Tuesday, November 8, 2011

8 Why is it ....

.... a slow and quiet morning can, in an instance, turn into a day of bedlam, and near death


.... I'm always alone on these days and there's no one around to capture it on camera?

I went to the grocery store today and cried when I realized I'd spent all my money. That was before I handed the cashier my coupons and ended up with $23 change. Not bad.

After lugging all the groceries in I begin putting stuff away. That part of the job is easier now that there aren't any dogs underfoot trying to figure out what's in all those bags and if there's anything in there for them. Sometimes the cat will come to investigate but today she is scratching at the back door asking to go out. Anxious to get the job done I open the back door and return to my groceries.

Mistake #1 - forgetting to look out the door first to make sure there's nothing lurking on the back porch.

I continue putting my goods away and just happen to look up and see the cat running back into the house. At first I think she's running from something and think maybe Ninja cat is after her. I instantly realize that isn't the deal when I see she's carrying something in her mouth. I shriek. She runs.

Mistake #2 - never yell at a cat if you don't know want it to run away.

Spunky quickly darts behind the recliner next to the fireplace. I race over and peer at her and her prey. It's dark in the room and hard to see. My first thought is "please God don't let that huge mass of grey be a rat!"

I scream at her to drop it and race over to turn the overhead light on. Returning I see she still has "it" in her mouth and "it" is a bird. I yell, "drop it, Spunky, drop it!" She glares at me. It's times like this when I realize how different dogs and cats are. You yell "drop it" to a dog and he releases whatever is clamped in his teeth. You yell "drop it" to a cat and they look at you and dare you to do something about it.

I do the only thing I could think of at the moment, I reach around from behind and pull her tail. Yes, I pulled the cat's tail. Go ahead and report me to the SPCA, I don't care because it worked. She drops the bird and it just lays there. Ok gross. Now I have a dead bird in the house. What do I do now?

I realize the cat has decided she isn't ready to give up the fight and is inching closer to the poor dead bird. At this point I discover I still have a plastic grocery bag in my hand so I start shaking it in her face. She swishes her tail at me and pounces on the bird.

Feathers fly and once again I shriek. Loudly. Very loudly. At this point I'm beginning to get mad. I reach over and with my super woman strength push the chair out of my way. The cat realizes that mom means business and takes off down the hall. I knew then this was my only chance to get the poor dead bird out of the house because it's only a matter of minutes before she'll return and try to claim her booty. Yes, a dead bird to a cat is like hidden treasure to a pirate .... that and I like using the word booty. Anywho, I gingerly reach down with the plastic bag over my hand, prepared to scoop up the dead bird.

Mistake #3 - always make sure the bird is dead before you go to pick it up.

Imagine my surprise when the dead bird rises up from the ashes and begins frantically darting around the room. I shriek again. Really, really loud this time. The bird continues flying in circles, the cat comes racing in from the bedrooms, and I'm standing in the middle of the room flapping my arms.

I quickly realize this isn't getting us anywhere so, being the mature person I am, I stop flapping and stifle my shrieks. I know the other two aren't going to stop what they're doing as long as they are in the same room. I have to separate them. I figure my best bet is to chase the cat back into a bedroom. Surprisingly she complies by running into the first room we come to. I'm sure at this point she's probably thinking maybe that bird isn't worth dealing with the crazy, shrieking, human.

My bad, that is NOT what she is thinking. Instead it is a tactical move on her part.

Mistake #4 - in order to capture and detain a cat in a room you must be able to close the door to the room.

I've been meaning for weeks to take those bags of clothes to Goodwill. Too bad they're still sitting there on the floor right. in. front. of. the. door. Ugh! I try kicking them out of the way, and meanwhile the cat escapes once again into the dining room.

The same room where the bird is still flying around, darting from one wall to another.

Gleefully the cat starts jumping on tables, chairs, the desk .... all in an attempt to recapture the bird. And me? I'm shrieking and flapping my arms again. Have I mentioned that I really don't like birds? When I was a kid we had friends that had a pet bird. I hated going to their house because she would always let the bird out of it's cage and it would fly around the room and then dive bomb right into my hair. I just knew that any moment now this stupid bird was going to go after my head.

Any chance of ending this peacefully is to get the cat out of the room so, once again, I go after Spunky.

