As soon as she was big enough to jump up on furniture, our dog Abby has claimed the Queen Ann-style chair that sits in front of our living room picture window. It is the perfect place to sit and view the neighborhood. She sometimes sits for hours just staring at the people walking by and the occasional critter that happens her way. Then she will erupt in a scream – the high pitched bark that is reserved only for the Mailman or a rabbit, squirrel or cat who gets a little to close to the house! We have laughingly called the view from the window “Abby TV”! It certainly keeps her occupied! Now I have started to watch “Abby TV” also!
My Mom, in her later years lived in the upper half of a duplex with a large deck attached to the kitchen. She put out numerous bird feeders and loved to just sit and watch the birds! I used to think she was nuts – well, not really – just didn’t understand her fascination with it. I remember one time her telling us about her tangle with a squirrel. She had set out something in particular to attract a specific type of bird. The squirrel decided to help himself to it and that really ticked my mom off! She reached for the closest thing she could find…a potato…and winged it at the squirrel! She plunked him right in the head and he stood there for a moment, staggering and then ran away. I laugh every time I am watching my squirrels and I think of my mom, hurling a potato at a squirrel!
In the past few years, I have been adding bird feeders in front of the picture window: a suet feeder, hopefully to attract the woodpeckers, a squirrel-proof feeder (more on that in a later blog) filled with sunflower seeds and a cheaper plastic one with seed to attract the finches...mostly goldfinches. I also have a bird bath and now a platform feeder my neighbor made for me to hopefully attract some cardinals! They were my mom’s favorite birds! There is a small bush next to my feeders that the little birds just love to flit back and forth in. One of my favorite birds is the Chickadee. They are tiny black and white birds that never stay in one place for too long. They usually come in groups and hop back and forth from the bush to the feeders to the bird bath! They are really fun to watch!
|A Chickadee feasting on a sunflower seed in the bush|
About a month ago, one of about five cats that seem to wander thru our neighborhood curled itself up under the bush that sits close to my feeders. It sat, watching intently as the birds continued to eat at the feeder. I remember saying to Dan, “Dumb cat…does he really think he can jump up there and catch a bird!” Not long after, a chickadee landed in the bush, pulling apart a sunflower seed oblivious to the cat sitting near it! After a couple of minutes, the cat slapped at the bird with its paw and missed. Ok…maybe he does have a chance, but the birds have to know he’s there, don’t they? A couple of minutes later, the cat was back in his attack stance under the bush when another chickadee landed! Sure enough…the cat pounced and caught the bird right in his mouth as I watched in shock! He casually walked away with the feathers sticking out of his mouth looking very satisfied! I really hated that cat at that moment!
|The cat in question|
We also have a little chipmunk that lives somewhere near my house who comes and cleans up the sunflower seeds. It is so fun to watch his cheeks get bigger and bigger as he stuffs those seeds in his tiny mouth! I have to admit, I have put out seeds where I know he will come and get them just to watch him! He is so cute! Saturday, I was doing some work around the house and Abby Dog started making her combination growl/snorting noise so I went to the front door to see what was bothering her. I saw the aforementioned cat cutting across the yard with something in its mouth. At first I thought it was another bird…then, thought it was a mouse! Good a mouse…yuck a mouse! On closer examination, I saw in horror that he had “MY” chipmunk in his mouth! I flew to the door, ripped it open and yelled at the top of my lungs “Hey!” The cat was straight ahead of me on the sidewalk and was so startled he dropped the chipmunk, which to my relief darted away from the cat in a mad dash towards the overgrown bush on the other side of the house! Behind him was the cat and behind the cat was ME! The chipmunk made it to safety and the cat high tailed it down the driveway with me chasing him, yelling “Get out of here!” After I was sure the cat was gone, I went back towards the house and could hear a rustling noise and chattering from where the chipmunk had run. I told him “I saved your life, little guy!” and went back in the house.
|My little chipmunk after his "Close Encounter"|
About a half hour later, I saw him back out eating the sunflower seeds, looking no worse for the wear! The cat has shown up a couple of times since then, but has taken off running at the sight of me! I guess he can be lucky I’m not packing a weapon or he might have had a rump full of shot! No…I really don’t think I could harm an animal intentionally…but that cat better not mess with MY chipmunk again or he will have to deal with me! I swear, I hope my neighbors don’t have “Wendetta TV” or I'm sure they got an eye-full on Saturday!
So tune in again for our next episode on “Abby TV” – it’s sure to be an entertaining one! Perhaps, something about Squirrels! Until next time…