Bird in the Bed.

by Michael Trifilo
(Provincetown, MA, USA.)

It is just after 6 am. I am normally a very heavy sleeper and would usually still be snoring away for several hours on a Saturday morning. However, my 1 & 1/2 year old orange tiger cat, Dexter just brought a little present directly into my bed. A barely deceased, tiny black & white birdie.

I decided to let him roam outdoors about 6 mos. ago when I moved into a new apartment located very far from the street, looking out onto a field where he could roam safely and enjoy the freedom and space that my tiny new studio could never provide. He is neutered and has had all his shots.

I weighed the pros and cons of this decision and came to the conclusion that his quality of life would be better this way. So, don't start with the finger-wagging, please.

About a week ago he brought me his first "trophy"; a mostly devoured carcass of another bird. At the time, I thought it was pretty cool that my little guy was growing up and learning how to hunt for himself. I praised him and quickly tossed out the remains. But this morning was quite less cool. I could just tell by the way that he was jumping around the foot of the bed that something wasn't right. He never enjoys playing with his own toys quite so enthusiastically unless they're doused in catnip and just out of the packaging.

I listened to him roll around and pounce for a little bit and finally, somewhat frightened by what I might discover, decided to reach up and turn on the light over my bed. Something in my sleepy, semi-conscious brain already knew what I was going to find. There, in the middle of my $200, ultra-suede, chocolate brown duvet cover was the little bird.

It almost looked like it was sleeping, wings curled up around it's body and eyes shut up tight, and surrounded by countless gray and white feathers. Dexter proudly looking up at me, was also covered with the same feathery bits, some actually dangling from his mouth. As I looked down from the bed, I noticed that these same feathers were not only on my comforter, but also ALL over the one room studio that I occupy.

Currently, Dexter and the bird are locked outside, since he refuses to stop bringing it back indoors while I futily try to vacuum up the feathers. I doubt I'll be getting back to sleep soon.

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Hate to find that!
by: Anonymous

Ughh, I would hate that, to find a poor little bird in the bed would be gross! I'd make my cat sleep outside for evermore.

Little gift on your bed.
by: Larry (Editor)

Hi Michael,

I hope that by the time you read this you have managed to get at least some sleep. And there will be no finger wagging from me. :0)

The habit of many cats of bringing back little gifts is, as you know, another factor that you need to weigh up when deciding to let your pet be an outdoor cat or not.

To find a little gift on your bed must be most unpleasant.

I don't know if you may have made a mistake in praising Dexter when he brought home his first trophy, (hope that's not finger wagging.)

My last cat, Basil, only brought something back once. I didn't shout at him, or punish him, but made it clear that I was not pleased. He never did it again . . . but then soon after he lost a leg which must have curtailed his hunting ability.

Poor Dexter, he can't stay out there for ever, he would really be an *outdoor* cat in that case. Perhaps you can deposit his trophy somewhere outside that he can't get to?

I'm sorry that I haven't got any advice that will guarantee that he won't bring home more gifts. Except of course, if he does do that make it clear that you are not impressed. Hunting is, as you know, very much part of a cat's nature and they are very good at it.

Thank you very much indeed for submitting your tale of the bird in the bed.

Larry (Editor)

by: Anonymous

Some of these birds are threatened and endangered species.... a lot more "expensive" than any comforter you could buy. That is why people who are concerned about nature- birds, reptiles, insects, butterflies, think that folks with "outdoor cats" are nuts. Sorry- I genuinely like animals, but why some people with cats think that it is OK to allow animals they nurture to destroy a big part of the rest of the world is totally beyond me. Because you think it makes your cat "happier" to kill a lot of other living creatures, everyone else should go along with that. Insane.

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