This time she has a plan of her own. A plan in which she runs in the opposite direction, goes through the living room, through my craft room, through the kitchen and back into the dining room. Did you know that cats are really fast? She can make that trip in mere seconds. On the other hand, me the overweight, middle-aged woman cannot. I am, at this point totally out of breath and no longer able to shriek. Maybe I should just give up and let nature take it course. It's only the thought of cleaning up bird guts that gives me strength to carry on. That thought accompanied by my cat's one wrong move enables me to grab her. The move? She stopped to glare at me again!

I quickly take the cat to my bedroom and close the door, ignoring her mews of protest. I return to the dining room  determined to bring this all to an end. I decide to retrieve my handy dandy butterfly net from the back porch to assist in the capture. Yes, I have a butterfly net. Why you ask? Well you see, we are in the habit of leaving the screen door from the porch to the backyard open. It made it easier for the dogs to go in and out but it also made it easier for birds to fly into the porch. For some reason it's really easy to fly into the porch but extremely hard to get back out. I have to go out fairly frequently to get the birds off the porch and the butterfly net is just the right tool for doing so.

Mistake #5 - leaving the porch door open is no longer necessary since we no longer have dogs. I'm pretty sure this whole bird debacle started with a bird coming into the porch. Grrrr!

Can I mention at this point that the whole time we've been running and flapping and shrieking that the backdoor has been open and yet the dumb bird made no effort to fly out of the room onto the porch and beyond? No that would have been far too easy.

Anywho, I come back into the room with my net, ready to capture the bird. I wave it around like a flag, my intent is to nab him in a fly-by. He tricks me when he makes a 90 degree turn and heads for the kitchen. As he makes his turn he flies perilously close to my head and I of course .... shriek. again. I also close my eyes, something I do when I think something bad is about to happen (a really bad thing to do when you're driving by the way).

I open my eyes and don't see the bird anywhere. Did he do an about face and fly out on to the porch after all? No. Did he take another sharp turn and go into the craft room? No. Did he make it all the way into the living room? No. Back in the kitchen. No bird. Ok, this is getting old. I want that $%^& bird out of my house! And then I hear it.

Flutter, Flutter, Thud.

Flutter, Flutter, Thud. 

There's the stupid bird, in the bay window - seeing the great outdoors - trying desperately to get to it. At this point the bird and I go into a little dance. Me trying to snap the net over him, trapping him against the window, and him darting away just in the nick of time. I'm shrieking again. This time it's shrieks of frustration. Thank goodness my next door neighbor is out of town, otherwise I'm sure he would have called the police by now thinking I'm surely being tortured by something evil. Finally in a final act of desperation I put the plastic grocery bag over my hand and bring the my hand, the bag, the bird, and the net together in one swift move.


We've made contact and the bird is trapped. Just as fast as my chubby little legs will take me, I run outside and open up the net.

Fly little bird, fly!

He just lays there and with a blank look in his eye. Fly bird, fly! Nope, not moving. Oh great. Now I've killed the bird.

Once more I yell, "Fly bird, fly!" But this time I get right in his face and yell it. He blinks his beady little eye at me. He flutters his wings, as if testing the air, then swiftly rises up and darts off.

Finally success.

I trudge back into the house, eager to finish putting the groceries away. I sure hope all frozen stuff hasn't thawed. Just as I get done I realize there was something I'd forgotten to do.

I go to the back of the house and open the bedroom door. There sits Spunky in front of the door, a glare on her face and a bird feather sticking out of her mouth. She has a few choice words for me, none of which I can repeat because this is a family-friendly blog. She swishes her tail and pristinely prances away.

The bird may have dodged a bullet today but I have not. Rest assured, she is plotting her revenge on me at this very moment. I'll be sleeping with one eye open tonight!

Mom, why you take my prize away?


  1. Omigosh, Sherri, you are HILARIOUS. I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud reading a blog post. I'm surprised my kids didn't call the men in white jackets to come and take me away. Thanks! I needed that! :-)

  2. *sigh* I so remember my Prissy cat doing the exact same thing with birds and mice. Her mama taught her to hunt and catch, but forgot to teach her how to kill. You did a great job capturing your day and sharing with us--thank you! Settle down now and have a nice cuppa. Your kitteh was just showin you how iz done.