Mimi has a quiet moment in the dewy grass during her exploration of the back yard.
Mimi isn’t still for too long when we’re out in the yard—she has quite a lot to accomplish, and she’s never entirely sure how long we’ll be out there. Typically I put on her harness and leash, but for our quick visits out to fill the bird feeders and bird baths, and for me to snap a few early morning photos, she just wears her little bell collar so I can find her—she’s so tiny! The small grassy part of my yard is a meadow habitat which I only mow three or four times a year and the grass grows a little taller and wildflowers and native plants grow freely; in the foreground are violets and buttercups, around Mimi are next year’s forget-me-nots, and behind her are compound leaves of Virginia creeper which will soon turn a brilliant scarlet.
We step out onto the deck and while I fill the birdbath and feeders around the railings Mimi explores the deck and waits at the top of the steps until I’m done. When I’m ready, I say, “Okay, let’s go!” and she flies down the steps and leaps across the yard in huge bounds—for a cat Mimi’s size—and over to the picnic table, up on the bench to have a good scratch in one direction, then the other, then back again, her little bell happily jingling; I think it’s her happiest moment of each day. By that time I’ve walked out to the table and she greets me with meows and purrs and her little Mimi dance. It’s something only she and I share, and I know it’s her way, each day, of thanking me for rescuing her. This yard was her food supply but it was not her home, now it all belongs to her.
Then we each do our thing and keep an eye on each other; sometimes I’ll see her heading for the neighbor’s yard where they sometimes let their dog out without her chain and I’ll bring Mimi back, and then other times she’ll come looking for me as I’m crouching down behind a tomato plant with my camera trying to get a good angle on some asters. Our early morning visit is never very long, not long enough for either of us, as we go back inside, but Mimi and I have had our special time together.
It’s also surprising how little the routine has varied from one cat to the next through the years as we’ve headed out the same door to the same deck and yard, even when both Cookie and Namir came outdoors with me, they did the same waiting on the deck for me, then accompanying me around the yard. I guess the members of my feline family have passed it down the generations.
Other daily photos shared on this date
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