Friday, July 23, 2010

Quite early morning

Five-thirty in the morning is the perfect time to be outside. Almost no cars are on the road, the stars are still out and night-singers are still singing.  LT could hear cicadas, a long-eared owl and some rhythmic insect that he’d never been able to figure out.  In the distance he could hear someone’s rooster crowing madly.  Whoever said that roosters crow at dawn was only partly right.  Roosters crow at dawn, in the middle of the night and throughout the day…maybe people were just so tired that they slept through the middle of the night crowing.  If he waited another few minutes the birds would begin to wake up and add their songs to the mix.  Sparrows and finches of several varieties, titmice, robins, cardinals and juncos all had lovely songs.  

LT had always loved this time of day, but as he got older he seemed to look forward to it more and more.  Perhaps it was because his prey was a bit slower with recent sleep (and therefore easier to catch), but he didn’t think that was the whole reason.  The world was just more beautiful as night slowly became day.  

The stars were barely visible through the trees, so LT walked to the driveway where he could have a better view.  He loved the constellations.  The Great Cat and the Seven Mice were only visible in the winter, but the summer constellations were just as nice.  The Comfy Chair and the Food Bowl were reassuring, although not very exciting.  The Hare was more exciting; LT could imagine himself battling a great celestial hare.  

The sky began to lighten as LT gazed at the stars and the birds slowly started their morning songs.  First just one or two, but within ten minutes they’d woken each other up and the yard was full of bird song.  The owl continued his deep song, “Hoo, hoo-hoo.”  As LT sat perfectly still in the driveway he saw a young rabbit at the edge of the driveway munching on dandelions.  The bunny grabbed the stem in his mouth and then as he chewed, it disappeared into his mouth, bite by bite and then finally the flower.  When he finished that one, he hopped a bit and helped himself to another one and then some dandelion greens.  LT considered whether or not to catch him, but decided that he was just too peaceful right now.  He didn’t rely on wild food, it was more the thrill of the chase for him.  This morning wasn’t for thrills, but for quiet appreciation of all that the Great Cat had made.  

It was so peaceful and relaxing that LT dozed off right in the middle of the driveway.  When he woke it was full daylight and cars were whizzing up and down the street.  LT stretched, back first and then legs and yawned so large that someone could have put a golf ball in his mouth.  He headed up the driveway and through the cat door into the house.  The Daddy was sitting at the kitchen table with a book and a cup of coffee.  When he saw LT he got up, poured some milk into LT’s special milk dish and put it on the table.  LT joined him on the table (well, actually the Daddy was sitting on a chair, but the important parts of him were on the table) and drank his milk.  Daddy let him finish and then gently scratched his ears.  “Well, here we are for another day, old man.  It’s going to be hot, so try to stay somewhere you can keep cool.”  

LT had plenty of places to keep cool, and when the Daddy had left, he checked them out, deciding on the shed floor.  The shade kept the cement quite cool, and it was the perfect place to doze the day away.

Image courtesy of Gidzy -

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