The best territory is carefully guarded by Meowza, Queen of the garden sphere. So Uba waits on the hillside for me to come from the garden and then scurries along her little path to beat me to the house. In a couple of hours Gem waltzes in crying. Rather than feed her the kibble we\’ve got, I flip the poor baby on her back and rock her in my arms, rubbing the belly. These are feral cats. I say, \”Go eat a mouse!\” They fend for themselves, but we put on this little act.
At night I sense a shadow in the garden. I hear it behind me in the Ivy Room. She whines loudly – several sharp cries – from inside the garden gate upon finding me with Meowza just outside it, bathed in moonlight. I believe it is Uba. I start to notice her silent shadow slinking in the garden space at odd hours.
One early morning, cold because it was about to rain, I catch Uba scurrying across a walkway headed out of the garden. Upon calling, she turns to meet me in the path, despite an ever constant paranoia about being caught. I sit as she paces back and forth in front of me, allowing my hands to pass over her shiny coat again and again. Uba calms down, but is still keenly aware of her surroundings. As she becomes more comfortable with the safety I provide, I am able to hold Uba for several minutes. There is a bit of struggle, but she is mostly surrendered to me, knowing my presence brings only peace. She gets up and back to pacing. After several more moments, I excuse myself and begin weeding the last row of strawberries. As I work, I notice Uba in the garden, exploring, but hanging around the area I occupy. Then I turn to catch her nibbling on my spice muffin! After awhile, she is off to another adventure and so am I.
Uba might have been anxious in the garden because she is inferior to the Queen. Meowza defends the space as if it were hers alone. She reigns over us all, like a true Queen, and delights most perfectly in the gardens wonders. When guests arrive, she entertains and generously accepts being stroked and showered with affections.
It is mid-morning, not yet too hot. The garden is quiet. Meowza appears from down the hill and approaches me on the terrace. She walks right through the bed and over the plants at hand to greet me. As soon as I begin patting she has thrown herself to the ground right on top of my work! Iris\’ are bending over and she is rolling around in them, just delighting! After a bit of this, I turn to continue but Meowza immediately corrects me with a swift swing of her claws. \”This is a warning! I am playing now, so pay attention to me!\” This lady is not to be messed! I delicately extracted myself from the encounter, like a child who is stuck in the brambles: very carefully!
By that time, she was over it! Meowza went on her way after another adventure, this one all but forgotten. There were lizards to chase and naps to take in the ivy cave! As the heat gained, I looked up to see the Queen herself walking fancy – parading herself right under my nose – with a dead baby mouse. She settled in the shade beneath an Iris, in view of me and whatever it is that Zoe was barking at up the hill.
Zoe could be mistaken for a horse. She is a working dog (quite tall) and she does just that! This place has a beautiful natural rhythm, an operating harmony where none go without. Sustained by one another; we are one! Nobody feeds Zoe kibble, but a current of energy is exchanged to provide nourishment. Zoe is like a private contractor exchanging a skill/trade for her nap spot in the horse tackle shed. She feeds herself. Her works assures it. She is security on patrol. She barks at unwanted visitors. She makes her rounds along dirt roads that circle the property.
When a fawn cried out over the hill, stuck in a fence, I found Zoe there standing by. She handed authority of the situation off to me by approaching me when I approached the scene. It was like an invisible baton had been passed and then Zoe was gone, off to make herself scarce. But when I had to leave, she instantly returned to post. This unspoken exchange was part of a sacred agreement.
At the house there are turkeys in the straw two times daily. The bachelor turkey pair is still diligently working on halving that hay bale in our driveway. Does with their babes explore our back yard on their daily grazing passages. Each being entwined by weaving in its own cycle of continued life; here we dance.
was inspired by this matriarch!
(See Aegopodium Meditation)
I always chuckle when I hear him cackle. To me it\’s, “Hey guys, did you know that its daytime?” Sometimes I even bother to remind my peers, as if they didn\’t hear. How ridiculously funny that Rooster Cooster cries out the same message over and over AND OVER, while maintaining his dedicated – no, fervent tone each and every time. He really means it, “Sun’s up! Get moving!” – even at dusk! It is not until all the chicks are tucked in for the night that the cockiness stops.
The best translation I’ve heard is, “THIS IS NOT A GAME! YOU DO NOT KNOW ME!” And in the case of the civilized world, he’s right. Moral of the story?