Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Franklin: Avian Adventure

Franklin: A Eye to the Sky

The last few days have offered exploration, excitement, and a bit of upheaval, too. This weekend Win and I made our first foray onto The Deck – that tantalizing 10-square-feet of al fresco heaven just outside the dining room door. Mom insists that we’re exclusively “house cats,” but it seems that if she’s outside and the weather is fine, we will be allowed to claim this valuable acreage as an extension of our realm.

But before we were allowed to visit, Mom set to sweeping, washing, planting, and discretely tossing last year’s floral failures. Sunday, another glorious day, saw her readying to prepare a barbecue dinner. But when Win and I stepped onto the now-sparkly deck to join her, a sonic eruption took place! Two creatures of the winged type began carrying on in a most raucous manner -- hopping from alder to fir and back again, swooping low overhead, cawing, crying, even hacking at the tree branches to raise the maximum amount of noise.

Winston: What is that racket?

It was clear something untoward was going on. They quieted if we left the deck, but the instant Mom stepped out – and even more if Win or I set a paw to the cedar surface – all heck broke loose! And upon investigation, Mom found that to which we had pointed a paw some minutes earlier: a black beast in feathered form, lying amongst the groundcover.

Neither of us are expert on avian species, but after careful listening to the beasts above, and with judicious use of the Alta Vista “Bird -> Cat” translator, we confirmed that the two in the bush were parent crows, and the one in the hand –- excuse me, in the ivy -- was their fledgling. Mom said we needed to give the smaller bird time to right itself, so she sat food and water next to him and observed him over the evening. The next morning he appeared to be gone. However, he was still present after all; he had just hopped to a new hiding place.

A mission of mercy was in order! We volunteered the use of our carrier to take the fledgling to a wild animal recovery center. (Surprisingly, our offer to serve as traveling companions was courteously declined.) The wild animal center will care for Diablo and release him to the wild once he’s better. Mom will be sending them some help of the financial sort, so that they can carry on their good works.

Peace has returned to the backyard and we may now safely visit the deck again. Having done our bit to help our fellow creature, we’ve now turned to less noble but no less worthy pursuits: perfecting the art of distraction so that one of us can snack on those tasty pansies!

Are they gone yet?
More importantly, will anyone notice if we behead the dahlias?


At May 20, 2009 at 7:24 AM , Blogger Linda said...

How ya' gonna keep them down on the farm after they've seen Paree?

At May 20, 2009 at 11:20 AM , Blogger Gaile Gray said...

It's a good point. They do seem to be spending more time near the deck door now. I don't know if they're hearing the call of the wild or just catching the scent of the petunias. :)

At May 20, 2009 at 11:44 AM , Blogger Linda said...

For some reason, my cats have always loved to sleep on my potted plants. It could be the petunias, or those exciting feathered things out there that is the attraction.

Both probably.

At May 23, 2009 at 12:41 PM , Blogger Gaile Gray said...

Sleeping would be ok, I guess. Although really, bits of bark and plant food give their silky fur _such_ a disheveled look. :)

Seems to me, though, that in observing them, Mr. Picky -- Franklin -- seems particularly interested in adding more greens to his diet.


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