Bird in the House

I was sitting on the couch about to drink my coffee when I heard bird sounds from the direction of the family room (to which the catio is attached).  At first I thought it was a forgotten cat toy recently rediscovered, but the sounds were too loud and varied.  I stood up and saw Praline leaping at the wall and realized we had a visitor.

(There would be a picture here of an adorable little bird on the floor near the stairs if I’d thought of it, but my attention was focused on keeping the cats away from it.)

The poor little thing was crouched trembling on the floor, watched by several slightly confused cats.  They knew this moving thing was interesting and worth catching (there’d been a similar experience with a small bat, which I don’t remember if I blogged), but had never actually had the opportunity to.  Since the bird was petrified, I took a chance and picked it up in my left hand, where it huddled and shook and cheeped but was otherwise still, and yanked the (human-sized) door to the catio open.  Vanilla was still out there, but she looked at me with wide eyes and skedaddled.

There’s a mesh door leading to the backyard from the catio, which I intended to go through to release the bird.  However, it has latches on both sides, and unfortunately they were both latched at this time.  As I discovered this, the bird struggled out of my hand and fluttered to the floor.  Spouse had joined me by then and I asked him to go around and unlatch the door from the back.  I then put a pillow in front of the cat door, because I’d forgotten that it locks from the inside rather than the side I was on.

After the door was unlatched I found the poor terrified bird and carried it out to the back and put it on a fence post.

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It just sat there for a bit and at first I worried that it might be injured, but spouse pointed out that it was, well, terrified and catching its breath.  He went back in to properly lock the cat door to the catio, because once the bird recovered, it promptly did this.

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Yes.  It flew directly to the one-inch mesh and popped through to land on the shelf.  Argh.  Well, at least we knew it could fly.

I went back into the catio and watched it for a bit.  I wasn’t the only one.

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It rested for a while.  This gave me the opportunity to get a size comparison, though naturally the camera focused on the greenery in the background.

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I stroked its soft little back one more time and it cheeped and squeezed through the mesh and flew around the corner of the house.  Phew.  I wonder if it’s learned anything from this.

Return of the Catio

It’s a really beautiful day today, and spouse pried open the human-sized door to the catio. (It’s been sticking since winter.) Instant swarm of cats who had apparently never figured out the cat-sized door that’s been there since fall.

I do a few of them an injustice; Praline, Rhombus, and Quot had all gone out a few times. But they might not have realized how much the weather had changed.

Sweet Sleeping Kitties

There is no shortage of adorable naps in my house, but these three from yesterday were particularly charming to me.

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Look at that cute little tooth.
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A week or so ago, on the same day at separate times, spouse and I both noticed for the first time that Velcro has pinkish paw pads.  We’ve had him for nearly nine and a half years.
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Perfect, classic cat.  Somehow blending in more with the green cover than she did with the furry gray one.

That last picture was cropped to stay in theme. Here’s the full picture.

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“Don’t you have anything better to do?”

Backyard

We are enjoying a brief pause between rainstorms, so today I was Responsible and spent some time and energy doing garden tasks.  I realized that it was the first time in, oh, thirty years that I’ve used a rake.  (I grew up in an area which didn’t have enough flat space to need raking, except for the area directly under the enormous live oak tree that held my swing.  Not much point in raking that.)  And also that my gloves were not entirely thistle-proof.  Thanks to all the rain, we’re having a bumper crop of pointy things, albeit mainly around the edges of the area we’re trying to care for.

Unfortunately, all the nice green growing things have not distracted the deer from eating my once-beautiful heucheras.  They’re recovering, a little, but we’re making a trip to Home Depot later to get structures to put netting over them.

Here are some pictures I meant to post last year. (Sigh.)

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Most of them now look like the second picture, at least the ones that have survived.  I’m hopeful that eventually with the application of sun and netting we’ll get something like the other pics again.

Our hanging lantana has also not been well-treated by the weather.  But some of them are looking like they’ll bloom if only the big sky spigot will stay turned off long enough.  I also pulled at least three would-be oak trees out of their planters, the first sprouted acorns I’ve ever seen.

I’m a little annoyed at myself that I don’t seem to have ever cropped etc the pics of the lantana I took when they were blooming, and I don’t feel like digging them out again.  So here’s a picture of Praline dozing.

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