Saturday, August 31, 2013


                      There I was, sitting against a great round stone, my feet extended before me in the grass... relaxed as anyone has any right to be...staring at the sky... dreaming...
listening to bits of birdsong, pure liquid notes...
              I feel asleep... It was six AM at the
edge of the woods in northern Ontario, and I`m happy
to say the flies were dead. at least, most of them... Though
I am told no human being is farther than 13 feet from a spider most of the days of their life.... there`s always a spider just four yards away....
          Whether this is true or not I have no idea.          


           Now I`m asleep. And I`m dreaming of something pleasant and I felt something  thick tugging at my pants...  a sweet dream,
no problems - clear sailing in all directions.... Then
something sharp nips me in my ankle.
            I wake up mad with the sun in my eyes.
I cant`t see a damn thing, except...I can feel...
 sharp pins and needles in my ankle...something`s nipping at my jeans!
            I sit up, bend forward like I`m doing yoga,  open my eyes, and try to let them clear. 
         Two minutes pass. Something is staring right back at me into my eyes from two inches away. It has the most pale  eyes I`ve ever seen...
            I don`t know whether to kill it, pet it... or laugh.
My first impulse is to scream... or throw the evil white-eyed
little beastie right into Lake Temagami... right now with
the wind up and the  waves white-capping in late August.
                      The little critter is pretty playful.... My black lab friend, Eric, who lives with me is panting in my right ear  beside me. He is watching the little demon with me, just as
I am.. His tail is thumping in the sand.

            I ask Eric, "Can this guy eat meat?"
`           Eric says: "Woof!"  
            The  pale-eyed tiny demon bites my nose.
This answers the question about the meat. The little
beast is a meat eater, all right!
            The question now is: "Can the not so little kitten digest meat, after it bites it?"
             I taste blood in my mouth.I want to kill the nasty little thing, but I don`t.

              There`s a chilly wind that blows right across the the length of the lake, even before  freeze up happens.  And there`s nothing pleasant about that wind - especially if you
are paddling a canoe...
              You have to pull  the canoe up on shore... if you have no rope, I find it`s best to lay a rock gently inside
 the boat. Then lie under the damn thing, or sit under a tall white pine  and wait for the storm to pass.

              No point being in a hurry in a time like that...

              I have one bit of advice about  Bush Survival.
And I can make all the advice I`ve every heard about
not dying in the bush, I can make it simple. It all
can be reduced to one Rule.
               The Rule can be reduced to one sentence
about how to survive in the wilderness... everything else
follows from this one Rule:  "NEVER HURRY IN THE BUSH!"
               Those of you who have spent a couple of months in the bush, on the water alone - you`ll know EXACTLY what I`m talking about.

   "It`s bloody when you`re born
and bloody when you die,
and sometimes bloody in between."
        I looked deeply into the eyes of the large
kitten. It`s quiet for a second appears to be happy. It
tries to bite my nose. It scratches my right hand.
I throw her in the air and let her land (safely) on

a tree.
          From a distance I look more closely at her.
Even at a distance, she hisses at me. What a little
          Rewarding bad behaviour, I put some milk
in a bowl. She sticks her head in the milk
and makes rude sucking noises.... I get it. I get
it. I understand.
         I put some  milk in an eye-dropper
and slip it to her - the glass tube
into her mouth... this is the idea. She starts sucking 
hard and happily...
         I say, "OOooo, you`re such a little sweetie.
She stops sucking and hisses at me...
This is one tough  kitty.

         There is something wrong with this situation.
The kitten`s big, big enough to eat solid food.
I cook some hamburger meat for her/him. She
won`t touch it. She sniffs at it, leaves  it.
Like she didn`t know what it is. The damn
cat looks about ten weeks old. Her eyes
are open and she is robust enough to be
unpleasant and nasty most of the time.
          I know nothing about cat litters
except I`ve seen a few...unwillingly.
The litter critters are cute, I have to say
that... but then again, all babies are
beautiful... even  young snakes,
I suppose...  (if anyone has pics of young
snakes, send them to me and I won`t 
post them! Ha! Ha!)

