Friends and family,
Just had to share this story about the scare I had this morning. As most of you know, Buck and I have two brown tabby cats, Lizzie and Buster. They're mostly inside cats but sometimes I let them into the backyard if I'm home. I keep an eye on them and constantly check to be sure they're okay. (I've owned at least twenty cats in my lifetime and only two of them have died of old age.) This morning after they had been outside for about ten minutes, I went to the backyard to check on them but they were nowhere to be found. I then went to the front yard and was calling for them when I happened to glance over and saw perhaps one of the biggest birds I've ever seen in my entire life. It was standing on our lawn, regally looking around as if it owned the place. I ran inside to get my Birds of Texas book and my binoculars (most of you know that my eyesight isn't all that great.) I discovered that the huge bird was either a broad-winged or red-tailed hawk. As I was enjoying the majesty of the bird, I noticed that it was guarding something dead at its feet. At first I thought it was a rat but as I was watching it start to eat the hapless fellow, I noticed that the victim had a furry, fluffy brown tail. Much to my horror I began to panic over the possibility that one of our sweet kitties had met an untimely death in a most vicious and dramatic way. Now before you say, "Kathy, it was obviously a squirrel, you dummy," you need to know that I had minutely scanned the dead animal with my binoculars, and all I could see was its brown, variegated tail, little pointed ears and powerful hind legs. It really did resemble Lizzie, our smaller cat. Because I had to know what was the "catch of the day," I walked over to within ten feet of the hawk and threw my Birds of Texas book at it to scare it away. (I was hoping that my eyesight would kick in at that close distance and I could identify the animal.) However, the hawk kept right on eating while it disdainfully eyed my futile and cowardly attempts to run it off. By this time I was totally freaked out, wondering how I was going to explain to Buck that his favorite cat Lizzie had lost her "lease on life" and had become lunch for this grizzly raptor in our front yard. As the hawk finally got tired of my yelling and stamping feet, it flew off with its prey and, much to my relief, I saw that it was indeed a very unfortunate squirrel who had definitely been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Although I felt sorry for the squirrel, I was ecstatic to discover that it wasn't one of the family pets! When I walked over to examine the few pieces of fur remaining on the grass, Buster casually ambled out from behind a bush and starting licking his front paws. I then glanced over to the house and saw Lizzie on the front porch taking a sunbath. Of course neither one of them was anywhere to be found as I had been frantically calling for them just a few minutes earlier. I immediately took the cats in and Googled "hawks cats." I ran across an unbelievable story of a hawk that crashed through a screened-in porch to try to get a cat who had been minding its own business. If you want to read this hilarious story, go to "Hawk eyes cat for its breakfast" at www.gazetteextra.com/hawkattack082107.asp
Needless to say, Buster and Lizzie will not be spending much time outside for quite a while.