Thursday, September 06, 2012

The letter "P" and the number 15

Today's post is brought to you by the letter "P" and the number 15.

I didn't quite tell the entire story about our "first day of school" ceremony.  From my post the other day it sounded really magical and amazing, didn't it?  It was all that, I assure you, but real life is never all sweetness and rainbows.

The whole story is something quite different.  Somewhere between the sweetness and the rainbow we had a bit of chaos.  We went directly from singing to shrill screaming, crying, and panicked voices.  There was a rush of adrenaline, the scattering of children, and the sucking in of breath.

Sounds pretty curious, doesn't it?

It was all the cat's fault.  Remember how he was bringing frogs into the house?  This past weekend he figured out how to catch birds, and he went a bit crazy.  Three birds in two days.  On Sunday he brought a baby wood pigeon to the back door and left it in a pool of its own liquid.  Not nice.  Later that afternoon he snared a European robin.  We were not happy with him, but not surprised either when he darted through the middle of our rainbow ceremony with a juvenile wood pigeon in his clutches.

Darn cat.  Sunburst ran after him screaming at the top of her lungs and waving her arms wildly.  The other two children followed suit.  And somehow they managed to separate both bird and cat, and Sunburst hauled the cat off to lock him in the house.

The poor bird! The cat managed to rip out all of its tail feathers and a good portion of its flight feathers.  The good news is that it was alive and it could walk.  We watched it hobble off and hide under the evergreen, surely trying to recover from the shock of almost being eaten by a ferocious beast.  We gave it some space and returned to our ceremony, a rainbow after the storm.  When we were finished, the bird was gone.

We looked and looked, but couldn't find it.  We hoped it was safe-- what else could we do?  We went inside and carried on with our day, keeping both cats locked inside for good measure.  We looked again throughout the day, but since there was no sign of the pigeon, we attached several large Christmas bells to the cats' collars and let them back outside.

With giant bells, the cats are absolutely pathetic.  The entire neighborhood can hear them coming.  They can barely manage to catch bugs, let alone birds.  That is until yesterday, when our male cat finally found the one bird he could catch-- the one he already rendered flightless.  He darted by the kids with the same wood pigeon as before in his mouth.  This time we cornered the bird and caged it.   I read that it takes anywhere from three to six weeks to regrow tail feathers, maybe even longer.  If the bird lives that long, then hooray.  I'm skeptical, but I'm not sure if we have any other options.  At least it's eating.  For now.

So the letter P is for.... Pigeon.  Of course it is.  Oddly, the first two letters Kitty Bill drew this week were W and P.  Wood Pigeon?!  Talk about a weird coincidence.

The other strange coincidence is that Einstein and I are celebrating our fifteenth wedding anniversary this week.  Fifteen years!  And it all started with a pigeon-- more specifically, a rock pigeon.  We were sitting at an outdoor cafe, completely blind to each other's existence, when a friendly pigeon hopped up on Einstein's table and stole the straw from his iced coffee.  He sat there playing tug-o-war with this pigeon, and I found the entire thing hilarious.  He heard my laughter and turned, smiling at me, and we were instantly smitten.

We actually celebrate Pigeon Day every year, and it falls during our wedding anniversary week.  Only this year we have an actual pigeon.  It's a little worse for wear, but it's still a pigeon.  As you can see, we have no choice but to try to save it.

After fifteen years of marriage, Einstein and I look a little worse for wear, too.  No marriage is perfect, but most of the time it feels pretty close to that.  Like pigeons, who mate for life, we're in it for the long haul.  Until we're bald and flightless... and then some.

So the letter "P" and the number 15... and I suppose "W" deserves some credit, too.  Wedding anniversary.  Wacky week.  And when the post is delivered in the morning, I'm sure I'll have to answer the question, "Why on earth is there a pigeon in your foyer?"


  1. Anonymous12:03 AM

    I so enjoy reading your posts! You should write a book!

    1. I'm glad you enjoy them. Thank you.

  2. First I would like to say, "Happy Anniversary!" It's also nice to see a picture of you, Sara, it makes things much more personal in this blogging world! What a happy looking couple, the two of you.

    Our cat Julius also gets the birds. What really helps with him is to walk up to him and say quietly "no" or "nein" (he is bilingual). We then grab him slowly from behind and press on his mouth. (They taught us how to do this at the vet when Julius needed to take tablets). He normally lets the bird go. When you do all this too quickly, he normally gets away with his prey, though. Most of his caught birds are still live enough to escape, although sometimes he eats them. We have tried bells, but he has found a way to get rid off collar and bells! Good luck with the cats!

    I like your pigeon story, I have a connection with pigeons and my grandmother, but it would be too complicated to explain. Whenever I hear a pigeon, I feel very close to her due to some pigeon appearances that involved her and me as a small girl. When she lay dying, there was a pigeon again! Her last farewell to me (she could no longer speak). I hope your pigeon will survive.

    1. Thank you, Eva. That's a beautiful story about your grandmother and the pigeon. It gives me chills. :) And I love that your cat is bilingual.

      We had a cat like your Julius when we lived in the states. I think I have even blogged about him. We couldn't keep a collar on him, either. He would make the neighbors so angry catching everything and anything-- even chipmunks. Oh, how I loved that cat, but ugh... I did not love cleaning up after him and taking his injured victims to the wildlife rescue.

      Now that we have the pigeon inside, our cats are very confused. They know that rats aren't food-- the male cat used to snuggle with one of them and bathe her. So now that they see the bird inside, being fed and cared for like the rat, I hope they will understand the same thing. It's worth a try, anyway, though I'm definitely going to keep your trick in mind the next time he catches something.

  3. p.s. Kitty Bill looks like your husband!

    1. Do you think so? People always tell him he looks like his sister, so he will be so happy with your comment. :)

  4. Happy Anniversary! I love the photo. What a Phabulous Week! (Sorry...)

  5. I love that wedding photo so much!

    And this post pretty much sums up why I will NEVER have cats. :-)

    Cari the bird lover :-)

    1. Oh, but not all cats are like this, Cari. I've had many cats that never caught birds; most of them were females, but not all of them. In fact, just before I got married I even had a cat and a parrot that were the best of friends. The parrot would come out and perch on the door of his cage and my cat would rub up against him. They were quite the pair, both vying for my attention. I sure miss them.

  6. Happy Anniversary! Loved your first day of school post, too. Kitty Bill's picture WAS perfect!

  7. Happy 15th Anniversary!!! You two are SO cute together! You've not aged a day, my dear, and are still beautiful! I love the story of how you met.

    Cats...cats are my absolute favorite pets (and maybe animals, period), but their predatory nature causes me chagrin since birds are probably me second favorite animal. Have you seen this article?

    Wishing you and Einstein many, many, many more happy, perfect years together! xo

    1. Thanks for the link, Teresa. Very interesting. It looks like NPR also did an interview with the main researcher-- it has a totally different angle.

      And thank you again for the very sweet comments and wishes! xo

  8. Thanks for the NPR link! I'll go check it out. ABC naturally has a pro-bird bias. For me, it's so hard because it'd be like if my older child kept beating the poop out of my younger one...but yet I love them both still because they are my kids. You know what I mean? :}

    I'd love to see more wedding photos of you two! Can you post one for every anniversary?

    Hope you're having a lovely Sunday! xo

    1. Yes, I know exactly what you mean. And I'm not even going to think about the mess it would make. ;)

      I'll have a look for more photos. xo


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