Luigi is no-nonsense. With two large black spots on his back and a half butterfly over his lip, he easily fools you into believing he wants to be fussed over. He does not. A formidable presence, he alone is permitted outside unattended; for which I seethe with envy.
Most embarrassing secret: A little brown bear - He totes it around and 'loves it' when he thinks no one is watching.
Uncle Keaks is very mannerly. Never crowds you when you're eating. Always gives you a second chance to revisit your bowl before honing in and devouring whatever morsel is left. My Own says he doesn't eat, he plows.
Squeaker's intelligence is profound. His demeanor calm and submissive - but to a point. He guards the pantry door like a soldier. Keaks acts like a sloth most of the time, but can burn out like a race car driver.
Most embarrassing secret - Squeaker 'pretend nursed' until he was around 5 years old. A Milksop! (just kidding).
La-di-da! I say. Personally, I would rather “feel” the bird than “see” the bird. But that is another subject.
Close to home, our life lists are the same. We have seen a flock of horned lark one cold, dismal winter when fields were long blanketed. For once and only, this coy little flock ventured close to seat and feeder. It was a magical sighting!
One fall, a bird as big as brother Tiggy stumbled upon our deck. A rarefied moment where 'crazed' does not begin to describe our cat emotions! My Own frantically thumbed the blue bird book. “Chukar” came for several weeks; then vanished. Likewise, the pheasant that crossed the road using the drain pipe for safe passage.
Each summer, the red-bellied woodpecker and flicker feed reliably on suet cakes; the ruby-throated hummingbird, in an endless loop, stops at the feeders every few minutes. When heads form on catnip, goldfinches ride the tops back and forth as they peck out the seeds. Sparrows of every sport – white capped, song, house, chipping, pore out of the landscape. Finches hide in the bittersweet. Mourning doves coo from the eaves. Mockingbirds do impersonations.
Heralded by red-winged blackbirds, spring arrives and birds take up residence in the most unlikely of places: a house wren’s dwelling in a grocery bag, or a barn swallow’s nest assigned with perfect engineering sense, mud and straw over the spotlights. Nestled in trees and bushes, birds blossom, their perfect homes hidden until autumn's passing.
Only then did My Own find the tiny nest lined with the blond hairs of Clyde, our departed canine friend. It is a treasured relic. Clever things these birds to make nest and memory in one fell swoop!
Swoop! The very word reminds me why birding is a favorite pastime.
in the middle of the fight
through the thicket, fogging strife-
the chorus sings with cricket rife and
cattails swish the pestly sight.
water lilts ands shimmers bright
by the moon’s incessant light-
while the nighters whisper fright
whimpering with appetite.
mighty lies the jawing bite
stealing breath, airing tight in
lifting with the music’s smite-
echoes ring amidst the blight.
in the night.
My Own exhibits a paradoxical confliction when forced to recognize this inexplicableness. Certainly, I admit we cats do not help. We find pleasure in sniffing out mice, waiting and pouncing on them. We ‘play’ with our prey. We toss. We lightly hold them between our paws and wait on their attempted escape. One of us truly relishes (Relishes!) the chewy bits – tail and feet. Perplexly, she’ll praise us for the dead trophy; but scold us for enjoying a well earned gnaw!
Though My Own prefers these little beings remain afield, she knows they seek out warmth in winter. She just doesn't want to know they are about. Unfortunately, if we do not restrict our pleasure to the veiled night or basement and if she comes across our pleasure, it is game over. Many a time, she has interfered. She catches, then releases, our tired prey back to the field. She is so naive. Mice home!
Alas, we cannot change our nature nor can she. Nor can mice. It is winter…game on!