a cat among the kingfishers…

Dusty and I are not on speaking terms, at present. I don’t think she’s quite realized this, as she continues to whine at me, even when her food and water bowls are full. This constant whinging, even when there’s nothing to whinge about, really annoys me, and makes me think that we’re right back to where we were before the kittens arrived.

Two days ago, it was a lovely morning out, and I was hanging up the laundry. Dusty came wandering out, rubbed against one of my legs, and then went and sprawled out on the brick. We were just enjoying the sunshine, when that cat moved so fast, I don’t know how she did it. And I never saw the bird coming, I really think it fell from the roof. Not a baby bird, but maybe quite young still? It hit the ground and Dusty was on it in a second.

Of course, I yelled at her, and tried to get her to drop it, but she just ran under the house. I ran around the house, trying to catch up with her. All the way around, and she still wasn’t in sight. Then, I spotted her, and ran under the house, being sure to duck enough to not hit my head. Dusty had paused, but when she saw me still coming, she tore off, and took cover under a mock orange tree. I picked up a rugby football, on the run, and managed to hit my shoulders as I ducked under the hose, coming out from under the house.

Well, I don’t think my aim with a football has ever been good (Frisbee’s my game, remember), but maybe the fact that the football was a bit flat helped, so I could actually get a grip on it. I flung it at the base of the tree, and it went right where I meant it to go. Freaked out by this crazy human, Dusty dropped her prey and ran for her life. I went and found the bird, hoping it had only been stunned. But I think she broke its neck on the initial pounce, so no hope of life in that little creature.

Now, you’ll maybe think I’m crazy for this whole episode, but I don’t care. When she first grabbed it, I got a glimpse of beautifully colored feathers, and thought it wasn’t right for her to snuff out the life of such a lovely animal. Also, one time, Dusty managed to get a live bird into the master bedroom, and we had a time, cleaning up all the feathers, and getting the bird out. I did eventually manage it, by tossing a pillowcase on the poor thing, when it flew down from the rafters.

Yes, I know it’s instinctive for cats to go after birds, so don’t get after me about it. But I still think that as much as that cat whines at me for food, even with her feeding her kittens, she’s stuffed to the brim with food. She doesn’t need a bird to add to her resume. And just the day before, I had seen some feathers on the floor in the master bedroom. So, whether she was bringing some leftover feathers for the kittens to play with, or she couldn’t manage to pick them out of her teeth, I don’t know. She usually wears a bell on her collar, to warn the birds, but she managed to get the collar off, before she had the kittens.

For whatever reason, I will still try and prevent the cat from killing birds. And I was unable to look at her in quite the same way, afterwards. Don’t think I’m squeamish about animals eating animals. I’m not. But with her not being at all hungry, it seemed almost like she was killing that bird for fun. She’s a cat, not a human, I can’t expect her to act like one. I know where the term “a cat and mouse game” comes from.

I guess this is one of the reasons I’m not a big cat person.

And because we have two dogs and a cat on the property, I carried the poor kingfisher (my Aussie animal book says it’s a “sacred kingfisher”) out to the field, and left it where our animals (hopefully) wouldn’t find it. I’m sorry, we have enough dried up dead frogs in the yard, I don’t need the dogs chewing on birds for our viewing entertainment, too!

Remembering once more that it was a lovely day, I took some pictures of where I was walking, as I hadn’t walked there since they cleared around the sandalwood trees, several weeks ago. Creates a bit of a different view, wouldn’t you say?

8 thoughts on “a cat among the kingfishers…

  1. There are SO many birds over here that are beautifully colored. I see parrots and cockatoos flying around, and feel like a pet store got broken into! If it were survival of the hungriest pet, that would be one thing. Yes, I remember our dogs doing (or eating) things that we couldn’t believe. Crazy pets. : )

  2. I’m a cat person and I can tell you that she was not hungry and it wasn’t so much about something to play with either. It is her instinct to hunt for survival and although her food bowl is full, what about her babies? She has a natural instinct to demonstrate her hunting prowess so that they can learn from her and never starve. Unfortunately not all cats have full bowls of kibble waiting for them in a cozy home such as yours. The bird was beautiful but please don’t scold your cat for following her natural instincts. It’s better to congratulate her for her keen skills. My cat also has a full bowl of food but whenever she sees the birds outside she goes crazy!
    By the way, I loved your post about the kittens, congrats for being freshly pressed!

    • Thank you! I don’t really do more than vocally scold her. She ignores me, anyway. : ) Yes, I know it’s instinct, but I had hoped that I could save the bird. Don’t worry, she’s not suffering over here. : ) Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. It’s hard keeping our pets from doing stuff like that. Earlier this summer, I saw the beagle playing with something in the yard, tossing it and catching it again and again. When I couldn’t find it (this is gross), I finally said, “where’s the toy? where’s the toy? go get your toy!!” and he brought me the dead baby bird he was playing with.

    I’m not sure if he found it dead or killed it, but I finally got him in the house (treat? treat?) so I could go back out and pick it up to throw away.

    Thankfully when the baby cardinal got himself stranded on our deck, the dogs were inside. We waited until his momma got him back into the tree before letting the banshees out again.

    I laugh (sorry about that) about how diligent you have to watch over the girls to not hurt the kittens. The dogs are much the same way about most everything. They are perpetual toddlers.


    • Oh, poor bird! Yes, I know it’s not in their natures to bother about dead birds, the way we do, but oh well… No offense taken, feel free to laugh over my shenanigans with the girls. The great thing is that they really don’t WANT to hurt the kittens, and they do learn. So, after much repetitive instruction, they remember what they’re supposed to do. And the kittens get older, too, and less fragile. That always helps. : )

  4. Oh poor bird. Yes that is what cats do. I would have done the same thing in taking the bird from the cat even though she doesn’t realize it’s so horrible to us. The bird was so beautiful. Don’t scold momma kitty too much 🙂

    • Oh, I don’t really scold. She’d ignore me if I did, anyway. I treat her really well, and approve of how she takes care of her babies. Just not of her bird-chasing habits. : ) Such gorgeous colors, though, I just had to share!

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