I could have died today…
I’ve always wanted to find a cave or a deserted place where I could pursue my writing in solitude. I’d found such an abode. It’s a house out in the desert next to some yucca trees. My friend offered to let me stay there while I finished up my next novel. It’s a place of hot days and gorgeous nights under a field of stars. If you’re outside at the right time you can watch the yellow moon rising over the mountains and when it’s clear you can even see the Milky Way. I had found my social isolation, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had abandoned the world.
It rained today. Thunder came down, though I didn’t see any lightning. Fate wanted to be left alone, it seemed. The bolts struck where they wanted to, unseen, hidden. I sat in the house looking out at the storm with some relief. The heat of the desert seeped back into the sand.
I wasn’t completely alone of course. I’d brought my friend’s cat with me, no more than a temporary pet loan. “Honey Girl” was the sweetest cat I’d ever met. Once, while I was sitting at my computer, depressed and unable to write, the gentle brush of her tail on my leg warned me of her presence. The cat jumped up onto the table and put her paw into my hand, as if she wanted me to know that I wasn’t really alone.
Otherwise I considered her no more than a furry play toy, and she offered me some company without becoming too much of a distraction – or so I thought. This cat was a smart one who enjoyed tricking me into playing when I should have been writing. I found myself distracted more than I thought possible. I wasn’t getting any work done. “There’s plenty of time,” I told myself. “I’ll get it done whenever.”
I saw her sitting on top of a scattering of tarot cards today. “Silly cat,” I mumbled. Looking up at me with humorous eyes, she seemed to say, “Why aren’t you pursuing your dreams?” Feline eyes sharpened as she taunted, “Why aren’t you writing?” I shook my head. All I heard, of course, was a rather cute, “Meow!”
After the cool rainfall, I went over to the door to look outside. A fine layer of water covered the ground. I could always tell when it rained up here in the desert, as there was a strange dusty odor that drifted inside. Inhaling a lung full of air to cool down, I turned around to walk into the kitchen. Too steamy to cook today, I tossed a burrito into the microwave.
Feeling the warm carpet on my bare feet, I returned to the living room. The cat was crouched down in front of a pair of speakers that Neil Turban (a friend) had given to the owner of the house. “Did another mouse get in the house kitty?”
The strange sound had come from behind the speakers. I leaned down to touch the cat on her back and she jumped, startled out of her wits. But instead of running away, she knelt back down, intent on the critter behind the speakers.
I grabbed a flashlight and cast the beam behind the tall black boxes. Something coiled and slithered away from the light. There came another hiss. Wondering if it was a scorpion and at the same time confused about how it could make such a sound, I stepped closer.
A baby Mojave Green rattlesnake coiled in the shadows. With complex venom made from hemolytic and neurotoxic elements, this is the most dangerous snake in North America. They’re aggressive too, known to attack people rather than run away. With light brown skin and a dark camouflage pattern, he blended perfectly into the desert, invisible.
I would have walked right by the snake, fully exposed, had it not been for my feline friend.
I quickly went to my next door neighbor, who’d killed two snakes this week and asked for his assistance. His snake stick with a little loupe on the end was too large for this baby snake, and the reptile slithered away from it. Backing up against the wall, he coiled into a little ball, hissing. Striking out at anything that came near, he was on his guard. My friend placed a bucket behind the narrow passage between the two speakers and frightened the snake into retreating inside of it by flashing a light. Closing the lid, he took the deadly menace outside.
I looked at my cat with newfound appreciation.
This was no feline to tangle with.
Respect, for a housecat, is hard to come by.
Thank you, kitty.
Fate and destiny are two opposing forces.
Fate will bring us to our end one day.
Destiny is no more than a wasted dream if we ignore it.
I can write again…