The wildlife
Written by
Delaine Zody
May 2013
Written by
Delaine Zody
May 2013

Although mid-May, the temperatures are rising. Yesterday was 102; today's forecast is cooler at 98. I am sitting in the backyard this morning, enjoying the shade and coolness, if only briefly, keeping watch on the wildlife.

We have a mother cat and her three wild kittens back here. Two of the kittens, whom I assume are the boys as the third one is harlequin so I know she is female, are running, climbing, and jumping with their mother. We have an appointment at the vet's on Thursday to get mama cat spayed so there won't be any more of these little wild creatures, at least from her. I have no idea what we will do with the three kittens. This is how we end up with cats. They arrive, they stay, we become their keepers. Our last elderly cat died over a year ago so we thought we might be free. Hah.

The squirrels are busy eating the granola/seed mixture I put out for them. I've been throwing in some stale vanilla wafers, too. The squirrels are less afraid of me than the kittens. They come down and eat out of the saddle of the pear tree, under which I am sitting. There is a younger squirrel, sitting up high in the branches, munching on something. Bits of bark keep falling down on me as I type.

The hummingbirds are clicking as they hover nearby. I don't have any food for them as the next door neighbor makes up a special nectar for them, but they seem to hover here in my yard. The males have beautiful ruby throats and glistening green bodies. The females are shiny brown and very fast. It seems as only the males make the clicking sound. Maybe it's because they slow and flicker around my head. I'm guessing they think my red hair may provide some nectar.

The small brown birds for whom I bought millet earlier in the spring seem to have migrated elsewhere. The blue jays and mocking birds are happy with the granola mix that the squirrels eat. The small brown birds were coming on the patio and eating the dry cat food and making a terrible mess. That was when I started feeding the millet after reading about it being a favorite of migrating birds. Like the squirrels, the birds are happy to eat in the saddle of the pear tree.

It's lovely, with the breeze blowing through, right now, but I know the day's heat is building. The neighbor's air conditioner has clicked on. The squirrels have made their way through the branches, over the roof, and on to wherever their nests may be. The birds are fewer, and even the wild kittens have slowed and are resting under a bush. The female, though, is unseen but I can hear her crying. She is not as brave as her brothers. I will swoop up mama cat and return her to the house so she does not start to call for the tom cats in the neighborhood. I really am trying to prevent more wildlife in the backyard.

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