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.
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.