August 8, 2013
The Great River Road path is now lined with waist-high stalked weeds with fuzzy tops (actual scientific name; Latin genus: weedus fuzztelacularbun; source: Wikipedia). I was walking west when a patch of weeds on my left began to take on a life of its own, flailing and funneling, and out staggered a squirrel, the entire right side of its body stripped of fur and a red claw stripe stretching from neck to tail. It stood on the asphalt in front of me, dazed, shaking its head. Then came a striped feral cat, its mouth stuffed with fur, which I inferred came from the squirrel.
The cat growled at me and gave me the evil eye. Fortunately, Scout the Cat and I play Evil Eye nightly. “Why Don’t Cats Eat Their Masters on Nights of the Full Moon.” Ray Bradbury might have written such a book. I’m somewhat feral myself, having been raised by coyotes outside of Mt. Vernon, Illinois, in 1948. The cat finally spit up the mother of all fur balls and climbed up the side of the bluff.
Meanwhile, the half-naked squirrel quietly walked—walked—to a tree on the bluff side of the path and climbed to safety, me averting my eyes for modesty’s sake, focusing on the waist-high weeds with fuzzy tops.
I saved a squirrel. I pissed off a cat. And then I hiked up Stroke Hill, bored, for nothing else happened.