It’s usually the sound of a large furry body hitting the patio door in frustration that tips me off to the gopher on the porch. This is the first year we’ve had him for a visitor. The usual suspects that raid the bird feeders are racoons and a fat squirrel that Bandit, the retriever, loves to chase off the porch.
We have a whole routine going now. It starts with me spying the squirrel at the feeder through the kitchen window, then whispering and beckoning for the dog to follow down the hall to the back door. I edge the door open, Bandit nearly jumping for joy behind me in his haste to go through like a rocket, and then they’re off. Dog scrambling as fast as his paws will carry him down the stairs, squirrel with an airborne headstart, using his tail as a rudder, making tracks for the nearest tree. The squirrel always wins, of course, but you never see an old dog happier!
Smokey the cat, however, doesn’t get let “off the leash” the same way. For several reasons–chief among them than I LIKE the bluebirds that nest in my backyard and the hummingbirds that feed just off the kitchen window and all the other dozens of feathered jewels that come to my backporch–he’s an indoor cat. All sixteen fluffy long-haired pounds of him, a small lion in a domestic coat.
He’s an incredible mouser, when the weather turns cold and the little white-footed mice try to make a home inside for the winter. But it’s pretty darn funny to watch him at the kitchen window, trying to reach the goldfinches just inches away on the other side of the glass. And the gopher who sits under the window feeder on the porch a few feet away, waiting for a few seeds to fall, must pose a special temptation and frustration! No balancing on the edge of the kitchen sill, hoping to not fall into the dish tub–if only that glass wasn’t there, he’d have a running start! Oh well…
For more about how little critters play with Smokey’s head, turn to Cat…and mouse