Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hawk and Cat

Yesterday, I was looking out my back window and heard a rush of wings. Next, a cat, nicely striped with a white bib of fur, jumped six feet straight up, grabbed the top of the wooden fence, and clambered onto it. Then, the hawk stooped on the cat but didn’t quite get his talons into her fur. She skittered along the top of the fence under some hanging fronds of wisteria, ducking her attacker. The hawk was not ready to give up, though. With another audible wing beat, the hawk swooped again, brushing aside wisteria, but missing the cat a second time. The cat had jumped down on the other side of the fence. On the way dodging the hawk, the cat paused to give me what sure looked like a conspiratorial grin. I am perfectly well aware that ethologists caution us against anthropomorphizing animals so I shouldn’t say she gave me a “conspiratorial grin.” Sorry, that’s what it looked like. Why else would she pause to look my way when a hawk was swooping over her? I can’t think of another excuse for it.