For the past few years an odd circle of life happens in our neighborhood. The grackles (or blackbirds as many call them) come in every spring, often with a colony nesting in an enormous pine next door to us with a couple nests spilling over into our yard. Grackles are loud, with a hoarse and grating song. They also get a bit aggressive, stealing food from robins and mourning doves. They’re a nuisance. Grackles LOVE to shit on everything. My neighbor with the pine tree parks his pickup outside and it’s always covered with white streaks of bird shit. And at some point in the early summer, this guy has had enough.
We’ve had Daniel for at least ten years now. Apartment living drove him nuts. He’s about to begin his fifth year of living in a small town and he couldn’t be happier. As I have noted before, he spends most days in the summer outside, coming in only for food or bad weather. At night he sleeps like a rock. And every summer, the grackles begin to irritate him.
I can somewhat see their point. He’s a predator and they don’t like him patrolling around what they consider their turf. On the other hand, he stays here year round and considers them the interlopers. They begin scolding him, doing little fly-overs, etc. I’ve had a lot of cats but few have had the massive hunting instinct of Daniel. So it’s a little like the Penguin’s gang spray-painting the Batmobile. There’s no way it’s going to end well.
Last night I was summoned to the basement where “someone” had deposited a dead grackle. We’ve got a screen curtain for our sliding glass door and if Carjo leaves the door open the cats come and go as they please. And bring guests. I looked at the screen curtain and there was Daniel with another dead one. They say if you see one dead bird in your yard there’s at least another four that the cat has killed. This means Daniel’s total for that day was at least ten.
Carjo hates this. Me and our grackle-hating neighbors rejoice. Daniel smiles and goes back outside. The annual war has begun.