The Great Feline Outdoors

blue tit pecking seeds

“Fluffy the sun is shining, we have warm temperatures and the birds are feeding.”

“Big deal Tabby, so what do we do?”

“We sit and wait until the bird has forgotten that we are there and pounce.”

“No-one will be pouncing Tabby, go and play together.”

“Felines do not play Mrs. Human, our life is concentrated on “The Importance of being Feline” based on the famous work by Oscar Wildcat. We think and therefore we are, in the words of Renée Des Cats, so do not tell us how we should approach the natural reflexes of the flying population. They are born to be supplied as our daily meal.”

“But you never seem to catch one Tabby.”

“Fluffy, be quiet, I am thinking and you will discourage my bird concentration. I think the bird does not realise I am here, it is still pecking at the delicacies supplied by Mrs. Human. I will now sleek up on the bird with my paws and pounce.”

“But Tabby.”

“Fluffy will you please hold your whiskers, the bird has now flown away due to your loud meows. You startled him.”

“And if Fluffy had not frightened the bird away, I would have done so. Birds are not in my garden as a supplement to your vitamin enriched food pellets.”

“Oh here she comes again, Mrs. Human with her food pellets. How would you like to eat dry food pellets Mrs. Human, instead of your juicy steaks, potato and vegetable.”

“That is not the question.”

“Mrs. Human it is written in the book of Bastet, chapter 992, verse 37, felines should be fed on something that once lived.”

“But your pellets lived, in another form of course. You have chicken flavoured pellets.”

“Oh, big deal, but I don’t see any chicken wings or legs, not even a feather in sight: just a brown pellet and it doesn’t make a noise either.”

Daily Feline Prompt: No, Meow

Is there a place in the world you never want to visit? Everywhere


“Why should Fluffy and I go somewhere else?”

“Of course Tabby, when we have the table laid in the garden, just four paws away, there is no reason to travel.”

“OK felines, I just thought you might like a change. Somewhere nice in the country with some different scenery.”

“And how do we get to this nice place Mrs. Human?”

“I would take you both in the car.”

“No way Mrs. Human. Cars are things for taking felines to vets, a real Rocky Feline Horror Picture Show. Forced into a cage, rocked up and down and then the big shock with jabs and thermometers in private places Fluffy, don’t believe her. It is all a trick to get us to go somewhere. No, we will remain where we are. Permanent full dish of food, even if it is only vitamin pellets you have to force down your throat and our own cat tray which the person we own cleans.”

“I just thought you would like a little change.”

“Tabby I do not want a change.”

“Don’t worry Fluffy, we stay where we are. See what you have done Mrs. Human, Fluffy is nervous and is spraying his territory.”

“Yes Tabby, I can smell it. Thank goodness we are in the garden.”

“Talking of the garden Mrs. Human, I think I will take a walk.”

“I will come with you Tabby. How shall we do it. A quiet sleek or a quick pounce.”

“We will combine it Fluffy. Sleek up as near as possible and when they are stuffing themselves with birdseed and think they are safe we will pounce.”

“No, Fluffy and Tabby, there will be no pouncing.”

“Mrs. Human do you have to speak in such a loud voice. That big fat juicy bird has now flown away.”

“That was the idea felines. I was thinking about a nice plate of tuna fish.”

“OK, but garnished with catnip Mrs. Human.”

Daily Feline Prompt: No, Meow

Daily Feline Prompt: A Moment in Feline Time

What was the last picture you took? Tell us the story behind it. (No story behind the photo? Make one up, or choose the last picture you took that had one.)

Blue Tit

“We took a great photo there Tabby.”

“Yes Fluffy, it was good co-operation. I balanced the camera between your ears and pressed the button with my paw. Luckily those big cameras are paw friendly.”

“But the camera was heavy Tabby. I was glad when you were finished.”

“But Fluffy, you are blind, how do you know what is on the photo.”

“That is not important Tabby, I heard the bird munching at the seeds and fluttering with her wings now and again, so I knew you were taking a photo of our dinner.”

