Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Soup Days

June 21st marked the winter solstice here in the Southern Hemisphere. A look up at the grey sky and my cold hands confirm the fact. On the positive side, our shortest day and longest night of the year are now behind us. Cold days are a time to turn inwards… to reading (finally finished Cien Años de Soledad), tweaking and organizing my writing and watching the World Cup on television.

While nibbling on a chocolate bar, I observe the birds foraging for seeds outside. The liquidambar next door, its branches bereft of its burgundy leaves, is laden with round prickly seed pods – a tasty bird banquet. First arrive the gregarious green parrots, which in their gluttonous fever, knock the pods to the ground. Then, the doves take over, waddling and pecking at the perilous pods. Returning from my Pilates class this morning, I stepped carefully through the mass of lethal-looking pods on the sidewalk.
Yesterday, arriving to the house, we saw a band of doves dining below the tree, closely watched by a crouching grey cat, its body flattened below the curb. Seeing that the doves were oblivious to the lurking feline threat, I jumped out of the car.
My hubby said, “Wait. Let’s see what happens.”
“No! It’ll catch one!” Doves are slow movers and no match for a cat. I wasn't willing to let nature take its course. Besides, the cat looked well-fed. I think it was Señora Teresa’s cat. She feeds her pets too well. Besides her very fat cat, she has a fox terrier that resembles a large sausage about to burst.
This morning I spotted a fluffy white cat drinking water from our bird bath! Not very clean water as the robins are frequent bathers there. I wonder if the cat noticed the scent of birds. Will the birds pick up the smell of cat? I’m curious and Google for information. Just as I thought, except for some specific species, birds’ sense of smell is the least developed of their senses, thus facilitating the hunt of the hungry cat.

I feel justified interfering with nature yesterday, defending the doves from the cat menace.


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