A neighbouring cat sidles amongst the front garden shrubs
Eyes a-glow in the early morning sunshine.
It slinks and stealthily twines amongst the twigs
Another bird dies.
I have often written about the birds that visit our garden and how much pleasure they provide. This morning I was heartbroken to discover feathers amongst the plants in the front garden, and I am sure they are the feathers belonging to a King Parrot.
King Parrots are not small birds and for a cat to catch this one was no small effort, probably.
As a matter of fact, I like cats, but they must be locked inside at night time because otherwise they cause devastation to our native wildlife. Sadly, too many owners are completely irresponsible and let their cats roam where they please.
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I feel very much the same, I like cats, but one day I was devastated to come home and find the feathers of a beautiful crimson rosella. We did eventually persistently chase the cat out of our garden, and also spoke to the owner, (not much help there) but it is worth complaining about the cat. I always think King Parrots are very vulnerable because they are very trusting and come quite close to us.
We are trying to get into the habit of going out the front first thing to shoo it away, hoping that it will get the message eventually. The king parrots spend time with us in the back garden and talk to us as we pull the weeds! So yes, they are very trusting.
Our cat wears a bell, so the birds know he is coming. So do the mice and rats though!
The cat that visits our garden wears a bell too, but obviously is sometimes too quick for the birds.
I’m sorry, Jane. My cat is confined indoors, although we (meaning my husband) built her a screened in porch of her own, so she can get time outdoors without her endangering birds or herself. (Coyotes are a danger to cats and even small dogs here, and they no longer confine themselves to nocturnal hunting.)
You have a double problem …. keeping the cat in and the coyotes out! The coyotes must be quite a worry. We had a cat for 16 years and found that once he was used to being inside at night ( in his plush bed on top of the washing machine so he could still see out of the window) he was quite happy.
Cats and roaming dogs are a nuisance. Still, with the lockdowns a pet is an important part in keeping people sane.
Yes, pets must be a great help to people confined to quarters. And I’m not against pets, just irresponsible owners, of which there seem to more than a few.
We have a neighbour with Three cats, all who spend most of their time in our garden. It is infuriating as the garden is planted precisely to attract birds. I could weep at the change in population since the neighbour moved in.
That’s terrible. I expect they use your garden as a toilet as well, as our neighbour’s cat does. I think a quick hose down if you can mange it!
That’s a shame. Isn’t it annoying when pet owners don’t take responsibility for their animals, and even more so when you are affected by that. I hope you are able to discourage that cat.
Thank you, we’re doing our best!
Always a sad event. It is raptors who kill ours
Well, that we don’t have, although I expect out in the bush raptors cause problems too.
I’m not a fan of cats at all. Our neighbour’s cat was hunting the other day across the road from us. The wattle birds were dive bombing it. My husband had to restrain me from aiming the hose at it and giving it a blast. King parrots are such gentle birds. My sympathies, Jane.
I think the hose is a very good idea. Our visitor is wily and I can’t get the hose turned on quickly enough to use it in that way. If only…..
I’ll mention that to my husband. He doth protest too much.
Oh that is sad! I agree with you totally on keeping cats confined at night.
I don’t hate cats but I hate how they behave. If I find one on my property I throw things at it or if at all possible turn the hose on it. Its an outrage that cats are allowed to roam free, while dogs and other household pets must be kept in the boundaries of their owners. I would not tolerate the neighbors’ dog in my garden (i have a dog) but I’m supposed to accept their cats. My dog could not catch anything, they are not quick enough. Let us just say I do not like cats, not at all, and they are a predator that did not co-evolve with their prey.
bonnie in provence
Cats are a huge problem here. Feral cats are amazing hunters and grow to a large size. They are killing our native animals at shocking speed. People’s pet cats roam far and wide at night and I think they’d be shocked if they could see how far the cats travel. Thanks for your comment, Bonnie.
I had to laugh at the comment about the coyotes. The balance of nature plays itself out here regularly. When the number of feral cats increases, the coyotes arrive. Eventually, the cats disappear, and so do the coyotes.
I find those piles of feathers fairly regularly — as much as every week or two. In my case, it’s not the cats taking them down, but hawks. I’ve spotted the hawks, but usually know when they’re around because the birds go silent and disappear into the shrubbery. It’s sad when a bird’s taken, but hawks have to eat. I’ll confess to being amused by a sharp-shinned hawk who did his hunting from atop the luggage rack of a car. It parked in a spot with a direct shot at a bird feeder, and that hawk took advantage of it.
We find other piles of feathers too, usually those of noisy miners which are also native birds, but very territorial, forcing other small birds out of the garden. I was especially upset about this particular pile of feathers because the King Parrots are so friendly and trusting. One followed me around the garden as I worked yesterday morning and I swear he was talking to me!
I feel that way about our squirrels. I know many people aren’t so fond of them (to put it mildly) but they’ll bond quickly, too, and are great fun to have as companions.
It’s a terrible thing – I love cats myself but not what they do to birds. I found that occasional sprays with the hosepipe were quite effective at chasing our neighbour’s cat away (we have a cat too but it stays indoors mostly because it’s too scared to go out alone!).
I agree with you Sel. We had a cat for years, and kept him in at night. He was quite happy once he got used to it.
Very sad. I’m so sorry. Cats in this neighborhood must be indoor only to survive. Coyotes get them if they venture outdoors. This is tough for the cats, but good for the birds.
I agree completely. Here in Illinois, we have active campaigns to educate cat owners to keep their cats inside and if they do let them out, to put bells on their collars to give birds a fighting chance.
Your garden is beautiful.
I like cats too, but we have a cat problem in our street with the owner shooing them out of her front garden into other peoples gardens to do their business – very annoying. I have seen them trying to catch birds and we have a lot of native birds in the area, so far the birds as far as I have seen are a lot cleverer than the cats.