“She was a nice bird Fluffy, I think the humans call it a blue tit. It was a shame that Mrs. Human came out and took the camera away. Just when I was thinking about making the final pounce.”

“She is a spoil sport Tabby. Always intervenes when life gets interesting. Do you think your photo would be featured in the Feline Ornithological Calendar for this year.”

“It has a good chance Fluffy. I will upload it on my paw pad and mail it to the judges. I heard that Nera is on the jury this year, so we will have a good chance.”

“Oh yes, she always puts in a good word for us in Bastet’s ear. What is the prize if we get into the calendar.”

“A weeks holiday in the eternal corn chambers as apprentice mouse catcher to Nera.”

“Fun, do you think Mrs. Human will mind if we disappear for a week.”

“We might not win, I heard that the ginger tom from next door took a photo of that naked cat next door with a butterfly in its mouth. Apparently it is favoured for its artistic value.”

“Artistic value. I thought the culinary values were rated higher, who cares if it looks good, as long as it tastes good.”

“That is true Fluffy, I think we could begin packing our cat trays for the journey.”

Daily Feline Prompt: A Moment in Feline Time

The Bird House


“Tabby, Fluffy come here!”

“Yes Mrs. Human, to your command Mrs. Human.”

“Cut the politeness, you are not usually so polite. You both have the impression that you are in charge in my home.”

“In our home, Mrs. Human, just a small correction.”

“What is that poster doing on the wall outside our home?”

“We thought that now the feeding station, sorry bird house, is in position, we could drum up some audience to watch the birds. You know how much we appreciate our feathered friends in Winter, and we thought we would invite some our our fellow felines in the neighbourhood to participate in the bird watching.”

“This does not look like an invitation, it looks more like a threat and a profit making business.”

“No, Mrs. Human, how could you? We only have good intentions. Fluffy and I, were admiring the wonderful construction of the feline feeding station for birds and we decided to share its advantages with our fellow felines.”

“And you are charging them for the purpose. I read one tin of tuna fish or a share of the hunting results. First of all I am not donating our supply of tuna fish to any feline that happens to want to do some bird watching, and there will be no hunting in my back garden, so there will be no hunting results.”

“But Mrs. Human, let us explain. In winter our feathered friends are hungry and from the goodness of your heart you are supplying seeds to help them exist throughout the cold weather. This means that the birds will be flocking in hundreds to share all the goodies. They are open to attack from other animals and we just want to protect them. If the bird house is surrounded by felines showing their claws and gnashing their teeth it will scare any other dangerous animals away. It is part of our bird protection scheme.”

“And what about the hungry felines watching the flying food chain.”

“That is the clever part Mrs. Human.They will supply us with tins of tuna fish for permission to watch or take part. All felines enjoy bird watching, it is one of our favourite sports. You will then have enough tuna fish for us without having to buy it.”

“And the hunting results.”

“In every business proposition there is an element of risk. Generally the birds are too fast for us. It is only the babies that do not get away, but in Winter there are no babies. Fluffy and I agreed to add those words, as it would encourage more of our feline friends to partake in the enjoyment.”

“Tabby, Fluffy, remove the poster at once. I want happy satisfied birds in my garden and not feathered game to satisfy the appetite of the local felines and flying in fright worried about being eaten. And if I see one feather in my home, or our home, from a sparrow, blue tit or finch, there will be no more tuna fish and I will count your vitamin pellets one by one before serving them. Is that clear?”

“What about Bubu?”

“Who is Bubu?”

“He is the chief feline in the neighbourhood and the Gato di tutti Gatti (cat of all cats). It was his idea and he paid us two tins of tuna fish to make the preparations.”

“You can tell Bubu, the boss of your cat mafia that if I find one dead bird I will have Bubu’s whiskers as an ornament on the wall. Is that clear?”

“But Bubu will not like that.”

