All pet parents have likely been there and witnessed our dear little four-legged family members and their earnest presentations of their gifts from the great outdoors. Last month we received our latest offering, a token of their enduring affection. I was walking by Winston, our serious goofball Poochon, on a rug with a toy. I took a couple of steps and was like, even among their vast collection of toys, I did not recall something that even remotely resembles a bird. Of course, I backed up and knelt down to investigate. The gift was indeed a bird that had crossed the bridge and had some small portions missing. It must have fallen out of a tree or something and into our yard because the cats do not go outside…most of the time unless they escape and feel the need to climb a tree. That is a story for another time. Anyway…I took the gift and thanked him then told Kathy about our latest gift and she said oh, I saw him concentrating on something in one of the front beds. I was like oh no…he took it with him to his favorite spots, similar to what he does with one of my flip flops when we are both gone. We tracked his path to his favorite spots and of course had to clean two beds and one rug, then took the poor creature out to our woods in the back to offer it back to Mother Earth.
Several years ago, the cats caught their gift that had apparently either ventured too close to the gap that was under the bottom of our screened porch door (rectified shortly thereafter) or the little bird decided to somehow manage to get onto our porch underneath the door. I discovered this gift well after what appeared to have been its demise at the paws of our Maine Coon/Abyssinian litter mates Amos and Andy. They were acting crazier than usual and obviously had their fun in chasing it before their instincts went into kill mode. I went into the master suite for something and saw feathers literally everywhere and was like hmmm, I do not recall a stuffed bird that has these kind of feathers or any for that matter. I think it was Amos at that point that had what remained trapped in the bathroom on a rug and was not happy to part with his “toy.” Now, that was a mess to clean up and we found more feathers in our main living area when we investigated further. The cats are smart and quick as lightening when they decide to go for something.
We love all creatures and feed the birds and squirrels out back but do not really want them in our home. However, we accept the gifts as they come, thank our pack members for their diligence, and then present their offerings back to nature to include the mother hawk who has her nest in our back woods. We had an incident with Andy and one of her babies a few years ago but I will leave that tale for another time.