buddy," he says because Buddy was being a good cat, cats having different definitions than we do for good and bad.
So inside for the night for one very, very disgruntled cat. All the rest of that night Buddy sat by the back door and made a nuisance of himself if anyone had to go out. There was a lot of glowering and a lot of tail swishing but to no avail. When he regained his freedom the next day he made a beeline to the bunny’s last known location but the trail was cold. I haven’t seen the bunny since and that’s probably for the best, cats being cats and all.