Mornings find me taking Frank, my dog, out for his walk. As the door closes behind us, it is a signal for other animals to join. Our lady cat named Marble wraps around my legs until I scratch her head briefly, then she falls in. Our black cat, named Hal (short for Halloween because that’s when he showed up at our house as an abandoned kitten} ignores me but walks closely to his beloved friend, Frank. Hal has an abbreviated tail. Where he lost part of it is a mystery, but he survived the embarrassment and joins our parade.
Off the three of us go on the familiar morning path. We aren’t alone for long. Every morning a catbird provides aerial surveillance, swooping down on the cats. He particularly dislikes Marble.
I’ve never attributed cats with many ‘smarts’, but Marble shelters at my legs until we pass the tree growing in the catbird’s territory. So far, the bird hasn’t tried to get into my hair. Then one morning, the catbird no longer bothered us. Marble has been seen eating feathered food, but I’d rather think that the catbird’s eggs hatched, her babies no longer nesting, and the need for protecting her tree no longer necessary.