Monday, August 14, 2006

"Bird watching for Cats"

When I brought "Bird Watching for Cats" home from the library the OB laughed. "Are you going to get him his own pair of binoculars now?" he asked. But, indoor cats get bored. How much eating , sleeping, grooming and furniture clawing can you do before life-threatening ennui sets in? True that boxing with the YB, and tearing through the house at breakneck speed with him in hot pursuit is a lot of fun, but, he's not always here. And the older folks? Suffice to say that between cooking and wandering off on their bikes or disappearing into the North, a fellow is sometimes hard pressed to find a lap to curl up in.

So what's a young, playful cat with an enquiring mind supposed to do? Watch birds. Following the advice of the authors, I set up a bird watching window for Master C. The best one was in the bathroom. The sill is low and he's in the habit of sunning himself there anyway. Occasionally a lizard or squirrel happens along. There's a nice maple tree outside and plenty of bushes to provide cover for the birds..... I fished around in the garage and found an old bird house from the YB's boy scout days, filled it with birdseed and hung it in the tree. Next, a hummingbird feeder. Then, for some color, I planted impatiens and begonias in all the spare flower pots I could find and set them under the tree in the shade.

At first nothing happened. But gradually word spread among our feathered friends and we started having visitors: blue ones and red ones; bright ones and dull ones; long tailed and short tailed; speckled and unspeckled. Master. C is fascinated by them all. When he's watching birds he's perfectly still, his entire body a study of focused concentration. And now he's got me addicted too. Late yesterday afternoon we were both at the window, riveted. We watched, fascinated, as a harried mother thrush with a faded, speckled breast gathered some seeds from the feeder, flew to the ground under the tree and popped them into the waiting, wide-open beak of a very fat , very hungry baby thrush. Only the wide open beak and his very new and sprightly speckles gave away the fact that he was a baby. He was just as big as mom! And, apparently, insatiable. She made many more trips to the feeder , then back down to fill the gaping beak, one time even knocking some extra seeds to the ground, then digging around in the leaves to find them again and pop them into Jr.

I'm due for another trip to the library this week. On my list to look for is "Dancing with Cats'.......Master C can hardly wait.....

2 comments:

Liz said...

I think I'm happier that you have a blog than you are that I have one -- you're way more entertaining. Lucky Master C.

AnneMeg said...

This is so funny. I wonder what my cat does around here all day when we are not around and I am pretty sure she naps because I come home 6 hours after I left and she is in the exact same spot in the exact same position. She might like some birdwatching to take a nap break.