Because my dear old blind cat Frankie was an indoor/outdoor cat in her prime, and an excellent, excellent hunter, I never fed the birds. It seemed cruel.
Now that Old Frankie is gone, and we have the new three, they are all indoor cats. So we have begun feeding the birds. It started a few years ago with humming-bird feeders. Then a suet feeder. Then, for Christmas, I got a “squirrel proof song bird feeder” by Audubon. I was sceptical, but I filled it up and sure enough, small song birds came to feed. But not many. My sister-in-law suggested filling it with black sunflower seeds. I did that, and mixed in a little thistle, because I had seen some goldfinches in the neighborhood.
Well, now we have lots and lots of birds around – chickadees and nut hatches and hummingbirds, mourning doves, three different sizes of woodpeckers (hairy, downy, and pileated) and some little birds that I think are tree swallows. We also have a gray squirrel who is determined to get into the suet, but I think I might have slowed him down on that score some by putting the post in a plant pot in the middle of the deck. I am sure he will figure it out, but it will take him a bit. And there are squirrel teeth marks in the top of the feeder, but so far, the lid clamps have held, and he can’t fit into the grid.
But the little chipmunk can.
Yep. I looked out today and he was noshing away on those sunflower seeds. I rapped on the window and he left, briefly. The next time, I picked up a protesting Zumba and we went out. She was wild to get down, and vocal. I didn’t put her down, but Mr. Chipmunk got the message – he should hide for a few minutes.
Next time, I went out with a squirt bottle. He looked right at me and dared me. So I squirted him. Not just until he left the feeder, but when he scurried on the ground. Nailed him a few times too. Then I sat quietly, and when he returned, I did it again. Three times before the black flies found me.
Meanwhile, A sat on the couch laughing at me.
But she won’t be laughing if it works.
Also, something got a mourning dove. I think a hawk or something because all that was left was feathers, sometime last evening or this morning. So maybe it is cruel to feed the birds even when I don’t have a mighty hunter of a cat on the prowl?
In spite of my work, the cats still love their live “theater” – they sit and watch all the activity for hours.
Come to think of it, so do we…