Food Chain

When Lucas and I watched animal programmes and the lion or the cheetah caught the zebra or the antelope and I expressed my sorrow, he would roll his five-year old eyes and look at me in that way that means, “Adults really don’t know much,” and say two words. Food Chain.

Yesterday I found a tiny little spider on my window ledge. It was less than a quarter of the size of the nail on my little finger, in fact if you took a large pencil and made a dot on a piece of white paper, that would be what it looked like. I picked up my magnifying glass and studied it. It was perfect, tiny little legs and tiny little body. I told it it’s a lovely miniature thing and sang it ‘incy wincy spider.’ I took far too much notice of it. Chloe was outside and she jumped up through the open window to find out who I was talking to. When I’m on the phone I get accosted by ‘the cat who doesn’t understand the concept of phones’, she thinks I’m talking to her. “Look Chloe, it’s incy wincy…..oh, and now it is no more.” Food Chain.

Except it really isn’t because there is very little in Cambridge that would get away with eating Chloe. The house down the right-of-way next to mine has recently been sold and the new owners are going to use it as a rental investment. A man came and did some garden work, sprayed weeds and mowed lawns the other day. He had a little dog, a bit of terrier and a lot of Chihuahua. I noticed the dog running around my garden and as the man got to the top of the drive I asked him if he was the new tenant and he told me that he was a contractor. He said, “Don’t worry, you won’t have to put up with my dog. Your cat will be safe.” I told him to follow me. In the back garden his dog was backed up to the hedge, with big ears trembling and head on paws in a submissive pose. A few feet away a very fluffy Chloe was sitting there, glaring at it. I turned to him and said, “It’s not my cat I’m concerned about.”

On the odd occasion I hear a cat fight if I wait for a few moments Chloe will come strutting in and present me with a claw that has some strange coloured fur under it, as if to say “I defended you against a furry intruder.” Wouldn’t matter so much if I didn’t know that she had probably gone under the fence or through the hedge and defended me against a cat minding its own business in its own property. At least we never get others doing their ‘business’ in our garden.

So, she is somewhat unlikely to become a victim of the food chain and the shed is free from mice. Interestingly, she doesn’t chase birds. I put stale bread on the back lawn and she sits on the window ledge and watches them as they fly out of the fig or Feijoa trees and eat. She gives the odd ‘miaow’ as if she’s commenting on their prowess, but she knows that if she runs out there, they’ll fly away. Why expend the energy when the world is full of incy wincy spiders?

There's a loose end here somewhere

There’s a loose end here somewhere


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