Beyond the background wild #3
Thinking about times I’ve really encountered wild animals, I realise there are very few true moments beyond the ‘background wild’…
My landlord’s cat, years ago: a frequent hunter, whose humans shrugged and waited until her prey was ready to go under the flower beds. She sauntered in and dumped a large thrush on the kitchen floor. The bird flapped about until I threw a towel over it, waited a moment for its movements (and my heart) to quieten, and scooped towel and bird back into the garden. It sat dazed on the grass and, minutes later, was gone.
The small robin I rescued last year wasn’t so fortunate. Our cat slunk off, leaving the tiny ball of feathers and claws gasping on the gravel. As I knelt, wondering how badly traumatised it was, its beak opened a couple of times, silently calling to whatever; one eye open to my face, to sky beyond. When it stopped, I wished I’d not been so close, blocking its final view of blue sky: distress compounded. I lifted the soft, warm body and placed it out of reach, on the green wheely bin. That afternoon, it was gone.
Cat and bird, eternal struggles.