Thursday, 17 July 2008

Natural Born Killers

Take a look at these two cats in the picture above, butter would find it hard to melt wouldn't it. This is Cosmo and Earl, Cosmo is the one with white bits, both huddled up in the cat box in the kitchen at Rock HQ.

Cosmo came from Charlies, she runs a pet rescue place that is hard to come away from visiting without a new member of our clan. Earl is from Aunty Jill's, she has a lovely farm Staffordshire way which I am loathe to visit as inevitably our visit coincides with a litter of kittens that just have to have homes and we end up with one. I would like to blame Tracey for this but I just cannot see a homeless tabby cat without wanting to adopt it.

Birdsong is a feature of Rock HQ. It is always commented on, how loud, how many different songs and the fact that its non stop, dawn til dusk the little birdies sing their hearts out. To reward their efforts we set out a lavish banquet on the bird table, particularly in the harsh winter months. So our bird population flourishes. Its also diverse, Redstarts, Nuthatches, Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, are just a few. I frequently entertain my family with calls to come and see the Great Tits in the garden.

Then the cats appear. We have four, Black Cat and Nemo make up the numbers, Black Cat so named as she was called Molly until I sent her to the vet to be spayed and found she was a he and needed a new name. Stuck for a name Black Cat stuck as a name instead of a description. Nemo is the laziest cat in the history of domesticated cats, even Garfield would cringe at some of his lazy habits.

Anyway last night I saw Nemo on the cottage roof watching something. Thinking he was watching the Wisteria grow I left him to it.

This morning I was alerted to the panic cry of birds at the back of the house. Opening the back bedroom window I saw Cosmo in the Wisteria approaching a nest with malice aforethought. A cup of water got his attention and he descended tail twitching and in a foul temper at the sudden drenching. The nest was saved. A closer look, as close as I dared lean out of an upstairs window, the nest appeared empty. A thrush flew to the branches on my right and cocked its head on one side, eying me with suspicion before flying off.

Confident I had saved a catastrophic killing I went about my jobs. Less than half an hour later I saw Black Cat, Cosmo, Earl and Nemo all huddled in knot at the base of the Wisteria. Each had a large Thrush chick in its mouth. They scattered in four directions, well three, Nemo gave up without a fight, the effort required to keep his victim was just too much for him to contemplate so he let me have it.

The bird survived, its fellows were not so fortunate, they supplemented the crunchy cat food diet our boys get.

I put the bird in a cake tin, it was the first large receptacle that came to hand, and once I was sure it was OK I put it on the inside windowsill in the back bedroom.

An hour later it had gone.

In the tree with its parents hopefully, not eaten by these two.

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