Teddy and the Woodpigeon23 January, 2008
Last summer, a fledgling flew into our garden at twilight. What the stupid bird was trying to do, I don’t know – most of the neighbourhood birds avoid our garden.
If I hadn’t seen it with my eyes I wouldn’t have believed it. Teddy took off after it and when it tried to gain altitude, he sprang at least 3 feet off his hind legs, did a remarkable mid-air twist as the bird tried to evade him, and swiped at it with a paw. It was a remarkable display of split-second timing and agility by a cat whom I thought was too heavy and ponderous for such acrobatics. Amazingly, his paw connected with the bird and it fell to the ground, but before he could pounce, it flapped desperately and got away.
At the weekend, it was the turn of the Woodpigeon. Mr Woodpigeon used to be one of a pair who visited the garden. Years ago, even before my current family of cats, Mrs Woodpigeon became a pile of feathers in the garden. So Mr Woodpigeon was reduced to sitting on the rose arch, cooing to himself, looking lonely.
Well, I don’t know how, but Teddy got him. The only witnesses were Ananda (my queen) who was in the garden, and hubby who was in the kitchen, who saw the sudden spray of feathers.
We went out, me armed with a carrier bag, to try to rescue the pigeon as it fluttered its way down the garden. I made hubby pick it up, and he tried, but as soon as he grasped it he let it go because its wounds were not minor. We should have wrung its neck, but neither of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do it. So we left the cats to finish it off.
I meant to write this as a kind of proud tribute to my cat’s hunting prowess, but I’m aware that there are people reading this who will think it’s cruel. It’s certainly made me look at Teddy in another way … this cat who’s packaged as a cuddle wuss has claws … teeth and real cattitude.