Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bye, Bye, Birdie

Bird lovers may want to avoid this post. It’s that Law of the Jungle, Nature’s Way, the Nature of the Beast and all. I have written of Sixto, the extraordinary cat and his ability to catch and retrieve objects tossed his way. He can jump easily three feet into the air form the ground. He catches wadded up newspaper in his front paws, leaping up like Michael Jordan. When he gets bored with the action, he wanders away as if he had never been at all interested in this sort of thing, leaving his humans exhausted and amused.

Some time last week it was obvious that a bird had somehow become lodged in the air vent above the fan over the stove you could hear a faint chirping now and then, but there was not much one could do about it. I was in the living room reading when I heard this terrible crashing banging noise, and Sixto cam running from the kitchen, and then back into the kitchen, leaping about in there. Then he rushed back into the living room again with something in his mouth. When I bent down to see what it was, it got away from him and fluttered back into the kitchen. It was a small sparrow. It kept flying to the closed windows, where Sixto could easily trap it. As it flew around Sixto made these tremendous leaps, almost 5 feet off the floor, trying to capture it. Which he did finally, against a window. I picked him up and shoved him out the door. I did not care to watch aviacide. I felt so sorry for the bird. I had tried to catch it when it landed on a window ledge, hopping around and chirping (the bird, not me), but it was too fast for me, and ended up in the feline jaws of death.

I scolded Sixto when I let him in and he knew I was not happy with him, rubbing around my ankles and doing his adorable rolling around thing.. Or he could have been celebrating his first kill. Who knows the mind of a cat, if they indeed have one? It was very sad to me, but it’s what they do. I remember reading “Watership Down” years ago and looking at the resident cat of the day and wondering how something so furry and sweet could be so vicious. It’s the downside of owning the beasts, much as \we love them. Now that coyotes have invaded the cities, cats have become prey, too, but I hope that never happens to any that I know or love.

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