59 The hunt continues...

Now that the bird feeder is stocked with sunflower seeds, Tigger is giving it a lot of attention. There are two reasons for this. The seeds scattered around the feeder by the birds who lack refined dining habits and the birds themselves. The scattered seeds draw voles and mice who come up from underground right where the seeds fall. How do they do that? Anyway, they do it and Tigger knows just where they are.

The birds themselves are tempting to Tigger as well. He watches them from inside the house until he can't stand it any longer and then he bolts out of the kitty door only to see them scatter to the four winds. Then he camps under the feeder where he can listen for the voles and mice and watch for the birds. He does this regardless of the temperature or weather unless it is raining hard.

After hours of patient (?) hunting he will come in to warm up and get an alternative meal, cat food. He usually doesn't want to talk about his lack of success at hunting. He would much rather discuss the times he has been successful, rare as they are.

Maybe it is the rarity of success that makes those times so much fun to talk about. Roy has watched this hunting routine for long periods of time and has seen Tigger leap almost two thirds the

height of the bird feeder at a bird making final approach for a landing on the feeder. It was quite a sight to see the bird make an evasive maneuver with so little time to consider it's options. One can only marvel at the flying skill of the bird because Tigger launched an attack that by all rights should have been successful.

"Hi Tigger, was the hunting good this morning? I saw you make a really good attack on a bird. The bird got away but you did a really great job just the same. Did your mom teach you to do that?"

"The hunting is really lousy! I watch the birds swarm around the feeder and the ground under it, then when I go out, they all leave. That isn't fair. How am I supposed to catch them if they leave when I go out?"

"Well, consider it from the bird's point of view. They don't look at their mission in life as being food for cats you know. They sort of look at you as the enemy. They will do everything they can to keep you from catching them... and they should. When they see you out there under the feeder they know to stay away."

"But I thought you told me I blended in with the leaves and brown grass so that it was real hard to find me."

"True. I did tell you that. But, do your remember when I told you that? It was in the Fall when the grass was brown and covered with dead leaves, many of them very much the same color as your fur."

"Oh yeah. The grass is getting green now and the wind has blown the leaves away, at least most of them. Darn! You mean it's easy to see me now?"

"Not only is it easy to see you, but birds are especially good at seeing cats. Their moms know that cats try to catch them and spend a lot of time teaching them how to avoid getting caught, just like your mom spent a lot of time teaching you how to hunt. That is the way nature works. My guess is that ‘Cats 101' and ‘Birds 101' are much the same course only from different perspectives. I'm sure that your mom spent a lot of time on ‘Birds 101' didn't she?"

"She did. Only she didn't tell me about the bird's moms teaching them ‘Cats 101'. Don't you think she should have told me about that?"

"I don't know if it would have helped. I just told you about it, do you think it will help now that you know?"

"Uh... not really. I just wish they wouldn't be so good at getting away."

"Do you think it is possible that the birds listened more closely to their mom than you did to yours? They may have learned their lessons better than you did yours."

"Well... now that you mention it, that was the day I discovered the boots. It's just possible that I wasn't paying quite as much attention as maybe I should have..."

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