Cats and birds

I am very very very tired.  Some of that is because I went to my boss’s place for a Christmas party last night (which was really nice – it was a beautiful evening so we sat out in his garden and talked and ate and drank until the sun went down – very relaxing), and didn’t get home until nearly 11.  Some of it is because it’s stinking hot today, and the builders were being particularly noisy so we could either have the windows open and be slightly cool but not be able to hear ourselves think over the drilling and crashing, or we could have the windows closed and have peace but no air.  But mostly it’s thanks to the cats, who have discovered the wonderful world of birds.
They’ve been catching flies and insects for ages, but so far nothing bigger (well, apart from a thrush Pushkin dragged in a couple of months ago, but I suspect that she’d found it already dead, probably from flying into a window or something – it didn’t look particularly cat-mauled).  But when I got home last night MrPloppy said he’d found a few feathers on the floor in the study, plus enough things knocked off the desks to show they’d been chasing something around.  There was no sign of a bird though, so we assumed it must have either flown back out a window or they’d eaten it.
Fast forward to about 3 am, when we were woken up by a crashing from the bookcase beside the bed – Pushkin was trying to push her way behind the books (it’s an old baker’s stand turned into a bookshelf, so there’s lots of gaps between the bars) and had knocked a pile of them onto the floor.  Next there was scratching and scrabbling as Parsnips tried to burrow under the bottom shelf.  But an exploratory mood isn’t particularly unusual for either of them, so we just assumed they’d suddenly discovered the bookcase’s potential as a climbing frame and tried to ignore them and go back to sleep.  But after Pushkin tried to clamber her way up to the top shelf, we decided it was time to herd them out of the bedroom and shut the door.
I was just drifting back to sleep when MrPloppy said “I can still hear something scratching – I wonder if that bird is in here?”  We turned on the light and I moved some books, and sure enough, there was a blackbird perched on one of the bars at the back of the shelf.  She looked a bit the worse for wear, but was definitely still alive and able to fly (as she demonstrated when I tried to pick her up).  So then we had the fun task of trying to herd her towards the open window without panicking her any more than necessary – not easy!  We finally got her out though, and finally all was quiet enough to get back to sleep… for a couple of hours until the alarm went off, anyway.
So it’s official, the cats now know how to catch birds, even if they’re not entirely sure what to do with them once they’ve caught them.  I predict a summer filled with feathers…

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  1. while I was never a fan of coming home or waking up to feathers and assorted bird remains I have to say I preferred them to the live mice one of my cats used to bring inside for her amusement! Considering cats are supposed to help keep your place rodent free I found it more than just a little ironic. One particularly clever wee mousie took over a month to be rid of and left holes in a variety of things as a memento. The cats here only bring in lizards/geckos and the occasional grass hopper or giant cockroach so far. I’m sure you will have oodles of fun as your babies discover the full extent of their new-found talents 🙂

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