Monday, June 21, 2010

C.A.T. - C.S.I. Wethersfield

The one witness (me) saw the presumed perp (he or she) from the back intently trotting away from me across our backyard towards our compost bin corner. The tops of the plump victim's purple wings were visible swaying back-and-forth over the (alleged) killer's narrow shoulders.

I said something - inane most likely since I was talking to a fleeing feline felon who had never previously so much as acknowledged my presence even as it stalked its prey, on my property - but the escapee ignored me and continued on at its unhurried pace.

The cat began appearing in our yard over the winter - a weekly or every other sighting as it passed quickly through the area. Once or twice we found cat prints on the engine hood of our vehicles. He (or she) is a small, delicate, gray with grayer striping animal who has never ever evinced the slightest interest in striking up a relationship with either mars or me - not even a passing one.

As the weather warmed and (a) more birds appeared at our feeders and (b) the underbrush within which he/she could hide became spring-season think, the gray grimalkin became pretty much a regular in that one particular portion of our property.

Our neighbor J* - who drops by daily as a part of his dog walks with E*, his docile pit bull - says that the cat lives one street over and has a fence-free, straight commute through the adjoining acreage into our hunting preserve.

Concurrent with (a) and (b) above its movements had become almost exclusively panther-like - slinking stealthily, below the radar, underneath the potted petunias that decorate the south side of our driveway. Then, darting across the tarmac, it dove into the hydrangea that grows adjacent to our bird-feeding tree - the main gathering place in our yard for pigeons and other ground-feeders.

Frequently Mars and I would sit on the shaded pathway next to the blue-flowered bush totally unaware of the cat's presence until the large green leaves would being to move in a way that could not be inspired by the wind. A careful check of the hunting shelter would reveal a glimpse of gray fur pulled tight by the tensing muscles beneath it.

Suddenly the stalker would lunge into the open and the birds would take to panicked flight, cooing excitedly and scattering feathers. The cat would stare at the now empty space around him or her with a look of total disbelief at its failed attempt.

But this time it worked. And Mars and I were not there to see it.

We had just returned from shopping and delivered the first wave of bags containing the perishables into the house and into our refrigerator. There being but two more to retrieve I went out by myself and spotted to my left the sinewy gray stripes returning to its home.

I looked to the right and saw the pile of torn feathers under the feeders. Then, as I looked along my imagined path from the murder scene to the escape route, I saw the exsanguinations in the perennial bed, and the blood trail across our driveway.

I quickly called Mars out to witness the results of the carnage that had been committed in our absence. Then, because I doubted I could get Marg Helgenberger in a tank top to do it, I forensically documented the crime scene. Even though I did not hear that loud "Fwump!" sound that accompanies such photographic efforts on television, I think the evidence will still hold up in court.
Although I suspect that, for whatever reason, the case will never actually come to trial, I do not think that the pictorial evidence will be wasted. I am hopeful that a reality show could be in the offing for both of us, and the kitty. Just think of it as "NOVA" modified into a disgustingly bloody police procedural program - "C.A.T. - C.S.I. Wethersfield."
I know at least one of us is willing and able. The gray assassin was lurking furtively at its post under the hydrangea the very next morning when I went outside. Now if I can just get Mars to pick up a couple of those close-fitting sleeveless tops, we should be well on our way to becoming the next "must see TV."

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