The Problem

Issuing a hard squawk, a jay glided into the backyard, settling among the crispy brown weeds after a few hops. Cool mountain air stirred the firs and cherry tree bordering the yard.

A ginger and white cat shading herself on the patio flipped over onto her belly and watched the bird. Green eyes grew big. Watchful. She chittered.

The bird snapped off a chirp. Cat and bird glanced around. Six AM on Saturday, a fenced yard. No humans were about.

The cat strolled into the weeds. Bird hopped to her. Exchanges were issued. Then, business.

“What you got?” the cat asked.

“Not much. Neighbors across the street have gone camping. Will be back Friday. Fran, two doors down, fell. Bruised herself but broke nothing. Sissy was sunning herself on her roof yesterday, started taking selfies and almost fell off.”

The cat chuckled. “People.”

“You?”

“Not much. Bear visited the Miltons. Drained their hummingbird feeder. Flipped over a trash can.”

“Heard that. You pass this stuff on to your people?”

“Try. I tell them but they don’t seem to grasp it.”

“Well, keep trying, sister.”

“You, too, brother.”

“Keep cool.”

“Stay safe.”

They parted ways. A while later, the man entered the backyard. Chuckled the cat’s way. “Heard you and that bird going at it.”

The cat meowed several times back, trying to convey the information learned.

“What is it? What are you telling me? You hungry? Want water? A treat? What is it?”

The cat repeated the stories the bird had shared.

The man shook his head. “I don’t know what you’re trying to say.” He went on to water the garden.

The cat sat down with a sigh. That all summed up the problem. People could hear but couldn’t understand.

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