Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Small and brown

Ladies and gentlemen, I live with a 7 lbs drill sergeant.

If she wasn't so cute, we would have strung her up by her toes by now.

All of it started (as it does every year) with the birds. Spring means all the birds return. With the birds returning (and mating), comes pre-dawn singing. And with the pre-dawn singing from birds comes pre-dawn chattering and crying for felines.

For years Grey and I couldn't figure out why Jaxson and Daisy were merciless in the Spring. Until I had an office mate who worked with large birds of prey who educated me. So we suffered through this period, with gentle tweeting in the morning. Praying for summer to arrive.

But then we moved from the Pacific Northwest to the New England.

And Oh. My. God.

Not only are there birds EVERYWHERE. They are noisy!!! Noisy enough to wake me up at 4:30 am every day. And this noise hasn't helped with the cats going into full orgasmic mode. Nor has the bird baths outside the windows (bird porn for felines). So we've been miserable with the status quo of Spring Fever mode.

On Sunday, Daisy upped her game.

One of the benefits of our new home is a spacious deck. In the mornings, when I can no longer sleep, I've gotten into the habit of letting both cats out onto the deck to sit and enjoy nature. On his end, Jaxson is in heaven to sit and observe his surroundings. But Daisy has been testing the boundaries; exploring her options for escape. I found every one very quickly and was good about watching her, but she lured me in to a false sense of security with good behavior of lounging and seeming uninterested.

On Sunday afternoon, I wandered down to the garden to check on the plants and that's when I spotted her walking through the garden. She had navigated her way over the deck, down to the landing and to freedom. The second Daisy spotted me, she bolted. Dashing through the garden like a fairy who had been spotted. Only one word crossed my lips.


10 minutes later, as I tried to catch her, "Shit" turned to "Bitch" as she began using the fence to escape any attempt at capture.

Finally Grey came to the rescue with offerings of cream. Luring her in with its milky goodness before returning her to the confines of the apartment.

She's been relentless ever since. Testing windows, eyeing exits and yeowling to be let back out. She's tasted freedom and has decided her life as an indoor cat is something of the past.

Life has been interesting. I feel guilty for keeping her locked indoors. She would love to roam. But I'm very aware of the damage cats do to local wildlife and part of our rental agreement is that Jaxson and Daisy don't eradicate the local bird population. In addition, we've recently spotted a Merlin Falcon that is visiting the garden. And though we're use to much larger raptors (Bald Eagles and such), this one would be happy to have a cat for a meal.

So I'm stuck with an unhappy small brown cat. May summer come soon.


  1. Oh, isn't she a sweet little terror? We have indoor cats, too, but they are going batty for the birds as well and since the sun is coming up earlier and earlier...SO ARE THEY. I could probably stand to get up at 5:30 am, but I don't appreciate the cats forcing the issue. I would have been terrified that once she was escaped that she'd be truly off and running...how clever to get her back with cream. I'm sorry she's so unhappy hunting birds through the windows, but better that than falcon food. I hope summer is more tolerable!

  2. We have a similar problem, just time shifted. Buddy usually doesn't bother wildlife (there are squirrels galore here and he doesn't care) but all that goes out the window for raccoons. And there is currently one living in our beighbour's tree just over the fence line. When Buddy spots it he goes tearing out, howling (as beagles do) at the top of his lungs. So now we spend all evening getting up off the couch to let him out, the getting up again five minutes later to bring him back inside (he has to be chased down most of the time) to shut him up so no one complains and he doesn't wake Q up. Then the cycle repeats until we go to bed. Sigh. Sometimes fur babies are as tough as the real ones!

  3. There's been a debate here about cats, and birds, particularly as there are so many endangered and flightless birds. It is not usual to have an indoor cat. Most cat owners - including us, when we had them - have cat doors. That may have to change though.

  4. Can you arrange a cat cage for her on the deck, accessed through a cat door, so she can at least get some fresh air and wind and so on during the day, without needing personal supervision? (She may also go yowl/chitter out there first thing and give you a little more peace).

    I know these things are costly and that renting can make it hard to fit a cat door, but it would maybe give her a bit more enrichment without threatening the birds (my elderly drill sargeant, 16 years and 16 lb of similar brown cat, is fortunately not a hunter of birds but of socks, and has noticeably quietened down in spring in recent years (thank heavens!))

  5. I love cats, but when if comes to birds they are not cute and cuddly anymore. I haven't been able to reconcile the idea of an indoor cat to myself when the hunter, red of tooth and claw side of their nature is so evident. Big part of the reason I don't have a cat.

  6. And she looks so cute and innocent in that picture too! I sometimes forget that cats are definitely hunters. Glad you were able to lure her back. May summer come soon and the birds quiet down.


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