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What’s for breakfast?

I hadnít seen the barn cat, June Bug, since she looked down at me from cabin rafters the day I left the wilderness camp; perched in shadow, gleaming a Cheshire Cat smile. My assignment was finished as a winter property caretaker. Spring had sprung Ö at least as much spring as we get here in Colorado. I would be back, transporting both guests and staff to the ranch for the opening summer season.On my first return trip to the mountains, there she was, by the lodge, showing uncharacteristically little notice of me. On my Facebook page and in my trail blog, I had made her a rock star, and she showed no appreciation. My readers were more interested in the adventures of June Bug than they were in me. Thatís feline gratitude for you.What was occupying her full attention? She was playing with something in the grass. I thought it might be a mouse (the catís job, I guess). But as I looked closer, the ìtoyî had an iridescent quality to it. As I leaned in, I saw that she had caught a hummingbird, and that it was still alive. Before I could intervene, June Bug swallowed it whole, pointy beak to tail feathers. I was stunned. She looked up at me side-eyed, as if to say, ìYouíre next.îI thought this was quite a story, and was eager to share it with my associates back at the transportation garage. My tale paled by comparison to another driverís experience that very same morning. Just before dawn, as a group of staff were being transported to another camp, a mountain lion jumped right out in front of their van and took down a deer. Mouths agape, the passengers all reached for their cell phone cameras, but the predator had quickly drug the prey into the dark forest. I hardly wanted to share my June Bug story.I guess when we build foothill homes or mountain camps; or adventure into the wilderness, we shouldnít be surprised when we observe what wild critters have for breakfast. Even slightly domesticated barn cats.T. Duren Jones tells adventure stories about some of his fourteener climbs with Maren in his book, ìTales from the Trailsîó available from Amazon Books.

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