Archive for the ‘Birdwatching’ Category



Every morning about an hour before the alarm is due, Buddy wakes the caretaker from a deep sleep and demands that she let him go outside and take part in the great sing-along. As difficult as it is to process information at 0430 hours, even the elderly caretaker can hear that every bird in the neighborhood has apparently congregated right outside the window of the southwest bedroom and is singing glory to God. Of course, the caretaker has never once met Buddy’s demand to join them in their songs of praise, but he is a persistent chap. In his mind, “never has” does not mean “never will,” so he dreams of a day when he can bounce outside, hop up beside the warblers who herald each new morning, and join them as they croon a tune about the moon. The caretaker strongly suspects that his next move after the song ended would be to deliver a death blow to the back of the nearest avian choir member, but that is only speculation, for she is not willing to negotiate with Buddy on the matter. While the advent of the gospel may mean that the lion will lie down with the lamb, it is nevertheless true that a bird who drops its defenses near a cat is bound for glory on the express train.

Although Buddy’s demands are made almost every morning, there are times when he is more persistent than others. Today was such a day. He yelled repeatedly, and then he hopped onto the caretaker, stomping on all her soft, squishy, nerve-laden parts and giving no indication that he was ready to settle down. Unable to stand much of this torture, the caretaker got out of bed, padded to the kitchen, filled the breakfast bowl, and went back to her bedroom. And then she did the unthinkable. She closed the door while the cats were still on the other side. Her aim was to get 45 minutes of uninterrupted sleep if at all possible. Amazingly, the cats were too proud to beg, so they accepted their banishment without a whimper. However, they also contrived the most annoying passive aggressive responses they could think of.

When the alarm went off and the caretaker opened the door, Buddy spilled through the opening like a furry Niagara Falls. For a few minutes he lay across the doorway with his hindquarters just barely in the room as if to say, “Close the door now, selfish woman. I’ll get myself a lawyer if you even try it.” The caretaker sighed and stepped over the sulking mass of white and black fur. But she entered the bathroom only to find Bear perched on the closed lid of the toilet. The wily cat had figured correctly that a roadblock at this place at this time of day was sure to rank high on the “Bother-o-Meter.”  Meanwhile, Buddy had begun Phase 2 of his payback by executing his finest “silent treatment.” In less than an hour he had gone from being a lead singer with a bird backup band to being a silent recluse, moping under the bed in his room.

Fame is indeed a fickle food.


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