Friday, July 27, 2018





Tsavo, the Bird Feeder, and the Journey Down to Home

He's still there on the roof now at dark, 9:18 Austin time. Coyotes prowl. Big hoot owls hunt, occasionally in pairs. A big loud hoot owl couple live here alongside us. Middle of the night yesterday they landed in our front yard and started a really loud hootenanny, for some reason, close to our open window. It sounded so raucous, spontaneous and odd it was fairly hilarious to hear and lasted a few minutes.

Will Tsavo make it past tonight's gauntlet and get home safely? Will I feel the need to pick up an empty laundry basket, hold it upstretched over my head, and coax him to jump into it from the roof as we've done numerous times, usually during the daytime? It's not as far down a jump as you might think. I stand on the steps to the porch so it's only a short drop for him. And when I feel his gentle touch plop down in the floor of the basket, I am genuinely relieved and happy, and he and I feel close.

Then I'll carry him home in his 'sedan chair' with him ruling over all he can see, including me, as he peers out over his realm. He will from time to time lean back and rub his head on my forehead. I am his and he is mine. And I am at your service, my liege, my King of the Forest and Rooftop.

When we make this sedan chair sojourn at night, nocturnal Tsavo truly becomes in his element, and if he's not high in a tree overseeing his domain, the laundry basket is his next favorite perch.

It's almost decision time for the basket bearer. I wonder if Tsavo's come down yet. Sometimes he stays there until I'm safely removed from the scene so he can exercise his now-free choice to wander the woods at night against my preferences. He knows about things like strategy, you see. A good hunter always understands his prey and his pack animal, of which, to be clear, I am the latter.

In the dark of the roof, Tsavo took several seconds longer than usual to trust I wouldn't drop the basket and him with it and also to secure his footing for the drop-in. Yet it went as smoothly as it always does.

He rode home in the sedan chair, was placed down on the living room floor still in it, jumped out of the basket (it became a basket again after being carried inside), ate his kibble dinner in peace, and washed it down with water from the big leftover dog bowl, and he probably is experiencing a bit of a letdown (oh, good accidental pun) after being up high alongside the big oak branches he's climbed by day and under a mellowing clear sky about to be lit by a big round bright orb on a pleasant cooling-down night.

The wages of being civilized. The Tradeoff. Not a living wage, I will add. But we make do.


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