Mayhem under the Bleeding Heart

Sad hearts for a mourning dove
Sad hearts for a Mourning Dove

I’m sorry. So sorry. Not one, but two young Mourning Doves got turned into sprays of feathers under the Bleeding Heart. How appropriate. And my evil cat is not sorry at all.

Yes, I’ve heard the arguments to keep your cat inside, but what good is a garden without a cat or two lounging under the bushes, plotting deviltry? He’s just doing his job. And it’s good for him to make wild leaps at birds and miss, or engage in fruitless squirrel chasing.  Except very, very occasionally he whacks someone. The fledglings are the ones that don’t stand a chance. It’s a wonder that any of them make it.

But they do. I still hear doves cooing like ocarinas on the roofs. There’s still chickadees, juncos (in the winter), and sparrows despite their losses. The blue jays and the cardinals keep coming back. I’ve never seen him nail a house finch, a goldfinch, a mockingbird, a robin, a starling, or a woodpecker. They keep such a sharp eye out for cats, that when he does catch a pretty bird, or a cute mousie, I’m startled, saddened, shocked–but deep down inside, I’m proud of the little monster. So I guess I’m evil, too.

5 thoughts on “Mayhem under the Bleeding Heart

  1. Brenda Lee!

    …and about those doves…
    I’d do the “Doves Cry” by Prince, but YouTube misplaced the sound from that one.

    Your cat would be doing his job if he were living in the part of the world where Felis sylvestris is indigenous. But instead, he’s a member of an exotic pest species, and so are you*.

    The two cats I have now aren’t good at catching anything, but their mother, a feral, was pretty good at getting parrots (another exotic pest). This is pretty amazing, since the parrots never come down to the ground.

    I answer questions on Yahoo Answers. I remember not long ago, one girl asked, “What are some examples of good ecosystems in Southern California?”

    I had to answer “There aren’t any. Every ecosystem I can think of in Southern California has been invaded by non-native species.” **

    In a “gosh wow science fiction” sort of way, I wonder if we will despoil alien planets by displacing their indigenous life with what we bring with us. Google for “oxygen catastrophe” and think “terraforming,” go on, I double-dog dare you.

    Lurking somewhere in the back of my mind are a couple of science fiction stories in which human beings were pests, to giant aliens. I think Asimov wrote one in which different species of Homo, ratlike, infested the giants’ spaceship.

    * Nothing personal, ma’am. That’s the first time I thought “you” and “exotic pest” in the same mental breath.

    ** One of the things I liked about you was that you would point at a feature of the landscape and speculate about how it got there and how it ended up the way it is. I picked up that trait myself, a little. Thanks for the viewpoint enrichment.

  2. Regarding pest species, there’s a whole array of plants and animals that exploit the changes we make on the environment. Common weeds love the open spaces we create. As you hinted, that’s nothing compared to animals exploiting all the free oxygen that plants released.

    One idea that’s been percolating is that I think humans must carry a full ecosystem with us to survive, and it’s going to take a lot more than a biosphere.

  3. Now that we’re down to one, 18-year old, cat, the incidence of “present” is about zero. On the other hand, we’ve had a pair of Cooper’s hawks nesting nearby for the past 3 years or so. Normally, your first indication that they are dining is a gentle sprinkling of pinfeathers, wafting down from the treetops.

    I really don’t mind the small mess of feathers and bones, since they primarily eat pigeons.

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