Bella and the Birds by Joe Longo
Our Bella is an affectionate, sweet kitty. She’s been in our family for three years and would often contently sit on my husband’s lap for hours, watching TV and sleeping. She especially enjoys nature shows and Cat TV and would go up to our wide-screen TV and bat at the mice and birds. It’s fun watching her do this.
We have a large backyard with a number of trees and lots of vegetation. Different species of birds visit our property. Some years ago a family of finches built a nest in the eves outside one of our bedroom windows.
Bella is mesmerized by the birds that fly by and perch on the fences and trees. We have a bottle brush tree that attracts humming birds. She would sit in front of that tree for hours, fixated. Happily, she has never caught a bird, but she has brought lizards into our house as “presents.” But most of the time we caught her prey before they were tortured and died.
Birds never come on to our backyard when she is out there or they fly too high for her to get at them. So they are safe there. Once a quail landed in the backyard. And Bella remained in the house intently watching the quail as it explored the area.
The other day there was an odd occurrence. It was a balmy Southern California day and my hubby, Bob, and I were cleaning up dead leaves when we saw two birds
flying around inside our garage. The garage door is usually closed. Now it was open. The birds were making a clicking sound as they flew. It was strange to see this. Then we noticed Bella in the garage intently watching as the birds flew around. We couldn’t understand what they were doing there. We got hold of Bella and put her in the house, where she began pawing frantically at the door to be let outside again. Then the birds exited the garage. We went in and heard a slight clicking sound. The birds returned. Bob noticed that one of the birds dropped a worm. So we concluded that the birds were going into the garage to feed their chick. We went back into the garage to look for a nest. But saw nothing. Then we said if there were a nest in the garage, then the birds would have been going in and out for a number of days, to build a nest, lay egg, etc, But this was the first time we saw them coming and going into the garage. We concluded that the chick must have gotten lost and flew into the garage by mistake and the mom and dad were looking for it.
When the two birds were gone again to get more food, we let Bella out. She immediately zoomed back into the garage. We followed her and still heard the slight clicking sound as she nosed around one area.Then we saw the two birds hovering outside the garage. So we put Bella back in the house. She was not happy, however, and eventually was able to push open a screen door that we thought was securely shut. By that time the birds had disappeared, the clicking sound in the garage had stopped. So the mom and dad birds most likely found their chick and flew off. Bella continued to sniff around for them.
Bella can’t help what she does. It is her predatory nature. I found this quote: “Though the domestication has been at work for thousands of years, cats still have all those evolutionary tools for hunting that their ancestors had.” And it is our responsibility, and duty, as cat parents to be vigilant and to protect our feathered neighbors.
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