News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

June 29, 2013

RONN MOTT: Cats and birds don’t mix

I got up the other morning about 6:30 to see if I could help the wife feed the cats. She has it down to a science and probably does better without me than with my help. So while O.C., Mellow, and Magic were eating, I made my morning coffee. The cats normally eat their breakfast and go back out to greet the sunshine and the warmth of the morning. My wife cracks the doors so they can have access while we’re home.

So I sat down to drink my coffee and read the newspaper when a yell came from the kitchen area, “Ronn, come quickly, I need your help!” Magic had carried in a young bird. Still alive, apparently uninjured and screaming its head off. Holy-moly what a scene. We got the cats back outdoors and we were left to do something with the young bird. We got him to the front porch, opened the front door, and he hopped down to a step and then took off flying about a foot off the ground.

This young bird flying that close to the ground simply attracted the cats again.  And it also attracted about every Robin in North Terre Haute. There were about 10 or 11 screeching loudly and diving at the cats as they tried to help this young bird stay with us.

I interceded. We got Magic to go back inside and I picked up Mellow to put him inside. While I was holding him, my shorts (sans belt) fell down around my ankles and I had to retrieve my shorts as Mellow jumped out of my arms. He decided to curl up in my neighbor’s garden hose and I thought the young bird had escaped to safety. I went back to my coffee and paper.

It was not going to be a good day for the birds. Looking out, I saw Mellow had a bird in his mouth which he dropped and wanted to come in. He did. We disposed of the dead bird.

Then Magic, who had gone back out, was seen tossing something in the air and that was the original bird that had created all the excitement. This young bird had been a play toy and had died in the process.

I have always hated this, but my cats, while very good cats, are just that … cats. They have been hunting since the genetic code of cats was established eons and eons ago. Mostly, my cats enjoy playing while trying to keep the birds from escaping. I would love to find a way where they did not find this a part of their make-up, but this is to no avail.

The wife and I try to intervene whenever possible when we see these things about to occur. But, obviously, we can’t be around 24/7 or just the time the cats are outside.

There’s no way you can punish a cat for being instinctively what he is. Our cats are well behaved, they cause no problems to their owners, and they don’t bother other people. They are loving pets, but they will on occasion catch a bird that is either not smart enough or quick enough to escape the cats’ hunting instincts. It was a very disruptive day. A day my cats quickly forgot and were soon ensconced in their midday nap.

I hope we have fewer and fewer of these kinds of mornings, and I hope my young cats get to be worse and worse as hunters rather than better and better.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later New Tactic Deployed in Search for Plane Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Scott Brown Announces Run for U.S. Senate in N.H Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women
NDN Video
8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Toddler climbs into vending machine Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America Applicants Vying for 'World's Toughest Job' Get Heartwarming Surprise Awkward: Crist catches Lt. Gov. insulting him on camera NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse US Airways Tweets Graphic Photo of Nude Woman Behind the scenes of the Marathon anniversary photo shoot American Airlines Responds After Girl Tweets Alleged Terror Threat 'Joke' Charlie White's "Dancing" Mistake Olympic Great & Baltimore Native Michael Phelps Ends Retirement; Eyes Rio 2014 NFL Draft: Potential Booms And Busts William and Kate Squash Baby No. 2 Rumors With a Wine-Tasting Trip Who Showed Up at Coachella?
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity