Monday, October 17, 2005

The Dance of Bird Feathers

He was only doing what was normal for him to do. So, you can’t punish him or even really object. It was as it was. Yet, I was a bit horrified really. I was cooking dinner, while my cat decided to catch his dinner. Looking outside the kitchen window, I realized that my husband and I, as well as my cat Harpo, had decided that “fowl” was “what’s for dinner.” It was such a big bird, Harpo’s not ours, and I saw Harpo turn his head and look at me, one paw on his catch, feathers handing from his mouth. I couldn’t watch this. Yelling to my husband, I asked him to entice the cat back in with catnip so we could get the bird away from him. It worked, it always does. Such cruel parents we are, enticing our pet with a kitty drug, but what’s a girl to do? Going outside, we realized that the bird was still alive. “Shit!” This had happened once before with a bird that my cat, Kathryn, had caught and then got bored with—no longer knowing what to do with the thing once caught. Canned cat food had replaced practical cat knowledge. As Kathryn had just about, but not quite, killed the bird, I had to finish the job and put that poor animal out of its misery. There was no way that bird could survive and so there was no choice for me (I won’t give you the gory details but trust me on this one). It was the right thing to do, but one of the hardest things I have ever had to do—I cried when the deed was done. That memory, still fresh after 10 years, loomed heavily on me when our eyes met—that poor bird and I. George had come out with a broom and dust pan, thinking the bird dead, and froze when he too saw that the bird was still alive. “Crap!” The ten year old memory was with him as well. For a second, George looked at me and his eyes said all that needed to be said. If we had to put this bird out of its misery as well, he couldn’t do it. This I know about George and I love him for it. Inour house, chores are split up evenly between our individual talents. For example, I cook but George does the dishes—he is just better and more patient than I am. The same goes for laundry—I really should be kept away from the laundry for, no matter how hard I try not to, something shrinks or white underwear turns pink. Mostly, I know that it is a lack of respect for these necessary deeds that dooms my ability to perform them correctly. In the grand scheme of things, I just don’t care and it shows. But I am a very good cook and I can deep clean with absolute abandonment. And, when it is demanded of me, I can put an animal out of its misery. I am not necessarily proud of this last ability and I can’t say that I do it well—the difference here is that I can do it if I am called upon to do it. So, after meeting George’s eyes and the bird’s eyes, while several bird feathers whirled around my feet in a dance of death, I turned to find something that would help me in my dreaded task. Just then, the bird, as if resurrected from a chilling death, stood up and flew away! What joy! What relief both my husband and I felt. “He must have been playing dead” I said. “Yeah, trying to fool the cat.” “Thank God for catnip!” “Yes,” said George, “I am glad that trick still works.” R aka Harpowoman

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...