17 nov. 2013


I should give you a name. But now it’s too late. I've been seeing you, happily jumping with the other three birds (your family!) across the lawn since the first few warmish mornings announced the end of winter, and then hurriedly flying low to hide beneath the box hedge. Even yesterday I spotted you partaking of one of my strawberries with your mum or dad; you seemed to enjoy the sunny afternoons and the comfortable carpet of green that I will soon need to mow once again.

It was too late, very early this morning, when I saw you under his paws and I cried out in vain and banged my knuckles on the window. I was horrified, and I instantly knew it was too late. I found you on the lawn, motionless, your wings an awkward shape, a smudge of brown on the otherwise lush surface you liked to strut on while I would be watching from my window.

I hated the cat for taking your life away, but that’s a fleeting feeling, really. I curse the cat’s owner for letting his pet roam their neighbours’ gardens at night, knowing only too well what sort of hideous acts the tabby gets up to during their periods of ‘freedom’.

What freedom? Their freedom to kill native fauna? Their freedom to shit in my garden and leave a stench that will last for days? That's no freedom.

But it’s not the cat’s fault, I have to keep telling myself. He’s just doing what his nature tells him to do: to hunt. Kitty’s not to blame, really. The stupid, selfish cat owner who allows the animal to roam and hunt at night time is the one who should be ashamed. Conservative figures supplied by Australian Wildlife Conservancy say that about 75 million native animals might be being killed by domestic and feral cats every day. The figures are simply staggering, absolutely appalling. We need to stop this madness. We need to do something to protect our defenceless native fauna from the brainless, self-interested cat owners who are sentencing so many animals to death because THEY CANNOT GIVE A STUFF about what their exotic pets do to birds like the one in the photograph.

I should give you a name, birdie. But it’s too late. Too late. I'll miss watching your little leaps across the lawn from my study window, an ever-welcome distraction whenever I did not want to think too hard.

2 comentarios:

  1. Hear, hear re cats!

    My front yard, which the local cats use as a kitty litter, grrr, became a crime scene when I was at my desk about a year ago: a great, distressed twittering made me look out the window. It was the sparrow's friends, twittering away, because a cat, which had a bell, had a sparrow in its mouth. I ran after it but it went into someone's yard. I kept thinking it was my fault, for making something of a veggie garden where there had been gravel, because that attracted the insects, which attracted the birds. Bloody cats. At least the bird wasn't native.

    The other day I came across a naked, lifeless chick on the footpath--again, non-native, an Indian mynah, which are pretty awful birds, but still--it must be that time of year. Same thing happened a year ago. How it affects me! Silly, I know.

    1. Of course it affects you, and it's not silly at all. You see, even with the bell around their neck, they still manage to catch sparrows and wrens. Some of the newest suburbs in Canberra are cat-free by law. And it is a good law because it protects our native wildlife. Mynahs are being controlled here, with some success, but there's a long way to go.


Your words count - Tus palabras cuentan - Les teues paraules compten

Posts més visitats/Lo más visto en los últimos 30 días/Most-visited posts in last 30 days

¿Quién escribe? Who writes? Qui escriu?

Mi foto
Ngunnawal land, Australia