Day 720 – Hardly Better

mora on the gate
Mora, the hunter, perched on the gate ready for action.

Forever. It just takes forever for the damn cold to work it’s way out. I’ll probably still have the snorfling remnants come thanksgiving day.

But that’s not what i want to talk about. I want to pay my regular respects to my cats. These two sisters are the two finest cats I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. They constantly amaze me with their curiosity, ability to reason, friendliness to all people and the fact they are all but maintenance free.

But here’s the thing that never fails to make me smile; they bring me birds. No… not bird parts, live birds. Juncos mostly. Mora and Isa both, from time to time, will catch a bird and bring it to me… as best I can tell, unharmed. Today it was Mora’s turn. I saw her trundling up the street with something in her mouth. Next, i heard her making her “urgent” sound at the door. I opened the door to see her sitting there, paw resting on a junco. I scooped the little bird up in my hands, the cat happily trundled into the house and immediately went to her dish to crunch on some dry food.

I went outside and closed the door behind me and examined the bird. The first thing it did was bite me. After I pulled the back of my finger out of its beak I gently examined it as best i could. Its legs seemed intact. It perched when i slid my finger under its belly. I gently ran my finger across the feathers, moving them aside to see the bird’s skin, there was no evident of puncture wounds or blood. The flight feathers were slightly ruffled, but not broken or bent. I kept it covered in my hands and looked more closely. Both eyes were undamaged, there was no evidence of claw marks.

I opened my hands and lifted the hand the bird had perched on. It sat there looking around. I know I’m anthropomorphizing, but it looked pissed off. I raised it up over my head and suddenly it took flight like a bullet and headed for the dense hedge above the house.

Yes, i know there could easily be internal injuries and the little bird might be dead by now. But it flew straight and fast and it was perching like a pro on my finger so at least i know both little talons were working. I want to believe my cats, where birds are concerned, practice catch-and-release hunting. Today it was Mora, but Isa will do the same thing on occasion. The major difference is Isa tends to look disappointed in me when i take her offering and eventually let it go free. Mora’s all-business… she catches and delivers. What i do isn’t her concern.

Seriously, i find it amazing how they can bring me these little birds with no signs of damage. They’re like “retriever cats” bringing the duck back to the hunter without inflicting any duck-damage.

I’ve known cats, both male and female, that were hard-wired killing machines. They grabbed birds out of the air, bashed them until they stopped flapping and unceremoniously ate parts then left a pile of feathers and bones. Not so with these girls. I suppose i’m alpha-cat… they bring the fresh catch to me and present it. I have to admit, i like this set-up much better. I’d like to believe it’s easier on the birds, too.

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