Warm, sunny days full of color, adventure, abundance; crystal cold nights chill tired bones.
Two kittens, playing, leap the stream,
roll and wrestle, tag and tumble,
race, chase, grab and rumble,
scuffle under oaks through last year’s leaves.
Tawny mottled bodies vanish under summer trees.
The sound of their pouncing continues unseen.
Dogs on the rim stand rigid, aquiver,
engrossed in the antics below.
The cats crash back from deep shadows,
reach with sheathed claws in big soft paws,
leap, stretching in a single line ~
one behind the other holding on ~
they arc and spring, spring as one
upon a sapling, bend it to the ground.
Long tails white-tips flashing,
graceful lithe limbs thrashing,
ungainly kittens tangle with the boughs.
Oblivious to us above them on the canyon rim,
the first leaps out across the stream;
the second sprawls in the bowed canopy,
unhurried, unworried, spraddles the limbs,
bounces; wiggles to the ground.
The sapling springs upright.
A gift, a truly awesome sight,
wild feline abandon:
cougar cubs at play,
learning as they leap and run
the skills to catch their prey.
Below freezing the past two nights, brrrrr, and it took me all day to warm up. The first chill of winter is always hard to accept. But a small fire in the woodstove all afternoon kept the cold at bay, and I gathered in the last green tomatoes for pickles. Romas from the farm will bake into paste tomorrow, warming the house.