Sunday, June 15, 2014

Saving the Birds

Our outdoor cat killing birds -- the good birds, finches and rose-breasted grosbeaks and blue jays instead of startlings and grackles -- wakes me up in the middle of the night. I no longer worry about money at 3 a.m. I worry about our songbirds.
Author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about this collar on her Facebook page a year or so ago. It's by a company in Vermont called Birds Be Safe ( and I finally ordered one for Fern.
Archie was handy (Fern was outside stalking birds, of course) so he got to be the first model.

The whole point of the collar is to make a cat totally visible to birds because apparently, they see bright colours especially well. The company says it's like your cat is wearing a warning flag.
Not sure if Archie or Fern would agree with that.
The first time Fern wore the collar, in the house getting fed treats as part of the recommended acclimatization, Archie reared up and hissed at her. So then HE had to get used to the collar, and he's not even interested in treats.
Fern ate most of his.
And after a week, he isn't bothered by his sister looking like a clown cat.

The company doesn't claim that a cat wearing this collar won't catch any birds any more; just fewer.
I don't know if Fern is happy about wearing the collar but after a week, she hasn't managed to lose it.

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