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Walking with the cats {2}

March 5, 2011

As I told already in earlier blog posts, my cats expect me to join them every day for a walk in the neighboring forest. It happens not very often that we miss our obligatory daily walk, but yesterday I came home from school very late and I had to tell my cat friends that I was too tired to make a walk and that I wanted to go to bed. The cats were not pleased and only accepted my excuse grudgingly after I filled up the food cups with their favorite food.

I spent most of today reading emails and checking the latest news. I had not touched a computer for three days and there was a considerable backlog of emails and news feeds. There are several computers here, synchronized via LAN, and I can use either one of them. In the afternoon I sat down on the computer in my study because the room is more cozy and intimate than the office or the music studio. The cats gathered on the bed that is there and watched me or looked out of the window or slept.

When I went down to the kitchen after four hours to fetch a cup of tea the cats followed and sat down in the hall and looked at me in a very demanding and appreciative way. So I knew what I had to do and I put on my jacket and we went out to the garden door and across the street into the wood.

It is not freezing cold but it is still winter and the plants have not started to grow again. The ground in the forest is covered with a thick layer of dried leaves and needles. As I waded through the leaves for a while I found myself suddenly alone, the cats had disappeared in the surrounding underwood. That the cats suddenly disappear during the walk in not uncommon, in fact it happens quite regularly and I have then either to wait for them to reappear again or to continue undeterred while calling their names as I walk along. Cat ears are very sensitive and the forest is quiet, so they will hear me calling their names across a long distance.

When I write that the forest is quiet, I have to clarify that there are always birds twiddling and there are often strange and beautiful bird calls that I unfortunately cannot identify as I am not an ornithologist. What I can easily recognize is the call of the pheasants, because pheasants are loud and make a very distinctive sound. They often hide in the bushes and when I’m just a few meters away they fly off voicing their displeasure about the disturbance with a low-pitched and throaty sound.

Today it was completely quiet, no twiddling, no mysterious and enchanting bird calls. I didn’t want to break the silence and I walked without calling the cats for some moments till I realized that a little roe deer stood on the path ahead in a distance of some twenty meters. It was not much bigger than a fawn, it must have been born at the end of last summer, it had survived the cold winter, it would soon enjoy its first spring. The little deer looked at me and it seemed to be more curious than afraid, I was probably one of the first humans that crossed its way.

I was completely smitten and I stood still and the little deer stood still but suddenly a grownup dear appeared and they both vanished into the underbrush. It was for sure the mother who probably told her child now to be afraid of humans because some of them carry guns and kill animals for fun.

To be afraid and weary of humans is for sure an appropriate advice for a little deer.

I realized, that the cats had departed because they saw the deer long before I became aware of it. As the deer was gone they came out of the underwood one by one and we continued our walk.

For the rest of the walk I chose a familiar route that we all know well. An encounter with a deer normally is not a big deal, it happened before, but for unknown reasons the cats didn’t take it lightly today and I didn’t want to strain them with another adventure. Tomorrow I will select a more advantageous route and maybe we even explore some narrow footpath that we never went before.

This night I will probably dream of a little baby deer. I never saw the film Bambi but I read the book. Today I met Bambi in reality and I can confirm, that it is indeed a lovely and cute creature. I wish my Bambi the best and I hope that it will have a beautiful and fulfilled life and that it will never be stalked and slaughtered by a hunter!

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