Broken beauties

At Sunday morning, at half past ten, I sit near the window watching the back garden. I spot the tiniest butterfly dancing in the morning sun, it is probably not larger than half an inch and it is bright white. The next moment it hangs lifelessly in the tangles of a web. This beauty turned into the prey of a spider.

We have lots of cats living in our neighbourhood, but only three or four visit our garden regularly. One of them is a small, grey one. It appeared at the end of last winter, and seemed to be shy of people. Then this one day, months later, it sat on our garden table where it drank from the bird bath. I approached it slowly and the cat didn’t run. I was amazed, I could even touch it. For ten minutes I was stroking it, and the cat occasionally purred. Would the little grey thing have felt that I was sad that day?
But cats will be cats, and last week I saw the grey tiger running off with a bird he caught. And humans will be humans, meaning that I was seriously disappointed in the cat. Seriously. I almost wondered why he did this (to me!). Leaving me disappointed in myself, I should have known better.
This same Sunday we meet again. I am sitting on our garden bed and the cat is elegantly ignoring my calls for attention (I was not begging for it to come over, of course not). A beautiful, dark moth is what the tiger is interested in. Catching it, sniffing it, and looking very dumb when the moth (very good at pretending to be dead) takes off. But another moth appears and the cat jumps at least a meter high, his agile body swinging from one direction to the other, his paws reaching out with a desire to kill. It looked really funny, the cat should have been performing at the Olympics in Rio.
This moth ends up the same way as the other, but this one is not moving afterwards. I see the cat tapping the flat, brown object. Its eyebrows going up and down as if he is amazed that it will no longer play games. He nudges it again.
‘You don’t realize it, but you did that to him. You have broken it, now you cannot play with it anymore,’ I tell him.

Another nudge, but the dead moth is dead indeed. Then my grey visitor eats his prey as if he is as tough as the big, bad spider. If they ever meet, the cat will try to get it’s paws on it as well.





This post is also available in: Dutch

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