Cloudy and cool. The garden is full of the silence of a cat stealing across the shed’s corrugated roof. At last, a blue tit chatters alarm.
Seven snails are spending the day disguised as burls on the mock orange. A feral cat sneaks in atop the wall, but the terrier is on patrol.
A cat watches me from the depths of the mock orange tree. The birds are elsewhere, and silent, having begun singing around 4:00 a.m.
The feral cat places its feet just so, peering down at the base of the wall where seven sunflowers have just been liberated from their pots.
A brick lies in the dirt at the back of the garden, dislodged by the running of cats and foxes along the night-time labyrinth of walls.
A tangle of tracks in the yard: rabbit, cat, squirrel, mouse… I’m not picturing a children’s book, but each creature fearful and alone.
Cat tracks in the snow disappear under the house. The Carolina wrens have survived another cold snap; will they be killed in their sleep?
Awakened at first light by a whip-poor-will, I find my lost hat and sit outside watching a white cat hunt at the edge of the road.
Scattered snowflakes. On the back slope, a gray tabby cat is stalking voles, head swiveling to follow each ripple of wind in the grass.
Rusty things: the wail of a cat in heat, a squirrel’s slow scold, the cry of a jay, and the black cherry leaves fading to a coppery red.