The white cat known as Snowy went flashing by with something in her mouth. I just caught a glimpse but the prey looked to have feathers. Sum Bitch. Another victim of the cat I call Shit Head.
It might have been my fault in a way. I have this electrified fence you see, one that I installed around the area below the bird feeders. The fence does an excellent job of keeping Shit Head and any of her murdering friends from nailing the ground feeders. But on this day the fence was dead, unplugged due to some yard maintenance. The birds failed to notice this detail. The cat didn’t.
I screamed a few obscenities, looked for a rock to throw, failed to find one, and took off after the cat. It was no contest. As you might assume, a cat in its prime is quite a bit quicker than an old fat boy, no matter what the motivation. But
Shit Head, Snowy made a mistake. She stopped and dropped the bird to see what she had, sort of like checking the menu.
The bird in trouble was a Tufted Titmouse, a little songbird, mostly gray, white chest, with a crest of feathers on top. What were once shiny black eyes, were closed. I snatched it away from the killer cat to assess the damage. It didn’t look good. Very little movement, a twitch now and then. No sign of blood the only hope.
I cupped the bird in my hands, completely enclosing it, and found a place to sit. The least I could do was to give it quiet place to die, dim light, with a little warmth. I held the bird to my ear and was surprised to hear a heartbeat, quite rapid, and seemingly strong. I continued to listen. After a minute or so, the pulse rate began to slow. Quieter now, and then, barely audible. It’s going to die right here in my hands I thought. I will hear its final moments of life. I open my hands for a peek. The light must have triggered a reflex response as one black eye popped open, but just for a second, and slowly closed again.
I held it for a few more minutes and detecting no change, opted for the common casket of so many animals, the cardboard box. How many animals have taken their last breath in such a dreary and frightening place, millions? I closed the flaps, and making sure there were no cats in the area, moved the box to the garage and turned out the lights.
An hour passes. I transport the box to the trashcan out back and prepare for the last rites. As the flaps open, bright sunlight hits the cardboard. The Titmouse opens its eyes and before I could say WTF, flew to the nearest tree with purpose and vigor. Hey! What just happened? Talk about snatched from the jaws of death.
Why do I put up with the cats? Let’s not go there. It’s complicated.
Shit Head, Snowy, “Eff you, cat.”