01 October 2005

Stalemate in the backyard

This happened about 10 days ago. Marissa-Cat, otherwise a hunter of crickets, decided to go after a chipmunk under the deck in the backyard. The short chase ended when the chipmunk disappeared under a pile of assorted pieces of wood. Rather then walk away, Marissa-Cat comfortably settled down on one side of the woodpile and started waiting patiently for the chipmunk to reappear, while the latter was exploring the secret passageways under the woodpile for a safe way out.

I entered the game when I decided to investigate. Now it was a threesome. The chipmunk, who was peeking out from among the pieces of wood (visible near the lower left-hand corner), didn't dare come out, because it could see me; Marissa-Cat, who couldn't see the chipmunk, but knew something was up, wouldn't move her eyes away from the woodpile and I, with camera ready, wouldn't leave, because I was hoping to photograph a dramatic finale.

For a long time nothing happened, not a whisker moved. It's amazing how patient and insistent these animals could be when it is a matter of life or death for them. In the wild, one mistake could end the life of either the hunter or the hunted; the predator from starvation, while its potential prey, from being a meal to the predator.

Finally, I got tired of waiting and ended the game. I went inside and got a dish of chicken pieces with which I was able to entice Marissa-Cat out. Once she came out, I grabbed her and brought her inside. In the meantime, the chipmunk, scared by my approach, went back under the woodpile.

We are hoping for more action next time.


Art Schmaltz said...

This was my first Friday cat post. It was a hot day.

Henry said...

Those are both great shots.

Gigolo Kitty said...

There was this adorable video on CNN about a cat nursing a baby squirrel.


afarensis said...

Interesting, the things that happen in our own back yard!