Came out of the door the other morning at the crack of dawn, and lying just a few feet away were the remains of what I hoped were not Patsy or Pinecone.
Our cat, Jettie-Spaghetti, is quite the hunter. She likes leaving the leftovers from her fresh kills just outside the back door.
On this particular morning all that remained, besides the clump of feathers, were a pair of feet and a beak. My first thoughts raced to Patsy and Pinecone, the young couple whom I and my wife had just named the previous night.
Patsy and Pinecone are young adults, a couple I am quite sure, who haven't yet reached full maturity. The two quail, skittish as is their nature, aren't fully grown but are clearly no longer chicks. We believe the couple (you never see one without the other) is just starting out on their adventure through life.
That's why my heart broke a bit the other morning when I saw what could have been one of their remains. The wife and I, you see, have gotten quite accustomed to sitting out in the back yard and watching Patsy and Pinecone come scratching through the vineyard that surrounds our place. They are punctual, always making their rounds through our place at about 6 each evening, give or take.
There's no real point to this short little ditty...other than to reflect on how priorities can change. Was a time when each and every one of my evenings had to be filled with something I thought was very meaningful...working late on a front page story for the next day, getting in a quick nine before the sun set, racing to the casino to get signed up in time to play a poker tournament.
You get older, though, and what once held no meaning for you takes on an importance you couldn't have imagined a few years ago.
You know, like enjoying a beautiful summer evening in the back yard with your significant other, with a good book in your lap and patiently waiting for a pair of quail to show up promptly at 6, pecking out their dinner from the countryside.
This story, it turns out, has a happy ending. That pile of feathers left behind by Jettie-Spaghetti belonged to some other bird, most likely a robin or some such sort. Patsy and Pinecone are still showing up on time each night, to the delight of both myself and my wife.
The two quail will take on a new routine soon enough, or will fall prey to what happens to all of us creatures sooner or later. But that's life, so enjoy it to the fullest and take your pleasures where you can find them.