A Season of New Things

Spring Has Sprung and So Have the Cats

Our cats are so happy to be released from their long winter’s confinement. We’ve had some lovely weather lately and they’re making the best of it. Other creatures, too, are popping out of hibernation.

Yesterday afternoon I looked out and saw Pookie sitting on his haunches on the lawn, with a magpie facing him about two metres away and another one standing about that far away on his right. Lying between the three of them was the limp body of a full-grown gopher. (Aka, thirteen-striped Richardson ground squirrel.) Whatever it was once known as, the dead critter had become the object of a property dispute.

Magpies are thieves; we see it all the time. If the cats catch something and haven’t eaten it yet, there’s usually a magpie peering hopefully from the garage roof or strutting in the grass nearby. And they often work in pairs. Like: “You distract the cat and I’ll grab the corpse.” Even if there’s no loot magpies often work in teams to torment cats.

So when I saw this standoff I opened the window and shooed the magpies away. With the birds gone Pook went back to playing with the thing awhile, even if it offered no exciting resistance. As soon as he got tired of the game and wandered off the magpie was back, snatching bites of the prize, which Pook didn’t tolerate. He rushed back to reclaim the gopher, then a few minutes later our black cat Angus sauntered up and began gnawing on it. Pook went back to wait beside the gopher hole for another one to pop out. Poor gophers. It’s a hard life at the bottom of the food chain.

Angus likely caught the thing in the first place. Pook is a bit of a thief himself. As I said in an earlier post, he’s an invasive species; he has this habit of pushing his nose into whatever interesting meal Angus is eating and slowly takes over the dish. Or mouse. Or whatever. Anyway, an hour later all trace of the victim was gone, so I imagine whatever remains remained when Angus left the magpies snatched.

Tuesday en route to the city we saw ducks in the ponds. This morning my husband opened the window and heard a meadowlark singing. Bliss! I went outside a bit later and heard the honking of a goose. I looked up and saw a line of snow geese headed by what looked like a Canada goose and he was the cheerleader. So spring has returned to our land.

A New Home for My Stuff

Since spring’s a time of beginning again, I’m going to catch that wave and move to a new blog home.

I’ve been contemplating this for awhile, wanting to bring all my writings under one roof but not quite sure how. I shut down Swallow in the Wind a few months back, but still have Christine Composes for my fiction, plus this site. Now I’m going to bring all my writing to Christine’s Collection’s new home. I contemplated a major renovation, but the categories and tags on my posts would all need reworking to fit the new plan. Easier to start from scratch, I decided.

I’ve had a “spare” private blog for a couple of years, using it to test out new themes before going to all the work of installing them on my public sites. Last week I enlisted the help of Bruce at WordPress Support and he’s been guiding me through this move, bless his heart.

Bruce says it’s no problem to switch the domain name for both active sites so that anyone who types in christinegoodnough.com or christine composes.com will land up there. All subscribers from both sites will be switched to the new one. And I will only have one better-organized blog to contend with. This sounds great to me now, given my health issues.

So I’ve been going back and forth for a few days now, carrying and unpacking a few files, scheduling future posts and generally preparing the site for visitors. I’m delighted with the new look, though I’m sticking with this basic layout. I’ve learned how to build Categories into the main menu, now my category “closets” are easily accessible and every genre will have its proper place in the grand scheme.

I thought I’d give you this heads-up a week or so before I do the final move and open the new site for public viewing. But the only difference you’ll find is that this current site will revert back to the pre-domain address of christinegoodnough.wordpress.com, so if you want to check out some post in these archives you’ll need to type in that address. Christine Composes will go back to christineevelynvance.wordpress.com.

The Food Critic

A just-for-fun verse in response to today’s Word Press prompt: criticize.

The Food Critic

The hawk sat on a signpost
beside a busy highway, his eyes
on the ditches below, hoping for
flushed-out gophers and mice.

He eyed the carrion lying about,
but he disdained stale road kill,
preferred his food on the run,
a challenge for his grabbing skills.

Moving target practice always fun,
plus he relished that last little squeak
as his talons sank in, and the added
adrenaline spiced up the meat.

At this moment he was frowning,
down his curving beak at those ravens
picking at that stinking dead skunk.
Some creatures have no self-respect.

Life At the Bottom of the Food Chain

THE SAGA OF ONE POOR MOUSE

Not really a poem; not prose. No real sympathy, either.

We were both sitting here in the office last night
when our black Angus cat slipped into the house
through a secret passage among the bathroom pipes
bringing with him his newest toy, and joined us
for a rousing bit of fun—since his toy was alive.
We both rose out of our chairs as Angus dropped
his wiggling toy, who immediately sought refuge
among the piles of paper this bookkeeper keeps.

This scurrying toy intrigued Panda, our other cat
who joined in this playful game of Catch the Mouse.
I declared, like dear Queen Vic, “We are not amused!”
as dear hubby and I both roused out of our chairs
And the chase was on. Said mouse at last was captured,
evicted to the outdoors — where Pookie was waiting.
Angus joined him; poor mouse never had a chance.
Yes, it’s a tough life at the bottom of the food chain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And this little experience spawned my latest haiku:

one mouse
caught between two cats
ah, life is cruel

Posted simultaneously at Tree Top Haiku