Friday, July 10, 2009

Mu in the Magnolia,or Almost Perfectly Happy

I have made it possible to search this blog, so if you are not familiar with the two black cats, whom we call The Mu's, you can find my blog about Street Mu.

Meanwhile, above are two pictures of either Jake or Elwood high in the saucer magnolia tree in our side yard. If we'd had video with zoom, you could see that cat's side heaving, as it tried to catch its breath.

I happened to be at the kitchen sink when the drama unfolded: a black cat flying low, followed by two dogs about the size of wolves. One was a young dog from down the street, who might have been tempted by the other dog, a stray, to cross his electric fence. Or perhaps they were in the yard playing when the Mu strolled by, believing himself safe. It is an electric fence, probably visible to a cat's vision, who knows. In any case, it marks a yard from which the dog had never strayed before, to the cat's knowledge.

Cats are not marathoners. Everything about them is fitted to spring, maybe sprint a few yards. Just why this cat hadn't found another suitable tree I don't know, but he was so clearly exhausted when we went out, camera in hand, that he must have been running a while. He made it up the trunk barely ahead of the many, many teeth of two large, healthy dogs, who did their best to jump up beside him.

The magnolia was a good choice, its close, twisted branches excellently made for a cat that wants to rest comfortably for a long, long time before coming down. That's what this cat did.

What you are seeing in that tree was not exactly a happy cat, I think. Yes, he had beat death by a whisker, but his terror was slow to recede. Cats are a quick study. I think he knew something now, that his territory could deliver a huge, hungry, unpleasant surprise anytime. Yet, he seems to have recovered. We see a black cat strolling our yard with what seems like the same old savoir faire. It could be Jake or Elwood - we can't tell them apart from any distance, but we'd like to think it's whichever one made his way to safety in our tree, giving us now an example of how to go on with life in the face of uncertainty.

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