I think I might have mentioned in one way or another that I am not much of an animal person. Don’t get me wrong, I love to watch animals in the wild. I just don’t want to be responsible for feeding them, having to get close enough to smell their breath or brush their hair off my clothing. It doesn’t help that I am very allergic to cats, and slightly allergic to inside dogs. I was told by a good friend once that I should not own pets, and I think she is quite right.
I did try owning some cats once. When we first moved into this house, I was concerned that I might have a problem with mice, snakes, and other vermin because of our location. I was given two kittens for free, and I did my best to make them comfortable on my back porch. (I can hear a universal gasp from animal people worldwide – yes, outside on the porch – I’m allergic, remember?) They were cute little kitties, and I did spend some time trying to form a bit of relationship with them by letting them rub up against my legs while I talked lovingly to them. I enjoyed having them there on the porch.
One of my favorite things to watch was the chain of events when a bird would fly into my picture window and fall stunned onto the ground. Before the little bird could catch its breath, one of those frisky little kittens would pounce on it. What ensued would be hours of pleasure for the cats as they would grab the bird and toss it up in the air, pat it around with their paws, and make great sport of it. Then they would walk around with feathers stuck to their whiskers for the rest of the day. I don’t know why I found this so entertaining. I love birds! I have a bird feeder and a bird bath, and I love to watch the different species come to enjoy the bounty. But there was such a sense of sheer abandon in the play of the kittens. Before they got very big the kittens disappeared…but we won’t go into that.
I actually started this post to tell you another animal story. This one is about a squirrel. Now I am not going to lie. To me, a squirrel is a big rat with a long tail. I have little patience with them eating my pecans and birdseed. In fact, there may have one time been a bounty on their little heads in my back yard. (Have I mentioned that my youngest son could have a career as a sniper if he wanted one?)
One time when my children were still very young, and I was careening around the back roads of Texas in my Suburban, I accidentally ran over a squirrel. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw that the poor squirrel was laying there with his tail flopping wildly as if it were fighting for its little life. I don’t like them, but I don’t ever take pleasure in a living thing suffering (except maybe spiders). But the main issue on my mind was that I didn’t want my kids to look back and see that pitiful little creature convulsing in the middle of the road. Sure enough, Micah turned around and saw it and told me in great confidence, “It’s ok mom. Look! It’s wagging it’s tail!” Yes, it is, and with any luck Mr. Buzzard will come take it on vacation before we get back.
Moments to remember, but not to share with just anyone…