“I don’t care what Bubu likes. And now have one of your famous sleeps that last 22 hours and meditate about it. In the meanwhile I will tell the birds to organise a couple of crows as guards on the bird house.”

“Oh, we don’t like crows, they are so dangerous.”


A bird in the paw is worth ……..


“No felines, I know what you are thinking, but this is a daily prompt for me, not for you and it says “A bird in the hand” not a paw.”

“Ok Mrs. Human” said Tabby, “agree, but what brilliant idea and memory do you have in this context?”

“Err, well I am thinking about it.”

“Exactly Mrs. Human, Tabby and I do not even have to think about it, the answer is quite clear. Even Fluffy our apprentice knows the answer to that one, agreed Fluffy.”

Nera the chief feline, always had the last word.

“Of course Nera. Mrs. Human first of all this cliché originated in Egypt many years ago at the time of Bast. Actually I believe she invented it. The original phrase was “A bird in the paw is worth two in the cornfield”. There were not many bushes around in Egypt at that time, but lots of corn.”

“You see, Mrs. Human, even Fluffy knows the answer to that. It is integrated in feline life. Humans stole the idea from us and reversed it to suit themselves, as usual. Do I have to explain further, the case is quite clear.”

I wanted to tell Nera that her words of wisdom were not actually necessary, but she continued all the same.

“Just look out of the window Mrs. Human, what do you see?”

“My garden.”

“No, Mrs. Human, what is in the garden, that is important. A food station for felines, commonly known in the human language as bird house. What do you put in the bird house?”

“Nera that is quite obvious, I put food in the bird house for the birds.”

“To continue, the bird house is for attracting birds, a type of nourishment that is very welcome to the feline taste buds. The problem is that the birds are sitting on the bird house and munching away at the food, so we felines have to make decisions. The bird is not yet in the paw. However, with some patience it might happen that a bird will decide to sit on the ground after feeding, to encourage the digestion. It is then that I, Tabby and Fluffy enter the stage, speaking figuratively. We sit and watch, and slowly put one paw in front of the other, not making a sound, reducing the distance between ourselves and our next meal. We have an unsuspecting bird in front of us and the quieter we are the more the chance.”

“Nera, I did not put the bird house in the garden as an alternative to your vitamine rich pellets that I feed you with.”

“Mrs. Human would you rather eat a plate of dry food than a nice juicy steak.”

“But dry food is not something that humans eat. It would be difficult to swallow.”

“Exactly Mrs. Human, but we feline victims of the human way of life, are expected to relish a dish of chicken flavoured brown pellets and swallow it. Then we drink a bowl of liquid to wash it down. The only remark I hear is “the felines have drunk a lot today”. What do you expect?  We need a highlight to our boring meals now and again. Fresh bird meat is a delicacy. Not only do we have the fun of the hunt, but a reward afterwards if we catch the bird in our paw. Hence “A bird in the paw is worth two in the birdhouse.”
And Tabby and Fluffy both clapped with their paws and loud agreement in Meow was said. I decided there was nothing more intelligent to add to this conversation. Feline remains feline.



A cat’s eye view of the bird world

Blue tit feeding at bird house

Nera the feline took her usual fresh air walk in the garden and had to stop and stare.

“Tabby, come here. At last Mrs. Human has an intelligent idea. We now have fresh food in the garden. Forget the tins of tuna, our food now comes on its own and it’s alive.”

“Nera sister, you mean Mrs. Human has started breeding mice?”

“No stupid, she has hung a bird house on a tree. Couldn’t be better. Those stupid birds don’t know what will hit them.”

This was when I decided to join in with this conversation, and steer it onto a sensible path.

“Nera, Tabby, that is not the idea. The birds have to search for their food in Winter when it is cold and starts snowing. They have to find the seeds they need to keep them alive through Winter and I am helping them.”

Nera looked at me as if I was from another planet and Tabby just shook her head. Fluffy arrived from his sleeping place and held his head up.

“What can I smell?” Fluffy said. “Fresh bird meat and I feel the quivering of wings in the air. Do we have a bird cantine?”

