May 5, 2020
A few days past I was sitting in front of the barn watching a Tree Swallow and a House Wren contest ownership of the two birdhouses. They do this every year with the same result. After a period of posturing, scolding and dive-bombing, the Swallow takes the one to the left and the Wren settles in on the right-hand box.
A slender young woman was walking up the hill. These days it is agreeably common for joggers to pause to say hello or comment on the garden. She stopped, looked at me for a moment, and said “Would you like some company?”. I apparently had a deer in the headlights expression for she repeated “Would you like some company?”. Generally, occasions as these leave me mute, the snappy, clever answer occurring to me hours later. This time was different. Without hesitation, I responded ” Absolutely! Absolutely! Come! Come!”
As she approached I noticed that she had a grey tabby tucked into a pouch. Over the last few weeks, Sal and I have noticed a woman with a cat in harness on a leash walking by. She was the cat walker!
Adhering to “social distance”, we had a long chat. I learned that she was a single mom with a daughter, was self-employed, grew up in Barkhamsted and that leash trained kitties become untrained if not regularly leashed. As she was leaving, she mentioned that she has been renting a place on the hilltop for over three years.
I am familiar with the house. This woman has been a neighbor of three years just two houses away on the right. Our first acquaintance. Perhaps it’s not such a bad thing if everything doesn’t return to normal.