Eclectic Night Orchestra

The irony of the title is not lost on me. Electric Light Orchestra (the song Evil Woman comes to mind) was an odd influence on my youth but that is another story. This story is about my nightly orchestra. I’ve chronicled the bears “hallooing” across the valley. The occasional coyote song-fest is not rare and there are always the crickets and peeper toads.

We have had our share of caterwauling the past few nights here on the back side of the mountain. I think it started on Friday night with the yowling under my bedroom window at 3am. I was in good hands (paws) as Chuck and Thelma where visiting and three dogs sounded the alarm. Lights flared as I traipsed behind them through the house, stumbling into furniture and stubbing toes. I tried to call out invitingly to Skeedles to perhaps come inside and quit the concert.

Needless to say, no cat would risk three highly energised dogs for the promised calm of the inside. This serenade to the waxing moon was repeated the other night. Alice and I deftly hit the lights and cajoled to the crickets and night creatures.

Caterwauling 2, Martha’s beauty sleep 0.

This morning as we trucked up the road for our walk at the ‘forced march’ gait of Chairwoman Mao the Chinese Shar Pei torture queen, we were overtaken by our neighbor in her car. She pulled aside to catch up because, though we can occasionally see each other’s house between the trees in the dead of Winter, we rarely are on the same schedule. I inquired about the health of her household of 4-legged creatures. Two cats have been declared “gone.” I suspected one, as she had emailed me recently asking if I would check my garage for her calico lady. Both were old and with winter approaching, we shared wishes for a quick and painless end. Circle of life here in the country.

As I walked on, I thought of the orchestra lately and wondered if it hadn’t been a remembrance service performed for those lost. Why should grieving be reserved for us humans.?

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Skeedles headed out for the night

14 thoughts on “Eclectic Night Orchestra

  1. Parts of your nightly serenade sound quite soothing, but the Caterwauling I could do without. I’m not sure grieve is the exact word for what animals do, but I know it is something similar. Diesel searched the house and yard for weeks after Mitten’s time had come. But I firmly believe animals “get over it” much faster than humans.

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    • How interesting Laura! I agree, it took a few days for Alice and Skeedles come back from losing the other three last January, but they were there for the departure so I assumed they had an understanding.

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  2. I do believe that they do grieve. I had a cat that grew up with my newfie. When he died suddenly at the age of 4 the poor cat started licking his hip until the fur fell out. He recovered when we got another newfie. They slept together every night. The cat would sleep in the dogs crate during the day. When that dog died the cat died exactly one month later. We believe he died of a broken heart.

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  3. I wasn’t raised speaking cat, but have had feline tutoring ( although often there’s a lot of glaring and stomping off in disgust at my slow progress…)
    Animals know. Closer to seasons, life and rhythms. They feel loss of a presence (even if they don’t outwardly admit any attachment when the individual is alive and close). They sometimes seem to understand a passing is approaching. Olde Tiger was a fierce outdoor pioneer and ruled the yard – no coming in for him in hurricanes ( he felt he had to keep snakes out of the garage – and we saw a few chases) and he was quiet snug in either his garage loft or greenhouse apt with a heating blanket in the worst weather. Until he got old and I forced the issue…and he seemed to accept and stopped trying to rip the door and wall apart. He did sun on the back deck – and there decided to recruit an intern in dire straits (RC Cat). Blind Tiger sat yowling and staring in one spot just before a storm until I finally saw the tiny kitten in a tree. Tiger then stomped inside with “finally” written all over him. A few years later RC who was pretty crazy play wild at first, then oddly relinquished her favorite sunny spots for frail and fading Tiger…and stopped whacking Tiger over on the head all the time. Then there was just RC who took charge of overseeing the office and realm.
    When Granny cat visited multiple times (instead of boarding at a facility), the two were not going to chat and have tea. Until Granny came finally for hospice. RC sat watch and once again gave up the sunny spots. And became kinder.
    They know somehow. And they know and feel loss. And ponder a bit. You can see it. I think you heard it there at night.

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  4. When our Fluffy cat was run over the other cats in the neighbourhood certainly seemed confused. Charlie, the slinky black cat, her mortal enemy spent weeks creeping past the house jumping at the slightest sound and the little tabby kept wandering about looking under bushes where she like to doze.

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