Field Notes
Black Cat Edition
Part One

Animals are weird. I include humans in this categorization, because maybe we are the weirdest of all. The fact that we are animals too, is often overlooked, with the exception of evolutionary psychologists. Psychoanalysts are also very good at holding on to this fact, especially when doing a deep dive into primitive states. But generally, humans choose to ignore the clear evidence that points to our animal nature. My deep interest in psychoanalysis reminds me to hold this wide focus and remember our basicness while simultaneously considering our more evolved states. I love that about an analytic perspective. It considers the wide and narrow, the good and bad, always both sides and everything at once. And I love how this perspective deeply influences my observations of wildlife.

Weather permitting, my family and I take a nightly walk after dinner. It is usually my favorite part of the day, as it allows space for us to reconnect and also say hello to neighbors and pet a ton of super cute dogs. There is a spot on our walk past a redwood grove where the land turns back to mountain. An outcropping that lies between two houses, where the land breaks and turns to a steep and rocky cliff. There are a small handful of trees, but the terrain is mostly rocky with bedrock boulders protruding from the slope creating small plateaus and a few tiny caves. I often wonder what lives on this slope. And I'm always disappointed that I don't see a coyote sitting at the top where the bedrock meets the sky. It just seems like prime coyote real estate.

A few days ago as were we coming up on the cliffs I noticed a small solid black form. It stood out sharply against the sun bleached browns and golds of the rocks and we instantly turned quiet as we approached. It is not uncommon for the light to play tricks, especially this time of day and we held a feeling of suspicion that our anticipation would be met with only the cast shadow of a rock. As we moved closer, it became clear that on top of one of the bedrocks was a completely black cat. It was curled in a tiny ball and was only distinguishable by its pointed ears forming perfect black triangles against the light colored stone. It was sitting rather high up on the cliff and took us a few minutes of discussion to determine that yes, it was a cat and not a skunk or a very dark bobcat. We made note of the well claimed sun spot and continued our walk assuming we would never see that cat in that spot ever again.

And here's where the weirdness clicks in. We have seen the same cat on the same cliff at generally the same time of day every day for the past week. How is it that a cat is keeping the same schedule? Maybe no stranger than us keeping to one as well.

What did you learn today? Join me by using the #thesethreethings and commenting below with your own These Three Things. I want to hear what you are learning, laughing about, and living through.