Playing Cat And Mouse

The other day, just as I stepped out with the noble intention of tackling the weeds, I knew something was afoot. The birds were chattering at high decibels and appeared agitated. Just as I began to feel personally affronted, I spotted the neighborhood cat quietly making its way through the meadow to the stone bench where it likes to warm itself and observe the realm at the same time. Aha!

This black cat makes good use of its coloring. It lurks in the areas of dappled light making it difficult to notice. Clever. I don’t know who owns this feline and in principal have no strong objection to it trespassing on my property. I take the occasional dead mouse found around as its payment for entry. Quite appropriate.

Yet, I resent the way the cats presence upsets the birds. Its true that some of them don’t use any common sense and choose their nesting sites very foolishly. There are at the present, to my knowledge, at least four different pairs of birds tending to their young in the garden. Nature at work, circle of life and whatever else is all very well but the very thought of the eggs or babies in the nest coming under attack really bothers me. I’m irrational that way.

I got to thinking about the matter as I settled down to weed. Always a good activity to get the mind pondering on heavy topics like that. The conclusion is that I’m pretty much the prowling cat when it comes to hunting down the mousy weeds. For all I know, they too shriek at the sight of me. Obviously at a wavelength not perceived by my delicate human ears.

Given that there really isn’t anything natural about gardening and the whole endeavor is contrived, makes me, the gardener, the biggest bully of all. It is all about imposing my will. I exercise my dominance ruthlessly and the result is the garden I’m proud to call my own. Maybe using only organic measures and increasing the native plant population makes me a tyrant with a conscience but a tyrant nevertheless.

So coming back to the cat, I’m resolved to let it be. Live and let live. I hope it feels the same way.

Can you see the black cat in the garden?

Can you see the black cat in the garden?

Babies in a nest

Babies in a nest

IMG_3912(c) 2015 Shobha Vanchiswar

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