Keep. Your Cat. Inside.

Apologies in advance for the rather emotional blog post to follow.

I had planned a rather more joyful one about all the local crow babies, including two belonging to Marvin and Mavis. I have hundreds of photos, and posts will be coming soon, but this morning I am upset.

Every morning, when I’m out walking the dog in the early hours, I see cats in the neighbourhood. Many of them are clearly in hunting mode.

Early today I watched in horror as a cat about half a block ahead of us clawed excitedly at a baby bird on the sidewalk as the fledgling fought to get away. Although I am not one of nature’s runners, I pelted, with Geordie, towards the cat, yelling like a maniac. The cat kept right on toying with the bird until we were a foot away, when it backed off a very short distance. The bird (a juvenile starling, I think) hobbled off into a nearby grapevine. The cat stayed close, waiting for us to leave so he could finish his mission. I stayed there and called Phillip to come from home with a box and towel. The bird clearly had a broken wing, so I tried to capture him for delivery to Wildlife Rescue, but failed, and the bird flapped off into a dense brush area. I spent a long time looking for him, but eventually had to give up, feeling by now that I’d made the poor bird’s fate even worse than if I’d just let the cat get it in the first place. I’m feeling very sad and guilty about that.

Injured juvenile starling

But I also feel angry.

It’s upsetting when an eagle gets a baby crow, or a crow snatches a baby robin, but I know they’re just doing it to feed themselves and their family. A cat killing a bird is not a legitimate part of this circle of life and death. A cat will not cleanly kill a bird to eat it — it will maximize the entertainment by playing with it first. The cat is not hungry. It’s a pet, fed and pampered at home and is out killing wildlife recreationally.

I know this sounds hard, but it’s the truth.

I love cats. Cats are wonderful, and anyone who knows me knows I adore our cat, Edgar.

Many cat owners contend that their particular pet is too gentle, too lazy, or too old to be a hunter of birds. You may tell yourself that, but I present our aforementioned genteel Edgar as proof to the contrary. Although he’s an indoor cat, Edgar is allowed onto our back deck, under supervision, where he usually lays in the sun, keeping out of trouble except for the occasional verbal exchange with the crows.

One day, however, he accidentally got left out there for a couple of hours by himself and by the time we figured out where he was, I found him sitting, looking pleased with himself, beside a beautiful, but very dead, juvenile yellow warbler. Clearly the baby bird had landed near him on the deck and nature just kicked in. Not Edgar’s fault. Mine for leaving him out there and allowing it to happen.

Thirty years ago we had another cat; Elvis. At that point, we hadn’t realized the perils for both cat and wildlife, and allowed him to be an outdoor cat. Some vivid memories of Elvis: the time he brought a live pigeon into the house when I was home alone with a newborn and a two year old; the time he got sliced open by a raccoon and cost us several mortgage payments to have him sewn up again; the sad day we found him dead in a neighbour’s garden, having drunk anti-freeze that someone allowed to drain into the gutter.

Elvis as a kitten, with Finlay

Elvis lived outdoors, and to my regret, probably killed hundreds of birds, as well as suffering through, and finally dying from, his neighbourhood adventures. I will never have an outdoor cat again.

Please.

Keep.

Your Cat.

Inside.

 

Some Reading:

 

 

 

 

The Edgar Chronicles Continued

DAY ???

Well whatever day of staying the &%#$*?! home this is, we all know by now that stress binge eating can happen to the very best of us.

It may be a comfort to know that even Edgar is not immune . . .

STAYING IN SHAPE

In the moments between sleeping, binge eating and watching Netflix, it’s important to fit in a spot of physical fitness. Edgar has found that almost anywhere in the house can double as a gym. An indoor cat can still be fearsome Jungle Cat.

He especially likes to show off while I’m doing my ungainly human stretching exercises on the floor. “I think you could stretch that hamstring a lot further. Make it burn.” A cat makes a stern and uncompromising personal trainer . . .

Edgar also likes to supervise my morning yoga stretches. Occasionally the Sun Salutations come with a bonus Rainbow Cat.

WATCHING THE WORLD GO BY

Edgar recommends some therapeutic bird watching to pass the indoor hours. Geordie, personally, is not that excited by goldfinches.

Now a squirrel, THAT would be something to get excited about!

REACHING OUT

It’s a stressful time and we all need some love and kindness. Edgar knows how reach out (with a gentle paw) and let his people know when he needs a helping hand.

DEEP RELAXATION

Every night Edgar sleeps under our bed, snoring very, very softly.
He’s only recently started sleeping there, so the first time I heard this barely audible and yet inexplicable sound in the night, I had to get up with a flashlight to investigate — and there he was, blissfully asleep and delicately snorfling.
It’s too dark under there to get a decent photo, but this gives you an idea.
Now I’ve figured out what it is, I find the sound very peaceful in the deep dark night.
Wishing you all a small portion of Edgar’s tranquility.

Last Minute Thanksgiving Tip

People are coming over. You could spend days cleaning and tidying the house from top to bottom.

Or … you could just painstakingly dismantle the vintage chandelier and polish all the crystals instead.

Of course, this will take so long there will be no time for other cleaning/tidying … BUT the chandelier will so very dazzling that visitors will be completely distracted from less than perfect bits by the blindingly sparkly light fixture.

Most important of all, the job will mean wrestling the old painting ladder out of the shed. This piece of equipment is one of Edgar’s favourite things and he usually only sees it at Christmas when it’s hauled out for decorating the top of the tree. Seeing it so early made his day.

So, if you happen to be coming over here tomorrow, kindly avert your eyes from dust bunnies in corners and feast your eyes on the mesmerizing chandelier.

And try not to trip over the ladder … 😏

Oh, and and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

For more handy home décor tips see Home Décor For Nature Lovers