Monday, March 23, 2009

The Delegation

These little Purple Finches were waiting for me when I went out this morning to fill the feeders. I felt like they thought that somehow the snow that fell last night was my fault, and they were the delegation elected by the other birds to let me know they did NOT approve. I told them, "Hey, don't look at me in that tone of chirp; I don't control the weather!"

I know many people would scoff at my anthropomorphism, but I believe that, if you pay close attention, it is sometimes possible to discern what animals are trying to tell us. I believe this is especially true of our companion animals (known in this cottage as "our children in fur.")

And sometimes you don't have to pay attention at all. They make it crystal clear. I remember once, in early autumn, I was sitting in a chair under the apple tree closest to our house and reading a book when a green apple hit me in the head. I thought, "Huh. Must have had a weak stem." Then, about a minute later, another one hit me. This time I picked it up and looked at it. It had had one tiny bite taken out of it. While I was pondering this, another one hit me in the head. I looked up into the tree and there was a squirrel. He pulled another apple off the branch, took one bite and threw it at me! I think he was telling me the apples tasted terrible. Well yeah, they weren't ripe. I caught the last apple and threw it back at him. I have terrible aim, so I missed him and he just smirked at me. He reached for another apple and I yelled, "Touch that apple and you're dead meat, buddy!" I would never hurt any animal, but he didn't know I was bluffing, and he left in a big huff, scolding me as he went.  Hmmmm...


  1. I live in a to speak. I have 4 indoor cats, 1 outdoor (she showed up last March) plus the neighbor's cat who hangs out on my porch and two ferals (trying to "tame" them) who have shown up over the past few months. I can usually tell what they want. I agree that they really are pretty clear about it. Gotta love the little guys.

  2. Great story! I love'that tone of chirp'!

    Animal communication is a fact of life here. If I'm slow at doggy dinner time (4 pm), one by one they come upstairs to my room and stand in a semi-circle around my chair, staring intently and accusingly.

  3. Susan, I hope you manage to tame your ferals. I have 2 that I know for sure are feral, and 3 that I think may belong to neighbors: They look more cared for than Mr. Darcy and Miss Flopsie Flora. I have been trying to tame Miss Flora for over a year and Mr. Darcy for over 3 years. We live in a zoo, too, but I can't imagine living any other way. Nice to meet a fellow cat lover!

  4. Vicki, I wish I could take credit for the "tone of" comment, but I picked it up from my husband. He's always telling our cats "Don't you look at me in that tone of meow!" Or "tone of bark" if he's talking to the dogs. They are very good at giving me accusing looks, too. I'd never admit this to them, but it really gets to me...they can make me feel so guilty!


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