Sat Apr 2023

The Huntress*

some months now, this svelte black cat has visited our yard every few days, roaming about and poking into all the crannies. At times, she sits looking longingly at birds in the trees. When they’re on the ground, she stalks them.

Several weeks ago, I chanced to see her pounce and kill a mourning dove that was eating dropped seeds below a bird feeder. She poked at the dead bird several times with her paw, as if surprised at what she had done, and looked nervously from side to side, as if half-expecting retribution.

Then she turned and left, disinterested, leaving the carcass for me to bury. A cat-fancier friend tells me the fact that she didn’t eat the dove, along with her glossy coat and healthy appearance, makes clear that she has a home and is well fed.

This photo was shot through window and screen, which imparted a diffuse glow. That plus the low sunlight reflecting from her eyes, gives our huntress an air of ghostly menace.