Saturday, January 08, 2005

Cute and Ugly.

My cat Tiger was pawing wildly at the window last night, howling quietly. I turned to see what was causing the commotion, and I came eye to eye with this.

I've spent years trying to hate these little buggers. Though sometimes their cuteness overcomes me.

About ten years ago, just days before we moved out of the townhouse, we heard an awful fight ensue between a raccoon and a mother squirrel protecting her nest of babies. I don't have to tell you who won. Or how traumatized I was for years over hearing that encounter. I had named the squirrel Hogaboom and her babies could do nothing but cry out in fear after the death of their mother. And slowly, one by one, they died too. It was awful. And there was nothing that I could do to stop it.

So now, I see a raccoon in my backyard and my blood freezes when I remember. I give a silent prayer that my black squirrels will be safe. That the Twins, a couple of grey squirrels that appear in tandem, will get away if approached. That I will never, ever have to witness the carnage ever again.

I understand this is the Cycle of Life but it doesn't lessen the horror of knowing my little critters are stalked.

It helps that I no longer give them names, or even expect to see them in the morning when I toss peanuts into the bushes. Guarded attachment. Sadly, it works.