Sundry

A neighbor’s black and white cat thinks of our yard as its own. I call him the Hitler cat for the rectangular black patch beneath his nose. He appears to have killed a mouse. The smallest mouse ever. It was under the picnic table where I’m sitting to write, and I only discovered it when I moved the table out of the sun.  There it was, near where my bare feet had been.  I could write at length about What if my feet touched that mouse as I sat writing, my undiscerning toes thinking its tiny claws were simply dried grass? but I prefer not to go down that road.  Instead, I’d like you to know that the small dead mouse looks like a comma.  I never noticed that before, how rodents (all mammals?) curl in on themselves at death.  I don’t plan to touch the mouse.  I’ll warn others away, too, and perhaps Hitler cat will eventually take it and present it to his true owner.

***

A man walked by a few moments ago, pushing a bike and muttering, “Read the Bible, read the Bible.”  I wonder if he’s the same man who yesterday morning stood at the Bench in front of our house and yelled, “Abortion is murder, abortion is murder,” and who, when Garth asked him to keep it down because some people were likely still sleeping, said, “Eff them, I don’t care if they’re still sleeping.  You’re probably one of those liberal Portland baby killers. Abortion is murder, abortion is murder”?  When Garth took his phone out, the guy said, “If you call the police on me, I’ll come back here and kill you.”  Maybe just now this was the same guy coming back looking for Garth, or just looking for the Bench.  He could rest in the shade it offers in this heat, but his illness pushes him forward, pushes words out of him, “Read the Bible…” so he keeps walking.

***

There are birds the size of the smallest of mouses flitting between our aspen and hawthorn and apple trees, chittering to each other. Our  apple tree is lopsided, a dwarf gala  – at least I think it’s a gala – these kinds of particulars escape my mind.  I am surrounded by flora, the names of which I don’t know. How bounteous our gala crop promises to be depends on where I look.  On this branch are clusters of tight-skinned, shiny green apples the size of racquet balls. Apples on another cluster are already mealy-looking, they’re the size of kumquats, the blossom ends dusty and cobwebby.

***

Today, I complained gently to the cashier at Trader Joe’s about the heat.  He said, “Oh, it’s not hot.”

Let’s set aside for a moment the fact that we humans don’t get to decide for each other what does or doesn’t constitute discomfort for another.  I can say that this morning, I took a cooling shower to start things off right, and broke a sweat minutes later putting on my clothes for the day. I rest my case.

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6 comments
  1. Tina Lilly said:

    Hi Katrina, nice to hear your voice again. So thoughtful, as always. xoxo

    • Thank you, dear one. It felt so nice to stretch back into this writing world.<3

  2. Kelly Gabriel said:

    If you thin out your apples, the ones touching each other, you’ll end up with bigger apples. I did this with my dwarf honey crisp apple tree. It was hard to pull off so many apples, but it’s necessary otherwise they just end up dropping before they ripen.
    I enjoy your voice! Glad you wrote again.

    • Kelly,thanks so much! I was actually thinking as I sat in my yard yesterday that maybe the next time you and Greg’re in town, I could lure you to my yard and feed you a wonderful meal in exchange for your plant expertise. That offer still stands any time, and it turns we’re doing some major building this late summer and into the fall – so the yard will have to wait some… Thanks for your encouragement.

  3. tomhmoss@aol.com said:

    Katrina, glad to see your “byline” again. K&I are now in Calif, and plan to come north to see Goulds as next part of our migration- though am not sure when that will be — concentrating now on settling into new community. We do like this community — lots of very interesting people.

    If any of you Goulds are down this way, we hope you will visit us.

    love, tm

  4. Brita M. and Dennis C. Gould said:

    It’s been awhile, Katrina. So nice to read your writings again. It has a rhythm and thus pacing that is comforting to read. I believe I could recognize your style if I was picking from random selections of prose. Love you, Mom

    On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 7:25 AM, …Like the Hurricane wrote:

    > Mousey Brown posted: “A neighbor’s black and white cat thinks of our yard > as its own. I call him the Hitler cat for the rectangular black patch > beneath his nose. He appears to have killed a mouse. The smallest mouse > ever. It was under the picnic table where I’m sitting to writ” >

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