Thursday, February 12, 2015


With two outdoor cats, my mother's balcony is the only safe place for the birds to feed. She provides food for them year-round, offering the seed up on a pizza tray since her son-in-law complained about the seeds clogging up, and rotting in, the gaps between the boards. 
In the winter, the birds need more seed but no tray. They must appreciate her daily efforts to keep them supplied with food. Every so often, we hear a squawk from Mum's room and know a couple of starlings have landed or worse, a huge pigeon.
"It's like a jumbo 747 landing in the middle of everything," she says.
I miss feeding the birds. Before the stray cat Fern arrived in December of 2011, we were a bird sanctuary. We counted 31 different species in 2010, including pine grosbeaks. We had half a dozen feeders spread around the property. My husband called bird seed his new addiction.
But when you look outside and see the black-and-white cat sitting in the wooden tray feeder out front, you kind of lose your appetite for feeding the birds.

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