Right now in the backyard, a raven is vehemently digging. Dirt flying. His head a jackhammer blur. He appears oblivious to anything but his urgent and unusual task. A tuxedo cat at the edge of the blackberry bushes, tail twitching, paw inching up up leaning leaning into it forward and down. Stealth approaching a cartoon cloud of red earth, pebbles and grass. He stops. They both do. Up to his breast now in the hole, Mr. Raven comes momentarily to his senses and scans the area around him. His eyes meet the eager, now sheepish eyes of Miss Kitty. He looks back down. Up. Down. Up down. Up. She smiles. He frowns.
What are you digging for?
None of your business.
Keep going and it will be your grave you know.
Thanks for the tacky insight.
Where’s your spotter? Don’t you guys always have a spotter somewhere in a tree?
That’s blackbirds, I’m a raven. We don’t do that. I’m a loner anyway.
No kidding, I wonder why.
She settles back, releasing some of the tension in her muscles. Based on the distance between the two and his situation in the hole, she could possibly spring, nail and tear him to shreds. Probably not. But possibly. He is one big bird and the beak is a tool she wouldn’t like to be at the wrong end of.
What did you say you were digging for?
A ripple runs through her fur. Returning to ready.
I can take you he says.
They are about the same size. He might actually be bigger. But. Does she realize how difficult it would be for me to get out of the hole or even respond to her ridiculous speed? Okay then.
I’m digging because I like to.
I like digging holes. It’s not something ravens do. I’m different. Sometimes I find things, but rarely. It’s good for the trapezius and obviously my beak is nothing to screw with. You have nice markings by the way.
Don’t mention it.
He wonders how she managed to get an entire cat length closer.
You’re pretty hot.
Yeah, most cats do I suppose.
How did it suddenly come down to any move he makes triggering the end of his story. They both know that in the course of this short conversation everything changed.
You look well fed and cared for.
Then why, you know, why is are you we this?
I’m a cat.
Did you ever think about doing something different? You know, like digging holes.
Miss Kitty smiles rolls her eyes and looks over her shoulder for a millisecond. And then he is on a branch above her. Phew.
I like you, they both say.