Daily Photo: The Catbird

Bella has her eye on that catbird! Cat bird?
Bella has her eye on that catbird! Cat bird?

There’s a BIRD that sounds like a CAT and it’s RIGHT OUTSIDE THE WINDOW. It’s making a heck of a lot of noise, and our human called it CATBIRD. CATBIRD? CAT BIRD? I can’t understand a word it’s saying so it’s no kind of cat I’ve ever met. It’s just making a lot of bird noises. I think my human is making that up to make fun of me. She always laughs when I sneak from window to window really fast but I can’t help it because everything is RIGHT OUT THERE. And now this crazy bird is singing and I know I won’t get it but I just have to try—

Everything is exciting for Bella, and she thinks in all caps a lot of the time for that reason. It might be one of the little moths in the kitchen, or the squirrel in one of the trees, or a chipmunk on the ground, or one or a bunch of birds bibbling around on the feeder, whatever it is it’s RIGHT THERE and she is RIGHT THERE and there is no distracting her.

The bird really was a catbird, and it really was right outside the window in the lilac. I tried to refocus my camera on the bird after I’d gotten this photo, but Bella really did—. We have a few gray catbirds around here—one of them was mewing at Mimi out in the yard today, so she had a good scratch on the picnic table bench just to show it what she could do—sometimes they mew, and sometimes they babble incessantly. They are close relatives of mockingbirds and sing in much the same way. No wonder Bella was beside herself. I did laugh because a catbird talking to a cat and a cat talking back was just too funny for me. I think that’s going to develop into something.

Here’s a post about a catbird I saw on one of my walks to Main Street along the creek a couple of years ago so you can see what one looks like. Visit All About Birds and scroll down to the gray catbird sounds, both the songs and the mew sounds.

And here’s a video of Bella watching the squirrel hanging on the feeder outside the window.

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Someone is totally not helping me get this newsletter done.

At least he's entertaining.
At least he’s entertaining.

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Other Photos Posted On or Around This Date…

Morning, 2014
black cat under tree
Mimi leads me to a good spot.

Mimi and I spent some time out in the back yard on this lovely morning as I was clearing out a few flower beds, distributing my geraniums and photographing things that were blooming and Mimi inspected all corners of the yard until we met again at the picnic table. I was thinking it was time to go in, but Mimi had other ideas. Off she went into the woodland garden and demonstrated what a real cat tree was, not that she wasn’t grateful for the one inside (more on that later).

black cat in tree
Mimi says, “Now this is a cat tree.”

But more than that, as you see at the top, she was in the mood to continue her inspection of the area as we headed into the neighbor’s yard. I’ve learned from Cookie and Namir and Moses and Kublai and others that sometimes there is a purpose to this. My wire fence is on the ground, a casualty of a tree branch falling on it a few years ago, so I followed Mimi past the trunk and roots of the big maple tree we look at out the back windows all the time. Mimi wears her collar and also a leash when she is outdoors, and usually I just let the leash dangle behind her as she wanders the yard. I caught up with her and picked up the end of the leash ready to reel her in, but followed instead. The sun was pretty. As she inspected all the new smells on all the neighbor’s tree trunks, woodpile and bushes, I looked up…and we went to get my pastels and Mimi continued to explore as I did a quick sketch.

pastel sketch of tree trunk
“From the Ground Up”, pastel on multi-media paper, 6.5″ x 9.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I wanted to do an ink sketch as well, but we ran out of time. I also wanted to sketch Mimi, but some time later perhaps. She does not sit still!

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And an update on the cat tree, which Mimi was glad to return to when we came back in, even though Sunshine and Giuseppe were already sleeping there. She fit her tiny self onto a corner with her boys after greeting Giuseppe, and both of them washing Sunshine’s face.

three black cats on cat tree
They have to cuddle.

Then Bean came along and laid on the guilt trip because he couldn’t fit. “Get over yourself, kid,” says Mimi. Mewsette was upstairs on my drawing table chair, which she had, for once, all to herself, but the boys do have to cuddle. I could get them the world’s biggest cat tree and they’d all pile up on one shelf.

three black cats on cat tree
Bean beseeches.

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You’re Not Pulling That Again!, 2013
five black cats on bed
All five are keeping a sleepy eye on me.

I was away for three nights at BlogPaws, and I’ve only been away three times total since they’ve been with me. Mimi and the Fantastic Four all had different reactions to this, and I was a little surprised they weren’t all waiting at the door for their meals when my pet sitter came to feed them. The boys were a little uncertain, and Mimi was friendly and wanted to go outside.

Mewsette was very shy, and I know she can be but she usually gets accustomed to the change, and when she’d met our pet sitter she really liked her. But she stayed pretty much out of sight while I was gone, and while the rest of them quickly came to the door when I came back, I had to coax Mewsette out from under the bed.

I decided that since they love to go to bed we would all had a nice nap together when I got back, and Mimi and I visited the back yard, and we all feel better again.

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Beware…the Terrible Black STEPMONSTER!!, 2012
black cat on steps
The Terrible Black Stepmonster has come to my home.

Note how the bright springtime sunshine vanishes when it reaches him.

He is barely more than a silhouette, a dark presence absorbing all light around him, turning it to darkness.

Now that he is in my home, I am helpless to dispell his presence.

He waits…for me.

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What Was That?!, 2012
Two black cat silhouettes looking out the window
What was that? It’s going down the street!

They were practically leaping through the window, craning their necks watching something outside. I knew it couldn’t be a human or human activity, they’d never be that interested! And my desk would soon be a mess if a cat was approaching our porch.

I stood up to see, and it was just a little bunny ambling down the middle of the street. Well, sure, why not? I’m sure Jelly Bean and Mimi had some little feline fantasy about chasing the bunny, and I’m sure the bunny knows all about cats in houses!

wild rabbit on street
A bold little bunny in the middle of the street!

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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

7 thoughts on “Daily Photo: The Catbird

  • May 20, 2015 at 4:47 pm
    Permalink

    bella….we think mom B must bee miss taken coz de werdz cat & BURD iz KNOT a loud ta bee used
    two gether…knot even ina spellin mizz hap….EVER……its a gainst de LAW ~~~~~~~~~ ♥♥

    Reply
    • May 21, 2015 at 9:38 am
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      Sorry, Tabbies, this is a real “thing”–a bird who imitates a cat sound! Don’t know what good that would do the bird though!

      Reply
  • May 20, 2015 at 2:11 pm
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    Ah! once when I was playing tennis, a large and a smaller catbird were on the fence above me, watching. I figured it was a mama and juvenile. Sure enough, the smaller bird flew onto the net to watch me. I stood unmoving. Then it wised up (maybe mama bird yelled at it?) and flew off.

    Reply
    • May 21, 2015 at 9:36 am
      Permalink

      Azar, they wise up when they grow up–they are known for being “shy” and it was months of hearing a catbird in my yard the first time before I actually spotted it. And it did fool me and sound like a real cat!

      Reply

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