“No Fluffy, we do not.” I was becoming a little angry. “I have put a bird house up for the birds to feed.”

Tabby, Nera and Fluffy now put their feline heads together and started whispiering to each other.

“Let’s humour her” Nera said. “I have a brilliant idea to simplify access to the new food cupboard.”

“Fine Mrs. Human, but may I make a suggestion to improve life for the birds?”

I really did not know Nera from the considerate side, so decided to strike the iron while it was hot.

“Of course, Nera, I am sure the birds would appreciate any feline suggestion to their benefit.”

“I was thinking that the bird cantine is a bit high on the tree. Those poor birds will be exhausted flying up to reach it all the time. Why not place it on the ground. It would be much easier for the birds.”

“Yes Mrs. Human” joined in Tabby and Fluffy together, “that is a super idea, would make life much easier for our feathered lunch, sorry friends of course.”

“No, felines. I might be your slave, but I am not stupid. The idea is to maintain bird life in the surroundings and not destroy it.”

Blue Tit feeding

“I can feel bird movement in the apple tree and hear munching sounds” said Fluffy, who is blind.

“Your are right Fluffy. Mrs. Human as put up a supermarket in the tree branches. The birds are hanging on the food balls with their claws. Now that is an easy job. Just jump and snatch. Nera and I will let you have your share Fluffy, when we are full up.”

“Enough” I said. “That is not a supermarket for bird lunch, but a feeding parcel for the birds: a mixture of seeds and fat to keep them warm and safe through the Winter.” I was getting a little annoyed at the way this discussion was going. “If one of you felines touch so much as a feather on a birds wing, it will be house arrest for the Winter and the only tuna fish you will see will be in a tin with the lid firmly on it. One jump up a tree branch and I will throw the tin opener away. Have I made myself clear?”

There was as feline silence for a while. They were talking in telepathy to each other, something I had not yet been able to learn. Nera being the spokesfeline looked at me with her big yellow eyes.

“Mrs. Human, we think that your line of logic and reasoning needs something to be desired, but you being a human, we will excuse your mistaken thoughts. Comparing a winter inside without tuna fish with a bird meal, we have decided to let the birds roam and take advantage of your new garden concept. Bearing in mind that we felines do not like snow or cold weather and weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of the situation, we have decided to defer from any mouth watering attempts to have a blue tit for breakfast, a sparrow for lunch and a yellow tit for tea.”

“That is very considerate of you Nera, Tabby and Fluffy – TABBY COME DOWN FROM THAT TREE”

“Sorry Mrs. Human just following my instinct. We cats love to climb trees especially if there is a house on it for …..”

“Shhhhh, Tabby, she doesn’t have to know everything. My eyes are now strained with so much good food flying around, I now need a rest. What do you think felines?” Nera intervened.

“You are right Nera, there are better things to do than bird watching after all” said Fluffy and Tabby and all three cats crawled through the cat flap and went to their favourite sleeping places. I was sure I could hear them meowing in their sleep – “a laid table for meals, and it is not even flying around.”

Blue tit on a tree

Creative Challenge #221 – Flight/Fly


“Whew now that was a narrow escape. Those cats sleek up on you when you really don’t expect. Not a sound, not a murmer.”

“Meow, what do you expect bird, you were supposed to be my dinner and tea.”

“Forget it Tabby cat. You might have a MacDonalds “M” on your forehead, but that certainly does not give you the right to deprive five young chicks of a father on the search for a juicy worm. Those baby birds are the personification of a recycling machine. Feed them and it arrives at the other end in a few seconds and so you have to feed them again. So just leave us birds in peace until the brood has flown out.”

“Hey bird, can you tell me when the flying out day is?”

“So that you and your feline pack can take the pickings? Forget it. Their flying out day is between me and the missus. We didn’t hatch those eggs for them to be the breakfast, dinner and tea of a feline tribe. How would you like your kittens to be fed on by a wandering animal, or taken off to a lair to be fed on the chicks.”

