The cat sleeps away the hot days in closets and on cabinets, thinks feet covered by a blanket are beneath her on the food chain, at intervals stretches to twice her usual standing height, insists on acknowledgment of her ancient rights but submits to R.’s swooping embraces from above.
The big dog, German Shepherd with some shaggy mountain mix, shrugs off other dogs’ tantrums, blissfully tears apart every toy she is given, has pledged to sniff every inch of sidewalk in the surrounding square mile, is shy of new people but wags her tail at J. in expectation of being led to the promised land.
We’ve all heard the owl in the backyard tree (barn, I think?), and J. and R. have seen its shadow winging back and forth.
Taking out the trash, I met a cat with a huge fur stole of a tail. Fox? I had to call J. out for confirmation. It was unshy and moved only slightly from the shadows to crouch in the glow of the streetlamp, sleek and gray, as I wheeled out the trash and recycling and green waste in series, keeping its snout pointed at me in agonies to know what was under the lids.
Skunks in headlights, smell of skunk battles gone by.
We walked bikes and the dog to the park, met other dogs, and R. ran ahead and called back, “There's a dog here with no person!” We followed and found it staring at us over its shoulder. My first thought was that the trash fox had followed us and expanded like Mephistopheles. “That’s a coyote, R.” It loped away.
J. took the dog for an outing at nightfall and startled an antlered stag into leaping up the hill.
Life in an urban zoo!