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  • Julie Slim

Food or Friend? on day #16 in corona time, I wondered, "are wild animals also social distancing?"

This is what brought it on - Frankie, my almost one year-old cat. More about him later. I was enjoying dusk in our backyard when Frankie came over and rubbed against my leg. When I looked down, I saw a cute green lizard, still and breathing heavily. Frankie pawed at him gently, and the lizard moved a few inches away and stopped. Frankie came back to me to be pet then resumed his game with Lizzy - that's her name for now. I saw her scurry away into the bed of plants and Frankie chased after her and stalked her, then pawing at her, got her out of her hiding place. This went on for hours. I had seen him playing with her an or two earlier when I looked out the kitchen window. He didn't look like he was interested in consuming her. He enjoyed the chase and the hide and seek game they seemed to playing right up until I went outside, having forgotten that I had seen him playing. After a while of petting him and taking pictures of our blooms, I went inside again as it got dark. That's when I began to realize that I had not seen wild animals in our yard, usually quite busy with visitors, since social distancing happened. No kitty friends of Frankie had visited in a while; no squirrels for him to chase up a tree, no field mice to catch and actually eat. Just the pitter patter of squirrels rushing about on the roof highway connecting our backyard trees to other trees in the front and side yards. Perhaps Frankie was lonely and wanted a friend to play with. I would prefer to think this the case for now. May Lizzy thrive and play and be free!

Whether animals or human, we all need physical company. I feel for all the individuals who are going through this social distancing alone, especially the elderly. You are not alone!



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