Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Black Cats

Black cats.
Depending on the culture, 
black cats either bring extraordinarily good luck 
or they lurk in shadows as the  familiars of witches 
and other creatures from the netherworld.

Until recently, there was a plump black cat in our neighborhood.
He gave our cul-de-sac a friendly feeling,
as he was often exploring everyone's yards
or just sitting, watching over his territory with a keen eye.
Okay, sometimes he napped in the sun too.

Alas, he moved to Texas with his family over the summer,
and we have been without an outdoor cat ever since.
So imagine my surprise when I looked out my window yesterday.
There on an oak tree, a large black cat wearing a red collar
was chasing a gray squirrel--
the squirrel wearing no collar, in case you're wondering.
The cat chased the squirrel up and down and around the trunk.
squirrel on black cat

I had never seen that before, 
but my husband said the cat was probably trying to eat the squirrel.
This was a big cat, but it was also a big squirrel,
so the black cat might have ended up
with more than he could eat.
Regardless, the cat jumped off of the tree and crept off.
The squirrel waited for a second, head and ears up,
then ran up the tree.

Were they playing or was it more of a predator-prey relationship?
Since nothing really happened, it's hard to say.
But a black cat prowling around in the woods
just a couple of weeks before Halloween 
seemed significant--
regardless of what he was there for.

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