“No problem” answered the Tabby cat. “We cats are too fast and stealth to make a meal for another animal, and forget the birds. They are too stupid. And Mrs. Human said there will not be any kittens.”

“If I was stupid Tabby, I would now be sitting in your stomach amongst digestive juices. We are fast and notice every movement in the air.”

“We are even faster. I just let you go, as Mrs. Human called that our tuna fish portions were ready.”

“You see how stupid you are, relying on humans for a meal. By the way Tabby, the godparents of my babies are the chief crow and his missus and they would do anything to keep their godchildren safe.”

“I didn’t see any crows when I was about to pounce.”

“You think so?” said a deep booming voice from the tree. “We were watching Tabby, and if you had bent one little feather on our friend the blackbirds body, we would have pounced. Your body would have been clamped in our claws and now we would be have Christmas and Thanksgiving day all at once on your remains.”

“Foget it crow. We are fast and agile.”

“And we can fly” said the crow and the blackbird together.

Tabby decided to go home. There was no feline argument against flying and  afterall there was a plate of tuna fish waiting and she did not have to hunt for that or try to catch it. It was all ready  in a dish.Cats could not fly, that was true, but Tabby was glad. She was shortsighted and suffered from vertigo. The top of a cupboard was the highest observation post she could manage, but trees were not her thing. She made a mental note of sticking to fish and mice. Birds were not so interesting, especially when crows were involved.

From a Feline Perspective

Bird and snow

Now this one is right up my street. First of all let me introduce myself. I am Nera the most intelligent cat belonging to Mrs. Human. At the moment Mrs. Human is busy doing something called housework so I thought I would say a few words about this picture. The thing you have to know is that from the point of view of a human, this picture probably arouses such ideas as “poor little bird out in the cold snow” or “what a pretty sight to see a bird in a tree in front of the window”. The basic impression on a cat is “Look, something fresh for dinner”, although it is not an easy task.

First of all we have the bird up on a tree, which is too high for me and my feline friends. The first thought is naturally how do we get the bird down from the tree? This is easier said than done, but there are birds that like to look for their food on ground level. If you are lucky, it might be such a bird and this example seems to be such a species. The first thing is to wait until the bird descends from the tree. This needs a lot of patience. Generally we feline experts crouch behind a bush in the garden, nicely hidden from the view of the bird. There is a large disadvantage in this picture as the surroundings are wet, full of snow and it is common knowledge that we cats do not like to get wet, at least not from something that descends. Walking through snow is not so bad, although is to be taken in small doses.

So back to the bird, it is hungry and flies to ground level looking for whatever birds look for. I am not so well acquainted with the bird diet but generally the humans give them seeds from plants, although I have seen a bird help itself to a worm from the garden – disgusting creatures really.. We felines now have to be very careful, making no noise and no immediate movements. Birds are not as stupid as you might think. As soon as they notice a movement they are away and they can be very quick.

Coming back to the picture, it is quite obvious that a human is looking out of an open window. If the human makes enough noise, which is probably the case, humans being quite clumsy creatures sometimes, it will probably frighten the bird away, but we cats are watching, following the movements of the flying bird with our eyes and waiting until it settles. We have generations of training in our body and brain. Reflecting to the days when we did a deal with the Egyptians. They needed us to protect their food, and we were well rewarded. The main part of the diet was mouse in the corn chambers, but out in the fields there were plenty of birds hanging around for some corn. We felines were always ready for a supplement and those birds were not hanging around very long when we were there.

Today, things have changed. Birds have become careful and just do not wait for a cat to walk past. The best moments are when the humans actually feed the birds. If you are lucky there will be a few birds pecking away at the food on the ground and that is the time to pounce.

So human, if you see a sweet little bird in front of the window, spare a thought for your feline friends and send it in our direction.

I will now have to go, I just saw a nice small feathery friend fly past the window. Looks like food might be landing in the garden soon.