Saturday, 29 April 2017

A lovely morning surprise!

  Herschel snoozes
   It was early Saturday morning and we were enjoying a leisurely lie-in, idly watching rugby and occasionally dozing off. Susannah had taken Frankie to his swimming lesson and then carried on to her gym class.
Bertie  and Jellicoe share a bed. He couldn't be a hunter, could he?
Bertie and Roxy were stretched out on our bed, joined from time to time by Herschel and Jellicoe. Isambard was lying on my legs so naturally I couldn’t get up – it’s very bad manners to disturb a cat. Jenna and Gus were snoozing in their beds.

We could hear sounds of cats playing. At least Solomon and Lenny weren’t screaming at each other so all was peaceful and there was no urgency for us to get up and proceed with the day. Susannah returned and there was an exclamation of disbelief and horror as she realised she had trodden on a dead but still pliant wood pigeon.

‘You’ve got to see this,’ she said so we duly arose. The hall was a mass of feathers surrounding a defunct avian. The scene in the garden of the capture and possibly the execution  was clearly demarcated by a sufficient number of feathers to make us believe there might have been more than one casualty. How can one bird have so many feathers? Still, as the old tongue twister has it, 'There are forty thousand feathers on a thrush' so there must be at least that number on a wood pigeon. I can understand why Labradors dislike picking up pigeons – all those feathers coming loose.
Not quite the remains of the day  . . .
After clearing up (We now have a clear idea of the colour of a pigeon blood ruby) we set about using our deductive skills to determine the culprit. We thought about Susannah’s cats. Solomon is little and likes catching dragonflies. 
Solomon
Could it have been Lenny? Possibly. He may have lain on the poor bird. Lenny is ‘plump’ and lazy and limits his hunting exploits to moths.
Lenny
It could not have been Isambard as he was pinning down my legs and in any case is not keen on leaving the company either of us or the dogs. 
Isambard watching the fish
Herschel caught a squirrel not long after he was given the freedom of the garden but is not given to excessive hunting. We concluded it was probably Jellicoe. He watches the birds more than the others and so far this year he has killed a rat, a field mouse, a dunnock and a wood pigeon. He also caught a blackbird but it escaped. So, he’s not the most prolific of killers but he does his best, sadly.
What is this?'
Our garden used to be busy with birds, particularly at this time of year when adults are feeding their young, but word seems to have got around in the bird fraternity that it is a no-go area. While we miss seeing them we are glad they no longer frequent our feeders. It is a small price to pay for the joy of seeing our elegant felines prowling through the shrubs, watching the fish in the pond or sunning themselves.

Fish shall safely swim . . .

4 comments:

  1. I remember the day my daughter's kitten caught and ate an entire bird, nothing left but feathers and feet and a beak. She was such a tiny kitten, no idea how she managed it, but she came in licking her chops and shedding a few feathers off her feet, so we checked the front porch and found the crime scene. Missy didn't need feeding for almost a week after that. She's 17 now, maybe 18, and no longer chases birds.
    Your cats look too beautiful to be killers, even Jellicoe.

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  2. Hi Janice - wonderful to see you back with this post and the previous one - which I decided I'd better check out first and I see I was right ... this is much more interesting ... love the cats and those colours ...I included Jellicles in my A-Zs this year ... couldn't think of a Rare Breed beginning with J - and I like the posts to amuse ... so Jellicles it became ... love seeing the 4 legged family .. cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/j-is-for-jellicles.html

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  3. I remember our dear old Nick...he had been an inside cat for eleven years and when he came to us he had the freedom of the yard. We were sitting on the porch one day and he came up the steps with his mouth full of mouse and the most surprised expression on his face...sort of a "what do I do with this" kind of look. It is hard to see them catch and kill birds though.....

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