Time was sneaking toward six in the morning. He was lazing in bed, floating in the space between dreams and being awake, a cat beside him singing a purr. Open windows poured cool morning air over him, a solid reversal from the hundred degrees experienced hours earlier. Just as it seemed sleeping was seizing an edge, a loud grunt – snarl – snuffle sound sent him full awake. He and the cat sat up in panic-orchestrated synchronization, turning as one to look up at the window. After listening a moment more, he raised himself up and looked out the window.
A bear on the other side of the six-foot privacy fence a dozen feet away returned his gaze. As he mumbled, “Holy shit,” to himself, the bear, apparently bored, dropped out of view. Maybe out of sight, but definitely not out of mind.