The epitome of relaxation, she lay flat in the chair on the back deck. Head slumped down on her front paws, back legs turned slightly to the side, one white-tipped paw atop the other. Her stomach rose and fell. Occasionally, her long white whiskers twitched and her paws moved.
Awakening from her sleep, she turned over on her back, stretched, and looked at me upside down through her grape-green eyes. She sat up, yawned, stretched again, jumped down to the deck and trotted down the steps to the garden.
She took up her usual post directly under the bird feeder. it was currently occupied by a mixed flock of gold finches and house finches. They arrived about the same time everyday.
She watched carefully, lying down under the feeder as if she were sound asleep. Her eyes never moved from the feeder, her body remained still and quiet. Her mother had taught her this technique. Passive hunting. It made your prey careless, unaware of the danger that they faced.
But she was young, and a little short of the patience that passive hunting required. When she could stand it no longer, she began to chatter and she lunged at a bird that was still a good three feet away, too far for an inexperienced cat to catch. In frustration, she let out a loud meow, sending the remaining birds into the sky.
Ears back, she trotted away from the bird feeder and threw herself down under the wood chips that surrounded the redwood tree. She began to clean herself. It calmed her. Finishing her task, her attention was drawn to a movement in the grass. She crouched down, then moved ahead in stalking posture.
Pausing, holding still, she then pounced. Her prey flew into the air. She launched herself into the air, snapped at the prey and landed, licking her chops. Success! Nothing like a bug snack to improve the mood of a cat.
If I ever wondered what cats did with their lives, I now knew.