Monday, July 25, 2011

Silent NIght of White Lightning

I determined once again to go after the two unfixed females at the nursing home colony. I went late. No reason to go while the crowds of people come and go. This is a difficult trap location.

I believe I've gone over the challenges before: fixed cats; raccoons, possums, multiple feeders, large area, nowhere to set traps discreetly, so that the large numbers of people and cars coming and going, do not disturb a cats desire to enter the trap.

Once again I failed to catch either female. The colony has morphed once again. Now it's two males, two females and a lone kitten.

At least one of the two males was once owned. He gets beat up when he arrives, by Foxy, one of the fixed females, who likes to take him on. So does the old guy fixed black male. Unfixed males have no friends.

The orange tom has seen better days. He slinks for good reason. He has only enemies also.

The little black long hair girl likes the old black fixed guy now that he's fixed. I wish he would lead her under that drop trap. I almost had the orange tabby. He was under the drop trap and I was reaching for the string to yank it down, when in drove a van and off ran the cat.

It's like that every time I go, like it's not meant to be.

Lightning, so distant I could hear no thunder, lit the sky. It began in the south east, moved west for a time, then back to the east and then north. The displays were spectacular against the dark clouds moving through. Periodically the wind would whip up and few splats of rain would hit the roof of my car. "Here it comes," I'd think. But the storm never hit.

I was getting sleepy. It was after 3:00 a.m. I think. I was looking at something on the passenger seat of my car when I heard a mother raccoon chirping for her babies. This caused me to turn back towards my drivers side window and at that moment the sky lit up.

At first I thought I was witnessing a UFO event.

It lasted only seconds--a fireball descending in an arc, and just as quickly, vanishing. It was large but I have no idea how far off it was. It was streaming flames in at least three places as it hurtled. It illuminated the sky in that spot. It was off to the south east of my location, traveling north and downward. I saw it in a space between the branches of a tree, that soared above the storage sheds and behind them. The angle between the ground and that object, from my line of sight, might have been about 30 degrees.

What was it? For a moment I wondered if a plane had gone down, maybe struck by lightning. Then I decided it had to be a meteor entering the atmosphere. I have seen shooting stars before but never a ball of fire. Or maybe I have. I seem to remember spotting something similar once. Maybe they're common.

The raccoons were out in force tonight. A mother and two babies. A lone male.

The cats were not hungry. I scooped up cat food piles in gravel in three places, but I should have come home, after seeing they'd been fed, in several locations, probably by several different people. Wishful thinking, I guess, made me stay.

Employees came out and casually took smoke breaks sitting, legs crossed, three feet from a set trap. This would illicit silent cursing bouts from me. Cars came in, to park for the shift, in the dysfunctional curved narrow parking lot. One employee unknowingly backed her car up to park until she almost knocked my one trap closed. It was set as close into the berry vines as I could get it.

The silent flashes of white that lit the sky far away finally faded away. An employee arrived for the early morning shift, around 4:30 a.m., and started her day with a cigarette smoked two feet from a trap.

At that point, I thought "Holy balls of fire, it is time to go."

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