As I work in Vaughn’s garden all sorts of magical creatures come to advise me on what to plant, and on placement and cultivation techniques. There is a yellow millipede the size of a banana, a grasshopper with wings on its knees that have turquoise polka dots on them, brown earthworms with yellow stars on their bellies, and sky blue butterflies that fly around the yard in a large flock shaped like an arrow.
There is also a black-on-black cat – a black cougar with black spots. She is named Ada. The black-on-black pattern is impressively vivid. Her long ears spiral and it is my guess that they have been on hair rollers. She lives in the very back of the yard and is nearly invisible in the shadows.
Ada is hilarious because she doesn’t seem to notice that she is not a person. She tells me that just as I am a melanated person, she is a melanated cougar, and a protector of the creatures that visit the garden in the late evening. Vaughn’s garden is her home and they have already had long talks during his dreams.
Her request of me is to come to the garden each evening and keep her company until Vaughn returns from his trip.
I realize that in addition to our biological family, Vaughn and I have an ever-present, loving, and quirky spirit family.