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Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Gift from Mother Cat

Yesterday  was Wednesday. In the afternoon, Lawrence came to stay with Bow. This week the delivery lady came on Wednesday, too, and she brought her little daughter, who had a gift for Bow: a date (fruit).  I was absent for most of the excitement, because I was running errands. I was also a little late checking on the kitten because of the different schedule on Wednesdays.

The kitten seemed impatient and wanted to berate me for not coming sooner. Nevertheless, in all this time, it does not seem to have climbed down from the confines of the stroller.

I fed it and did not waste too much time beyond just changing the water in the other bowl. The barn is a long walk from the house, and as the grass needs mowing again, I always come back with ticks on my person and clothing that have to be carefully removed. I am allergic to cats, so I never touch the kitten.

In the evening, after I had put Bow to bed, I discovered this on my front porch, right next to the front door.

I got this really bad feeling. Yes, I have seen dead birds before.  But this one seemed so perfect and intact and somehow special, and I had an eerie feeling it was meant to be a message to me.

I went in for a Walmart bag to dispose of it, and before I put it in the bag, I used the bag to re-position the bird so I could get pictures of it from several angles, just the way they do at the coroner's office before an autopsy.

I sent the pictures to my friend Kathy, who is my bird expert, and asked her what sort of bird it was and how it could have come to be lying there on my front porch. Kathy responded very quickly. It was a grey cat bird. They are very shy and their call is like a cat's meow. What a shame!

And she sent me this link: Gray Catbird.

As for the cause of death, there were three possibilities:

  1. It hit my window and died of a broken neck.
  2. It was very old, and fell off its perch when it died of natural causes.
  3. The cat caught it, and it died of internal injuries.
I felt in my gut that it had to be number three. I had handled the bird, and it did not seem to have a broken neck. There are no places to perch on the front porch that would have it fall to the ground of a heart attack to be conveniently positioned in front of the door. And... and anyway, I just knew! This was a gift from Mother Cat. It had something to do with the kitten.

I had thought I heard a mockingbird in my woods for the past week or so. But now I don't hear it. Maybe it had been no mockingbird, but a gray catbird instead. And besides, last year, when that other cat had been hanging around my place, I had received many unwanted presents on my porch of just this sort. Well, not a grey cat bird, but other smaller birds, and a mole, a cream and white colored rat, and last but not least, the legs of a squirrel, but not the rest of the squirrel!

The cat was back! And this was a gift to thank me for looking after the kitten. Or else, if you want to put a darker spin on it, Mother Cat might be saying: keep your hands off my kitten, or I will kill every bird on your property! Either way, it felt a little creepy. 

I have not seen any sign of an adult cat on my property since last fall. No other sign except the kitten itself, whose very existence seems to suggest the presence of a mother cat.

Am I being paranoid? Quite possibly. It runs in my family. I do tend to see events in life as interconnected, and I like explanations that take into account all the circumstances that could have any bearing on the matter. I know other people who are anti-paranoid, and they eschew neat little explanations for events, believing that most things in life are just a coincidence. Dead bird. Abandoned kitten. No connection. Just one of those things. 

There are conspiracy theorists and anti-conspiracy theorists in life. It's not just in politics. I have to deal with the anti-paranoid thinking in linguistics, too. "Yes, these two words share all the same phonemes in exactly the same order. But no, they are not related. It's just a coincidence." There must be some way to prove it, if  it's not!

The truth does not care which camp you  are in, pro-conspiracy or anti. The truth will come and bite you one day. So be careful not to ignore the signs!

I am betting that Mother Cat is still around. And I am planning to tread very softly around its kitten. 


  1. Hi Aya, I think your deduction that this was likely a 'gift' from the mother cat is spot on. I do find it interesting that there is only 1 kitten in the barn, but it could have happened that she had a litter somewhere else and this was the only surviving member. She probably brought it to the barn for safer keeping.
    You have a lot of clear facts to lead you to the conclusion that it was a cat, so I don't think you're being paranoid about it at all.
    But I do think there are people in the middle of the extremes - those who don't think that absolutely everything in life is a conspiracy and those who believe there are no conspiracies at all. I tend to live by the Occam's Razor principle in combination with my intuition (which I should listen to a lot more than I do). And I think you have arrived at the right conclusion.

    1. Thanks, Kathy. It's good to know that my deduction makes sense to someone who is not paranoid!

      I think she must have had other kittens and lost them. Maybe this is her first litter, and she is inexperienced. I hope she is taking good care of this one, because it is no longer content to stay in the stroller, as of yesterday afternoon.

      Occam's Razor together with intuition is a good combination.