A Game of Cat & Squirrel


The cat stares and licks its lips. A fat, gray ground squirrel moves slowly through the grass towards the feeder.

Step, step – wait.

Step, step – wait.

Its small black eyes shine as it looks from left to right, sensing danger but unable to find it.

The cat eases down on its front paws, eyes fixed on its prey; patient in the hunt and focused on its prize. It leans forward a millimeter. A centimeter. A whisker twitches.

Step, step – wait.

The squirrel is close now. It sits up on its hind feet exposing a soft white belly, bright eyes watching, short ears listening. It’s almost there. It watches seeds being thrown to the ground from the hungry birds bustling at the feeder above.

Taut with anticipation, the cat leans over its front paws, hindquarters slightly raised. It’s ready to strike, muscles quiver in anticipation.

Step, step – WHACK!

The squirrel turns and runs for its life – zigging, zagging, and finally ducking under the fence in escape! Behind it, the cat shakes its head dazed and then sits back raising a paw to wipe delicately at its face. Whiskers twitch. Its eyes turn up to the feeder at a flutter of movement. It stares and licks at lips.

The cat eases down on its front paws behind the window; eyes fix on its prey.

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Heidi Van Heel

Heidi Van Heel

Writer, freelancer, and believer in magic living in Minneapolis. In my free time, I love reading, exploring the great outdoors, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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