I hoped not to write this blog for some time to come. Buzz Lightyear — The Great Black Hunter, The Buzzinator, Buzzard, Buzzy-Boy — has disappeared.
I’d love to be able to say he’s probably at a neighbor’s, enjoying the same attention we gave him when he arrived here less than two years ago. But I’m fairly sure that’s not the case. Buzz, I’m convinced, has become a more immediate part of nature.
We’re left to wonder about his destiny.
I doubt he succumbed to a speeding car, though we have way too many of those whizzing past our little farm. Buzz routinely crossed our road to visit a large feral orange tabby and to see what other wildlife he might dispatch on the other side; cat pickin’s are really good over there. Buzz knew how to listen for cars; I’m sure he could hear them long before they appeared over the hill or around the curve below us.
He ruled the driveway between us and the school, too, stopping traffic as he casually sauntered off to his daily outdoor duties. But he never came remotely close to any of the many vehicles that zip in and out to drop off children at school. No, I don’t think it was a road accident that took Buzz from us.
I don’t even think it was coyotes, even though they’ve been yowling in the woods around the farm for over a week. Buzz has managed to stay clear of them for years; he’s fast and cautious, and can zoom to the top of a tree in less than an eye-blink. Even Simon, who can catch a speeding chipmunk, was no match for a speeding Buzz. No, probably not coyotes, either.
I think it was a Great Horned Owl. Now there’s a predator for you. Silent. Faster than the human eye and brain can detect when snatching its next meal. And deadly. One swipe of those talons and their prey is suddenly walking along in heaven, wondering how the heck that happened.
A pair of Great Horneds seems to hang out in the woods below the fire pit. Good hunting there. Lots of tasty possibilities — from voles to rabbits to small turkeys to cats — pass through those woods at least once a day.
If it were a Great Horned, and if we knew where it generally perched, we might have been able to find a pellet with evidence that wouldn’t need a CSI team to interpret. The casual scientist in me really wants to see that. The loving cat “owner” does not. It’s probably too late anyway; the proof of the crime would have appeared last Tuesday or Wednesday. By now even the pellet has been “absorbed” into the land, on its way to becoming something fabulous for maple tree sap.
One of these days we may have our own bodies enriched by Buzz in an entirely new way. It’s something to think about.
(An efficient and reliable plant trimmer, among his other talents)