          I call the humane society
and I say, "I think I`ve got a sick cat.  She won`t
eat meat... and she scratches the shit out of me."
         The woman on the phone says: "Not eating meat is a bad sign..... scratching the shit out of you is a good
         "Easy for you to say! What kind of a woman
are you?  Are you sure you should be
answering the phone in a public office?" I ask.
         She laughs and laughs... takes a deep breath
and says, "You`re an idiot." Then she hangs up.

           I call her  right back.She insists I take the cat to a vet
before she sees it. I make fun of her for that
           I present the  problem to the woman on the phone one more time  about the cat scratching the shit out of me
and hissing every time I move...
         She says: "Maybe you`d better bring that nasty kitten in to the office here, after all... After talking to you for three minutes, I think I want to adopt it."

       Now I`m out of milk and birds are staring at
the little bit of hamburger I have left, which I`ve
cooked on an open fire outside.                                        
       There are a bunch of ravens in the white pine 
above me.  They are gurgling and hooting
and looking at the scrambling little meal which is
the kitten  on my head.
       They`d eat me, too, if I was dead.. But I`m, not and they
know I`m not,,, Pale eyed cat hissing at my bleeding twitching nose is just about beak size for the flying crowd above me.
             They`re up there in the branches wondering if I`m going to  eat her first.That`s not going to happen.
             But peace has not been declared  yet.
The damn thing`s under my shirt into my armpit now.
I want to go back to sleep... but that`s impossible
               People talk about finding peace and quiet in the
wilderness...but the wilderness is not always peaceful. Right now it is anything but quiet. The damn thing bites my armpit.
I sit up and shout.
             I pick the  critter up and 
by the back of the neck and flick the tip of my third finger against its nose. It (she?) hisses at me. I toss it gently
against the bark of the tree and it just hangs there, not moving.... The heavy cawing from above starts again...
            "Shut up!" I tell everybody. Nobody shuts
up.... The damn birds are really making a racket now.
I don`t like them. They don`t like me. That`s just the way
it`s going to be.
             I am getting to like the little tooth and
nail demon, though.She`s a fearless little thing. She doesn`t budge an inch, staring up at the big birds. I thinks she
wants to attack one of them. Her little nub of a tail is starting to if she wants to crawl up the trunk towards them.
 It looks like she`s stalking them!

              Wait a minute!  What the hell is that?  She doesn`t
have a tail!
               Ah, shit!
                How did this happen?
                 Where`s mommy?

                  This is no domestic cat. 

                    No wonder she doesn`t eat meat. She`s
probably just three weeks old. This is a baby bobcat!
She`s hungry!  That`s why she keeps nipping at me...
and making teeny growling sounds... AWWW!  She`s
beautiful. And she`s not happy.  She`s getting desperate.
She`s sucking at the tip of my index finger.
                    I have to get her some more milk. I stand up,
move out from under the shelter of the white pines.
My head is soaked in a rain shower... I slip her under my
shirt and try to hold her to me with my elbow....No problem.
She`s holding on to me, too. I feel about fifteen little pins and needles piercing my left side. Damn!
                   I flip the canoe right way up and slip it into the water. I kneel inside the light little boat... knees right on the 
 fiberglass bottom, I can pick the canoe up with four fingers...
That`s how light it is.
                   I put the orange life preserver under my
right knee. I put my scarf in the neck of the life jacket
and I lay the kitten in the hole,and cover her with what once was an expensive scarf.  She hisses at me. 
                  I start to paddle across the stormy open water.... It`s about half a mile across the lake. I`m more or less keeping to the same direction as the wind blows us about...I paddle across towards the old log camp where I know
there`s some more milk concentrate.
                 In about twenty minutes I can feed the sweet
little demon... After she`s eaten, maybe both of us can get some sleep.
                 No one`s talking.  There`s just the water sounds
and the wind.



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