Monday, July 25, 2005

felines & finches

Over the years we've managed to curtail most of the predatory instincts of our cat – a tortoiseshell, called Little One since we once had three cats, all strays, & at a point in time she truly was the smallest one.

In Sydney she would eat lizards & moths, dig up the little frogs from the lawn, catch the occasional bird. But up here the frogs are bigger; she sniffs at them but otherwise leaves them alone. She ignores the birds except when they get too close & then she makes strange birdnoises at them to tell them to go away & stop bugging her. I think there's still the odd moth or lizard in her diet. Her belly sag – popularly supposed to derive in cats from the eating of lizards – is much more pronounced, though that's quite possibly equally due to age. Unsure of that, but at least 16 years old.

But the last few days we’ve had quite a few

double-barred finches bopping around in the garden. Cute little owl-faced birds, with the body size of a big toe, that come down to eat the seeds of the lawn & garden grasses. Yes, it's the middle of winter, but the seasons are blurred here, would be classified as spring anywhere else, & the temperate plants are convinced that it is & have started flowering & shooting.

When the cat saw the birds, about two metres away from her, neon signs exploded from her brain. Drive through finger food, snacks, hors d'oeuvres, appetisers. She became demented, immediately went into that predatory stretch / flatten out the body / get ready to spring position. I clapped my hands to drive the birds away – hated doing it since I like having them around - & bodily dragged the cat inside.

So now I'm acting as peacekeeper, making sure the two sides are kept separate, trying to keep the cat overfed, so its thoughts & instincts don't take her to places & situations I don't want her to go.

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