It was deep into February, and the weather was still chilly. There hadn’t been much snowing at all, but a fair amount of rain, and the river was up high, and all muddy coloured, like a mix of tea, coffee, chocolate milk, and dish water. The Wally doesn’t seem to put on any extra fluff for winter. I think his fur is actually made of asbestos, so impervious to the cold. I, on the other paw, was in full on fluffy ‘have-you-been-touching-the-Van-De-Graaff-generator-again’ mode.
We strolled, as we normally do, along the overflow pond, and got to the river pretty quick. The grass, shrubs, and so on, were all dead, or flattened by previous snows, so we could go pretty fast wherever we wanted to.
The Wally and I went our separate ways. He scampered off down the footpath at best possible speed, then raced back. I decided to plod methodically along the bank, sniffing each and every leaf in case it was disguising an edible I could put in my tummy. There is a distinct shortage of edibles at this time of year. I think they may have taken a package tour holiday somewhere warm for the winter. Not a bad idea.
There is a local by-law which states quite categorically that I have to climb each, and every tree that takes my fancy, and by jove, I shall endeavour to fulfil my civic duty. Most of the time I get to some upper branches, sit, look about, then meow at hooman as though I need him to help me. Sometimes he will walk off, other times he will start his cacophony of terrible cat meowing impersonations as though that will entice me down. It is hard to stifle a giggle. I come down once this cheap entertainment has ceased.
Sometimes I don’t think people take my role as a furocious apex predator seriously when this level of fluff is on display. Not only have I lost my sleek appearance, and panfur like stealth ability, people keep going ‘awwww’, rather than ‘AAAaaarrrgh!’
This is not good for my street cred.
Generally, on a walk, The Wally will thunder on ahead about 50 metres, and dart about pretty much not going beyond that. Every now and then he will stop, and poke his head up over a bush to keep an eye on where hooman and I are, and then carry on whatever he was doing. I, on the other hand, like to know where everyone is at all times, and will meow constantly until I either get a response, or I see the others, especially if they have walked on ahead of me, or The Wally is hidden behind some bushes. Hooman says this makes me a bossy-boots. I simply retort that it is part of my role as commander of all I survey.
Alongside the pond you have to be careful. Hooman says there are crocodiles, and also lost amazonian tribes who will poke you with a sharp stick as soon as look at you.
Hard to keep this in mind when hunting for frogs, though…
Sometime The Wally will join me on a snuffle-hunt. I don’t think he is sure what he is hunting for, but he mostly manages to run down walnuts, and twigs. I am after much bigger prey, like moths, butterflies, and wildebeest.
The Wally thought hooman said “bone”, but he said “home”… This caused much disappointment on his little daft face. Say to The Wally that we are going home, and he will normally just sit, and stare, and look in the direction he wants to go, which is normally the opposite direction.
So, we leave the river, and all of it’s delightful watery mud, and traipse our way back along the grassy footpaths home. It has not been a fruitful trip. The Wally managed to stalk, run down, and catch precisely zero walnuts, and I, again, failed to trap the fabled pond crocodile. I shall get one at some point, and shall wrap it in bacon and put in the oven. It will be delish.
The Wally darts about, in a roundabout way, on the top field. The open spaces giving him plenty of room to put the pedal to the metal, or his paw to the floor.
…whereas I, being a panfur predator beastie, take my time…
One last look at the river, and I have to hurl abuse at Wally as he is taking so long. Dammit, dog, hooman promised us ham when we got home! HAM!