Fakename’s Animal Planet: The Neighborhood Zoo

The resident rooster crowed one day this week, pretty much non-stop, for two solid hours, from 6:30 to 8:30 A.M.  I was delighted by it.  I couldn’t help but ascribe all sorts of anthropomorphic qualities to him.  It was like he was so happy to see another day, and furthermore, he was very proud of himself.  I can’t help but believe that when I first heard him crow, he was a young rooster and just testing his voice.   Now he is in his glory.  No wonder people love roosters. 

It dawned on me this week that my cat is not the the most beautiful, loving, and unique cat on the planet.  Instead, she is a classic example of the classic cat.  In other words, she’s a control freak.  The thing is, when she eats, she only eats a few bites at a time.  Then when I try to remove the food, she suddenly gets hungry and wants a few more bites.  We repeat this several times until I finally say STEP AWAY FROM THE FOOD BOWL.  At which point she saunters away, like Fine with me.  No creature can make you feel like more of an idiot than a cat. 

I’ve saved the best for last.  I was reading at the backyard picnic table…which reminds me that I am such a creature of habit. 6:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.–read at picnic table.  Fend off mosquitoes, bees, spiders, and stuff squirrels are dropping on your head. 7:30 P.M.:  watch Jeopardy! on TV.  8:00 P.M.:  Check email and Facebook.  9:00 P.M.:  Watch whatever on TV, and prepare to sleep.

But on this day last week, I looked up and saw what I thought was a lizard in the basket of the birdfeeder.  It was so still I thought maybe it was a green twig…except there are no green twigs this time of year.  When I next looked up, the “twig” had moved itself to the other side of the basket, and was moving its head around, calculating.

I thought of it as if was a person who had fallen asleep in the basket of a hot air balloon, and wakes up to find himself miles in the air.  Like, Where am I?  How did I get here?  And how the hell do I get out of it?

So as I watched, the lizard extended his little neck as far as it would go over the lip of the basket and made a giant flying leap for the feeder pole.  And succeeded.  Bravo!  I said.  He  (I just use that rhetorically, could have been a she) wasted no time scurrying down the pole to the grass of Terra Firma. 

It was a mini-National Geographic Moment.  I love these little guys–the green anoles.  On the other hand, my perfect cat catches and eats them.  I hate that, but as I’ve said before, it’s like watching the real National Geographic.  One day there’s a program about cheetahs, and you’re like Go Cheetah!  Get that antelope!  The next day it’s a program about antelope, and you’re like Go Antelope!  You can outlast that cheetah! 

The most important point here is how little it takes to delight me.  When I think back to what it used to take to get my attention–I think we can condense here to say Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll–I think I have come a long way.  And in a good way.  I’m  pretty proud of myself.  Me and the rooster–we are soulmates.  I’d like to crow with him next time, and shake his talons.  Good job, Pal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s