Opinion

A love affair only nature can explain

LIKE IT IS

When I went down to get the newspapers the other day, there was a buck deer standing under the apple trees next to the driveway. A spike, but a really long-horned spike.

He didn’t move, so I did, although I was a little apprehensive he might be one of those deer that charge you and I was only about 6 feet from him as I walked by, but he was just a looker, not a charger. I walked back up the driveway ignoring Satchel Paige’s advice, “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.” The deer stayed put.

When I got to the top, the deer was still standing there looking at me and wondering, I guess, who got the apples on the ground before he did. It wasn’t me. I got the impression he was going to hang around until some more apples fell.

My other animal problem is a chipmunk who apparently has a crush on my cat, Pimp.

This chipmunk lives at one end of my deck or the other. I don’t know which because it sometimes dashes across the east side and sometimes the west. But it has been doing a lot of dashing lately because I have kept Pimp in the house.

Previous chipmunks, if Pimp was outdoors, usually showed up later only as tails.

Pimp is the Scarlet Pimpernel, a tabby cat so named for her ability to hide and not be found. When we first got her, she disappeared into the wall where the faucets for the clothes washer are located. When she came out, my husband closed up that hole.

She found another place to disappear into the wall. We closed that up, but she had no problem dropping out of sight in various other hideaways, most of which we never located so we just gave up, knowing that when a stranger showed up, Pimp was AWOL.

She is a serial killer and afraid of nothing. I once saw her chase a raccoon five times her size down the deck and hang over the edge on guard after the poor creature took a flying leap over the side into the honeysuckle to make sure it didn’t come back.

The chipmunk, of course, is a little bitty guy, or gal, I don’t know.

It and the cat have seen each other a number of times, the chipmunk on the deck, the cat looking out the floor length windows. Sometimes they just sit and look at each other. I haven’t let the cat out for a couple of months on account of I can hear the foxes yapping in the driveway and the fallen plums they want are up by the house.

Anyway, the chipmunk popped up one day and started running in my direction where I stood inside the glass doors to the deck. Pimp was next to me, looking out. The chipmunk saw Pimp and stopped. Pimp saw the chipmunk and ran to get the salt and pepper. No, she didn’t. She looked real hard at the chipmunk.

I thought the chipmunk would retreat but no, it either decided the cat looked friendly or it wanted to meet without preliminary negotiations a la Barack Obama. It ran up to the glass door, rose up on its hind legs and put its paws up against the glass against which Pimp’s nose rested. Pimp took a swipe at it, which only hit glass and the chipmunk dropped down, sat there puzzled for a few seconds and then beat it off the deck.

Now, I don’t know what precipitated the effort of the chipmunk to kiss or shake hands with the cat. It doesn’t look like a stupid chipmunk. In fact, it looks a little like George Clooney who so far as I know is only stupid about politics.

I presume I will find out eventually because shortly after I got home from meeting the deer, I was eating breakfast and I heard Pimp at the deck doors smacking the glass, and saw the chipmunk go racing off.

There isn’t much I can do to break up this one-sided infatuation except keep Pimp inside. Oh, I did do one more thing. I named the chipmunk Georgie.

Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.

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