Aby-a-Day – 22 August: Alfred the mighty hunter (Thursday Things)

Ever since Alfred found that dead bird, he has been obsessed with birds when we go outside.

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Freddy’s figured out that birds are in bushes. So he rushes at every set of bushes in the område. It makes him easy to find, though. Just follow the angry chirping.

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After rushing the bushes, Freddy sits and stares at the bushes, looking for birds.

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The funny part is, the birds were all up in the tree behind him, watching him.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Augusti: Catch the birdie (Thursday Things)

One of the comments on Monday’s post was, “Well, I’m waiting for the day when one of them has a whole bird!”

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Well, the other day, Alfred came out of the bushes with…a dead bird!

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After a little examination, it was a young thrush. I am not entirely sure if he caught it himself; I did hear some squawking and a couple of adult birds flew out from the bushes.

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But the fact that it didn’t have a head, and he didn’t try at all to eat it. He just sniffed it and played with it a little.

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And…

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…he was pretty protective of it when Lorelai and Izaak wanted to look at it.

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Eventually, he either got bored or went to see if he could find another one, and Rory got a chance to investigate it. But she didn’t try to eat it, either.

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Cats don’t eat spoiled meat or carrion…and it wasn’t warm, so I’m pretty certain Freddy just found it. She just sniffed it. She didn’t even touch it the way Freddy did.

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Zak was the least interested in the bird of the three.

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I wonder if the bird flew into one of the apartments’ windows. It happens around here; a couple of years ago, a jackdaw flew into our living room window – wicked hard. We were sitting right there and the bang was so loud it scared the crap out of us. That could explain the head.

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After I took the above close-up of the bird, Rory’s interest was rekindled.

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It may look like Rory’s making a “tasty-tasty yum-yum” face, but I think a feather tickled her nose.

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I tried to toss the bird’s body back into the bushes, but that made Freddy go back to try to find it.

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So I went and fished it back out, mainly to get Freddy out of the bushes (it had landed in the top branches). He wanted to look at it again.

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This time, he studied it like a scientist. Eventually, when he wasn’t looking, I took the bird farther away and left it a ways down the hill. Maybe the fox will find the little snack.

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It was a bad day for birds, though. In another spot in the grass, we discovered the aftermath of another bird-predator encounter. This time, I think the bird was eaten.

Aby-a-Day – 28 Juli: “Just like birds, hunters know no borders” (Cinema Sunday)

As I have mentioned before, Lorelai is our little huntress. She especially likes to hunt birds when we’re outside.

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But she also likes to hunt birds when we’re inside. We have these bird feeders that attach to the window with suction cups, and Rory in particular really loves to “watch the birdies.”

I wanted to capture her banging into the window on video, but I failed. You can hear her fearsome chatter, though…

Aby-a-Day – 22 Juni: “Keep your eye on the prey” (Swedish Saturday)

On one of our outside adventures, Lorelai saw a pigeon perched in a tree.

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It’s kind of hard to see, so I’ve marked it in this photo.

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Rory was so intent on hunting it.

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(Here it is marked again)

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You could see her brain working out how to catch that fat bird.

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The pigeon was hard to see up in the branches, but Rory never lost her focus.

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At one point, I thought she was going to give up.

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The pigeon was still watching her, though.

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But suddenly, Rory climbed even higher in the tree!

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She was actually as high up in the tree as the pigeon!

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I think her idea was to get higher than the pigeon, and then drop down on it.

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I couldn’t believe how high Rory climbed!

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She really wanted to get that pigeon. I honestly don’t know why the pigeon stayed there so long. Maybe it was curious about the small predator.

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I think this may be the closest Rory’s ever gotten to a bird. Impressive.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Juni: The birds and the bees (Cinema Sunday)

When we were outside with the Kittens a while back, they found a bumblebee.

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Izaak seemed more interested in it than Lorelai was, at first.

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They were adorable, studying the little insect. Zak went so far as to pat it with his paw, but luckily neither cat got stung.

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When it didn’t move, Zak got a little bored, but Rory knew it had potential and studied it intently.

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Finally: the big payoff! The bee started to fly!

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Rory is incredibly agile and athletic when she is chasing a bug. She actually catches flies (and eats them) in the apartment without knocking over anything.

Here’s a video of Zak, Rory and the Bee.

Later that day, Rory went to the area behind our apartment…I could tell because the birds were going crazy with their “Cat!” warning cries. It was really loud…I took video, but I don’t know if you can hear them. I worry about the bigger birds dive-bombing her; when I was a kid we had outdoor cats (not my idea), and one got a massive abscess on his head from either a scrub jay or a mockingbird. Rory’s only 2½ kg, our smallest cat, and your average crow weighs around half a kilo…but they have force and gravity on their side. One peck from a crow or jackdaw’s bill could do some serious damage.

That being said…Rory really wants to catch a bird someday.

We’re trying to teach Alfred to go outside with us offleash…but in the meantime, sometimes he joins us via the balcony. Here he is complaining about being left out.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Maj: Keep your eye on the birdie! (Swedish Saturday)

Lorelai envisions herself a mighty bird hunter. Whenever she sees one, she chatters and starts to stalk it. I have even seen her run after a low-flying jackdaw or pigeon, eyes locked on the feathered prize.

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When she sees one up a tree, she stares up at it.

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I am not sure what she thinks is going to happen.

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Maybe she’s hoping it will just fall off its branch and into her waiting claws..?

Aby-a-Day – 22 September: Run like the wind (Swedish Saturday)

Lorelai and Izaak love to go on walks around our apartment buildings.

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We are teaching them to go outside with us in the områden of our apartment. We want to be able to have them come outside with us without leashes and harnesses, and to come back to us when we call them.

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So far, it’s going fairly well.

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They love going outside, there’s no question there.

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It’s fun to watch them run with no limitations, that’s for sure. Look at Zak! He’s airborne!

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They work as a team when they are outside together.

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Although Rory is a little more adventurous than Zak is.

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Look at her run!

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Her energy is boundless.

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She loves to just run as fast as she can.

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…And then, she saw the pigeon

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At first, she wasn’t sure what to do.

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But Zak did.

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It was truly impressive, watching his raw instinct take over as he stalked the pigeon (which was almost as big as he is).

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Watching him approach the bird, you would think he had done this before. He was that good.

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And then…he made his rush. It was glorious.

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Rory finally joined in. And then I noticed that there were actually two pigeons!

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But too little, too late. The pigeons were gone.

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One did remain sitting high atop a street lamp, mocking our kittens.

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Zak didn’t mind. He ran it off.

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Run, Izaak, run!