Friday, March 31, 2006

The Bird Brigade

First there was one. Mr. Rhett (Click pictures for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Everybody loves some birdy sometime." ~ Anonymous
Birdwatching has become a daily pastime for the kitty crew here, thanks to Vicki and her hanging net feeder bags. I finally cleared off the top of the cedar chest so that any and all could watch. We have black-capped chickadees, white throated sparrows and a variety of goldfinch with different shades of yellow visiting daily. Sometimes the "watchers" show up one at a time. They listen intently, watch the flitting birds and go through various routines unique to each cat. (More cats to come...continued)

Mr. Nicky checking it out.
"In order to see birds, it is necessary to become part of the silence." ~ Robert Lynch
Rhett sits at attention, whacking his tail hard on the wood chest but making no other noise. You can see his muscles tense under the fur. One little sparrow hopped from the bush onto the window ledge and looked him right in the eye. Did he know that screen was between he and the "puddy cat?" Willow is alert but totally silent, her big fluffy tail swishing back and forth. She is partial to the finches and their "ker-chick, ker-chick-chick-chick."

Willow trying her "paw" at birdwatching.
"She sights a Bird ~ she chuckles ~
She flattens ~ then she crawls ~
She runs without the look of feet ~
Her eyes increase to Balls ~"
~ Emily Dickinson, (1830 - 1886)
Nicky sits like a statue, only his head moves; his eyes as big as saucers, he is more afraid of the birds but still fascinated. Nicky is our big "scaredy cat", but has started making a daily pilgrimage to the window before ambling off to sleep the day away.

Chloe and Scarlett, two by two. (strange buddies)
"There is no place to seek the mind;
It is like the footprints of birds in the sky."
~ Zenrin
So first they came one by one, then they began to show up two by two with the usual pairings; Rhett and Scarlett, Clover and Chloe, Nicky and Willow. Chloe and Clover sit quietly; no clicking, no tail swishing or flapping; their heads move in tandem following the birds. Occasionally one will reach up and tenatively paws at the window pane. They often sit here for an hour at a time.

Chloe and Clover, sisters in sightseeing.
"The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention." ~ Julia Margaret Cameron (English pioneer photographer)
And then there were three. The chickadees are loud little devils and attract the most attention. The irresistible drive to see the birds overcomes the usual animosity and Rhett is allowed to join the two sisters. Scarlett is too skittish to join them but she chirrups and chatters and flaps her tail from the bed.

Then there were three. (L. to R.) Clover, Chloe and Rhett.
"Friends are the sunshine of life." ~ John Hay
One day I walked into my room and saw something I thought would never happen. Four cats; sisters Chloe and Clover, Mr. Rhett and Nicky, all intent on birds feeding in the bush. Lots of cats. Lots of birds. I think I counted eight. An event to behold. I've never seen the cats sit this close without a fight erupting. The other two were on the bed and the floor. If there were room, I think they may have ALL been sitting there. Thank you Vicki, no bored cats in this home now.

Close encounters of the unlikely kind.
(L. to R.) Rhett, Clover, Chloe and Nicky.

If the kitties can pry themselves away from all the birds, they will be boarding Friday's Ark and will visit the Carnival of the Cats on Sunday. The carnival is hosted this week by Pet's Garden Blog. Hey! Maybe they will have some birds to look at!.

(end of post, aren't you glad?)

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