Saturday, October 17, 2009

Good Morning Reaper.

It is Saturday morning. I have been looking forward to this Saturday morning since the last one. A chance to sleep in with no cost attached and another day of it to come. I don't even sleep very late, but it's the principle of it.

The nemesis of sleeping in is to live with a HoneyCat. If you follow me on Twitter, you've seen me talking about HC's extra snuggling lately. I keep it fairly cool in the house and we both benefit from her desire her to be on me at all times, in whatever strange shape that requires, aswhen sharing space with a laptop. And when I go to bed, she follows closely and the symbiosis continues. Until 6am. When I am apparently absurd to think that the blackness in the window means it's not time to get up yet.

Paws. Meow meow meow yow meow meow. Paws with light claw. Meeeow meooow meow. Head bumping my face.

Since it's chilly out but not yet frigid, I can still default to laziness. Let the cat out. Shuffle shuffle. Crack open the living room window. Shuffle hop back into bed. She'll let herself back in when she's ready and by the time she needs breakfast, I'll need coffee.

Today was no different, only I anticipated a longer "cat nap" because she still had food in her bowl. She goes out at 5:55.

At 6:46 I am jostled by movement in the living room and a new sound.

Frantic chirping.

Even in my sleep slow brain, I know it is too loud to be a cricket and too song-like. I approach the threshold of my bedroom and stop.

A scattering of gray down feathers first, then a sparrow on it's back with it's neck at a strange angle. HC is batting at it (claws in) until she notices me. Then she trots over and starts rubbing against my bare legs. She has a small feather stuck to her mouth and is purring. Oh God.


HC is unceremoniously shoved back outside and I'm at a loss as to what to do with this poor winged item, shaking and blinking in my living room. I miss Jaimeson. He who continues to brag on the hunting prowess of his childhood cat, Tiger. He who hunts but maintains a strong natural sympathy. He handles the raw poultry nine times out of ten.

Ok. I can do this by myself.

The cat is beating at the now closed window with padded paws. She is absolutely bewildered by my response. I call my Dad, who has been through this many times with many cats and gone to great lengths. I have memories of bringing birds/prey in shoeboxes to Lichterman as a horrified child. Now looking at this bird, I have a few guesses as to what happened from there.

And thus we are brought almost to the present. With me poking holes in the top of a Cuisinart mini-chop box and laying an old black dish towel inside. I scoop up Sparrow with a hand covered in paper towels and the bird is again alarmed to be touched. I may have tried to whisper calm things to him before setting the box outside, lightly closed.

Dad's advice was to leave the box for an hour or two. That the bird may have simply been in shock and could come around. Or not. If the bird is still suffering by then, it would be advisable to find a pellet gun.

Oh yes, definitely. They don't so much as sell aerosol cans in the city and I've never held any kind of gun beyond Super Soaker. Again with the wish J wasn't in California.

But that's where we are. I am now having coffee with HoneyCat, ushered back inside when the box went out, and the Grim Reaper. GR is just waiting in the wingback chair to see if his services are necessary, commenting every so often on NPR stories. Takes his coffee black, don't you know.

And HC. My chubby, docile roommate. She of the turquoise, rhinestone-studded collar with bell is an official huntress.

Either that or the bird flew into the window and she's taking credit for it, I haven't ruled that out but doubt it. To date, I've only known HC to hunt imaginary grasshoppers on warm summer days in the garden.

Now she wants to curl up next to the hot mug I'm holding, to be properly rewarded for her prowess with a head scratch. This is nature and at the end of the day, this girlfriend of mine is still an animal. I can't be mad at her. It'd be futile to attempt discouraging her, bloodthirsty bitch that she is.


Maris said...

OH how horrifying. I had a similar experience once - actually it wasn't so similar but I found a live mouse in a glue trap in my kitchen and had to dispose of it. As unwanted as it was, disposing of it was awful.

I want to meet HC next time I'm in Chi!!

Doniree said...

Lichterman? As in Nature Center?! You're from Memphis?!??!

So am I. And went there many, many times.


TKTC said...

Maris- You will definitely be meeting the illustrious Lady HoneyCat sooner rather than later. She awaits your appointment. Don't mind the gore.

Doiree- SERIOUSLY?! How did this not come up? I grew up in Germantown!

Melissa said...

Uuurrrrghhhhh. I was shaking with empathetic laughter at the beginning of the story and cringing at the poor thing! Reminds me of the day I walked into the house after school and found my canary's cage lying open on the floor, yellow feathers everywhere, and Butterball, my mother's cat, strutting around with a look of smug satisfaction on her (feathered) mouth. I'm still tormented by that memory.

Amanda said...


At least it was brought to you with love though!

joner said...

well-written, Jessi. Loved the descriptive story of one HC :)

Pam said...

My one cat used to bring all manner of creatures through his cat door into the house. Snakes, squirrels, birds, mice, rats. Lovely.

TKTC said...

Melissa- I'm so sorry that you had Sylvester for a childhood cat and I am HORRIFIED that the children's cartoon actually lived out it's fate in your elementary school home. We love out kitties but must they be so violent?

Amanda-True story. She loves me. I love her back. I show my love by taking her to the vet(she hates cars. She HATES the vet), she shows hers by bringing me mostly dead animals. Love is a mysterious thing.

Joner- Well aren't you sugar pie? Thanks. I was inspired by my personal horror, disgust and unconditional love.

Pam- I'm gonna stop you at snakes. SNAKES. Rikki Tikki Tavi the CAT! Thank God we are not prone here. Though HC's interest in the occasional household pests like moths. Or (GEW!) millipedes would be encouraged and rewarded. So far? Not so much.