In the late afternoon, Ed comes in with a troubled look on his face. That’s rare. Ed doesn’t trouble easily.
It’s Isis, he tells me. He has an infected bruise on his ear.
We know how it happened. There is a new cat in the area. We’ve both seen him. The cat came onto the farmette and Isis defended his turf.
True, this is what cats do. But I’ve grown to know and appreciate Isis for his sweetness, for his fear of the attack, for his life prior to coming to the farmhouse. And then there's this: Isis is getting old. I should think he deserves to roam his turf without fear. Right now, he’s poised for war again. With the drooping shoulders of old age.
And it doesn’t help that Ed works to clean the infection in his wound. Isis is in pain and as soon as he can free himself of Ed's grasp, he takes off like a wildcat.
We don't see him again for the rest of the day.
Thinking back now -- our morning was so very delightful! The three of us – my girl, Ed and I, have our usual breakfast on the porch (and yes, to Bex, my commenter here, I eat oatmeal nearly every day: with fresh fruits and acacia honey and a cappuccino... can you think of a better breakfast?)...
And then the clock begins its accelerated run through the hours. My girl is to leave in the afternoon and suddenly there's hardly enough time... to eat, to walk, to talk, to exchange this, fix that...
She and I take a country walk...
... and I want a nice one, a special one for my urban child and if I had thought straight, I would have realized that walking on a Sunday afternoon along the road that leads to the boat ramp at the lake is a dumb idea. Country road – yes. Peaceful? Forget it. Cars and trucks with boats roar by and isn't it the case that if you want everything to be exactly perfect, you'll find that life teaches you that this cannot be so.
And so she left and of course, that’s always a drag. Kids take off, parents feel wistful and the farmhouse feels suddenly awfully quiet.
We work outside some, Ed and I.
It’s so lush right now!
I know you come to expect these photos of green everything, but please, try to remember back to March. And now look again, at this:
Ed continues to plant the last of the tomatoes.
We have now perhaps one hundred tomatoes, growing, some thriving, some thinking about whether life is worth living, scattered in odd places all over the farmette. I'm thinking they are like very young children: who knows what will become of them!
By evening, Isis still had not returned. I have my Neosporin ready for him (Isis, pain killer! Come on Isis! Where are you Isis?)... Nothing.
As I walk back to the farmhouse, I think to look in the garage. Yes. We have managed to lock him inside (to our credit, when we called for him there earlier, he chose to hide and keep quiet).
Ed breaths a sigh of relief. The Neosporin is applied and of course, the act of medicating him causes him to run off again.
Not for long though. I’ve come to know that your kids’ll come back if you keep the door cracked open – just enough. So they know there’s a lighted room waiting for them.