Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Nature's Little Housekeepers

For most of the day today the sky poured with a cold and driving rain that prompted most of us sensible creatures to try and stay as snug and dry as possible.

But there were two little visitors who took advantage of the weather to use it as an opportunity to make repeated visits to my front balcony, without the irritation of being ambushed by a house cat that moves with the grace of a boxer in pointe shoes (of course I speak of Cosmo).

These two little birds were building a nest, and apparently my balcony (that is void of any sort of plant life) was the jackpot of nesting materials. For hours, on and off, I'd look up from my work and see these two either just landing or just departing, and what they were collecting from my deck was...cat hair. Specifically, a lot of Poppy hair (our resident perma-shedder).

On our deck there is a groove in the cement that is to catch water, and funnel it to the eavestroughing. Well, what this groove actually does is make an excellent catch-all for Poppy's blowing coat, and two days ago I inspected the build-up of white hairs in the trough and wondered if I should maybe sweep it up.

Then I laughed at how ridiculous a notion that was: Sweep up an outdoor space. What am I, Swiss? Or my dad? I'll just wait for a good wind.

(hehe, sorry Dad!)

Well, the wind has come and it was in the form of two wee birds that proved very mighty. After hours of work in the driving rain, clutching five or six long white Poppy hairs at a time, those two little birds have removed almost all the hair. I have mixed emotions on this: (a) I am very happy that the hair is gone, and I never had to exert any effort to remove it; but (b) I don't want the baby birds to be sleeping in a nest padded with Poppy hair, and to wiggle cozily down into the warm fibres with their fellow nestlings, or chirp happily when mom or dad return with a juicy grub, for what if they associate Poppy's smell with love, and food, and comfort? And seek her out? Think of her as their mommy, after their actual mom boots them out of the nest so she can have a moments piece and not have to clean up after anyone but herself.

This worries me.

Because Internet, it's not the house cat that's as graceful as a boxer in pointe shoes that the birds who come to our deck have to be careful of.

It's not him at all.


Dad said...

Cait. All I can say is 'hmpf'. And, the birds in these parts don't seem to want Tia's hair for nests, so, I sweep.

mom said...

We just have drunk robins that keep trying to get into our house!

Caitie said...

Dad--Sure, sure ;-) But I'll be sure to make use of your sweeping abilities when you're here. I know: I'm a wonderful daughter.

Mom--Who couldn't resist the sweet temptation of fermenting crab apples! It would be a sad spring indeed if there were no sloshed robins trying to break through the windows. I'm just glad they're so dopey that they never hurt themselves! Crazy kids.