I take the garbage down the driveway to the curb at 2am. The moon, 3/4 full, baths the fields and casts stark shadows. The leaves of the apple trees reflect moonshine from them in a slight breeze. It is utterly silent, bugs are asleep, frogs are fucked out and asleep in the ooze. If I make enough noise various dogs and coyote's will bark and or howl at me. Tonight I do not make enough noise, or maybe the dogs are too damn tired after a long hard day of sleeping, digging up old toys, and deciding where to take a dump.
The can I take down contains a very nasty brew. We missed last weeks pick up, or they missed us. Either way the contents of this container have stewed under multiple 100 degree days. It contains two rats, ten or more field mice. lilly white maggots coat the inside of the lid of the container. They are drinking on the condensation caused by all the fermenting yuck. I have, because I am not a cave man, stealthily used a bunggy cord to keep the lid on. I do this so that I do not have to smell it and so that all the large animals big enough to take down a garbage can, don't have an evening feast on said yuck.
The latter has happened in the past I cannot convey to you my attitude slide, upon seeing all that decomposing, slime covered, maggot infested, crap spread all over the street. I most closely resemble Samuel L Jackson cleaning up the car in Pulp Fiction. I'm the Guns of the Navarone.
Anyway tonight I set the can at ease and turn to go up the driveway when I see her. Shelia the expatriate cat. Sitting sprawled out on the driveway meeting with Blanche another of our cats. Blanche looks up and wanders off as if to say "well you too have catching up to do I will leave you alone."
I have not seen Shelia in weeks. She just vanished. In our area coyote come in and snack on cats and small dogs all the time. They are just part of the food chain. So when I see her and determine that she is alive and well I am happy, call to her, and scoop her up.
Shelia always enjoyed the top honors at the house. She slept on our bed, got to be inside whenever she wanted. She had hopped into our minivan at the grade school when she was very small. She was the "Queen". Then she grew up and learned to hunt like all the others. She would go out for no more than a day at a time. Then two weeks ago she vanished. She normally would make quite a noise at our door to get in at night; now nothing. She would come if she heard food being poured into the dish: now nothing.
Now her she was. As I walk up the driveway I talk to her in the typical baby talk crap that humans use. At the top of the driveway Shelia looks deep into my eyes with her own deep yellow eyes and hisses like the Queen Alien at me. Being not too sentimental about all the cats we have, I drop her at once.
In the house I tell Donna that the Queen is home and she goes out to get the cat. In a minute or to Shelia is in the house. She paces the floor like a lioness. She spits and hisses like a totally wild animal. However she is also evidently conflicted. When Donna holds her she spits and hisses then goes to cleaning Donna's hand with her tounge. After a bit of cleaning there is another bit of hissing and the cat is up running around trying to get out.
We decide to sit down and watch TV, which is in possible at 2am since there is almost nothing on. The cat paces infront of us both hissing, groweling, showing no fear. Finally we let her out.
The queens has gone native. All those lovey dovey cats and dogs are always only a few days from being wild. Shelia can get all she needs from her surroundings. She doesn't need us. And the longer she is away the less she see herself as a kitten. I have heard that most house pets are always in either the kitten mode or the puppy mode. They never really grow up. Well this cat is grown up.
She is acting toward us now the same way Blanche, the other cat, and her duaghter Alba act toward each other. If they come close they will growl, spit, and swipe. Then go to cleaning each other abit. Then right back to hissing. They are parting too. The difference with them is that they both see us as parents. To us they both still act like kittens. Shelia is moving beyond that.
On the porch Sophia, Blanch and Alba are eating an evening meal at the food bowl. They see Shelia and make room for her. She goes to feed then growls at them. They all move away. She eats by herself. Then goes down the stairs and is gone in the night. This is very easy since she is almost totally black.
On the rail sit Cupcake, a totally inappropirately named famele cat and Whisky, an appropriately named male cat. They have been here since before we got here. They are fat on rabbits. They watch Shelia go. Then they go to. "The humans on the other side of the road have mowed their field. No place for the rodents to hide! Lets eat!"
Alba the baby and Sophia, her grandma, curl up on a mat and go to sleep. Blanche goes down to the street too "Maybe I can get the bunggy cord off.!