The heat wave has backed off a little today, which is an unexpected surprise. The boys and I had a great walk this morning through the park and along the river, a slight breeze keeping things really pleasant.
The pines all over town--and up the mountain--are heavy with pollen right now, no doubt making hay fever people miserable. Occasionally the dogs will sneeze several times in a row, shake their heads really hard, and make weird snarky noises. Thankfully I have avoided the whole allergy thing, other than a stuffy head every now and again.
As we wandered this morning through a long avenue of pine trees, I could see tiny, ethereal puffs of a yellowish dust drifting in the breeze. Stopping, getting closer, I realized it was pollen wafting off these big pine flowers. (I don't know what these are really called, but pine flower works for me). The pollen was coming from that center part of the flower. And how exotic and cool is this? Nature is just amazing.
We continue walking until we reach the river, where I usually unleash the boys if the coast is clear: no people, no lawnmower man, no other life forms. Running willy nilly, sniffing every tree and blade of grass, it gives the dogs a few minutes of freedom.
I'm meandering ahead of them, watching two crows take a bath in a small, rocky pool down the river bank. As I raise my camera for a shot, they take flight, so I turn to whistle at the dogs, then begin walking up the hill, heading back to the car. I'm soaking in the scenery, eyes open for possibilities, when out of the corner of my eye, I see something in the bushes directly in the path the boys are taking.
I quickly backtrack, call the dogs to me and leash them before they catch sight of this:
The Demon Cat. It was bigger than Ozzy--probably somewhere between Ozzy's 8 lbs and Max's 18. Glaring at us from across this grassy sward, eyes yellow and fierce, I'm pretty sure it was feral. I couldn't see any kind of collar and he/she seemed very comfortable in its territory. And didn't look like it had missed any meals. It probably eats small animals...and little children.
I dragged the boys away, hoping they wouldn't notice, but as usual, hopes dashed. Max went stiff, tail quivering, ears fully upright, straining against the leash. Ozzy started this low-throated growl and began hopping like a jackrabbit.
The cat watched us with a cold and absolute disdain. I managed to snap this picture as I hustled out of the line of fire, walking backwards so I could keep my eye on it. This wasn't the kind of animal you wanted to turn your back on.
I was most definitely in the moment today. And it was a very good thing, too. Imagine the carnage...my wee dogs wouldn't stand a chance against a demon.