Monday, October 16, 2006

Wild Kingdom

When I was little, I remember watching Wild Kingdom on TV. There was a lot of chasing and killing. I knew it was part of nature. It was about balance. Harmony.

I was out in my garden yesterday, thinking about the upcoming frosts and eyeing what needed to be cut down. It was a beautiful day. And then, I saw one. A dead bird. Half eaten. And then, another. My, I thought, there is a squirrel’s tail. My garden is full of dead, gnawed upon bodies.

All gifts from my lovely little cat, Sofia. Killer kitty, Zachary calls her proudly. When she was less than a year old, and not that big, she hauled down her first Blue Jay. Neighbors have complained about pesky squirrels so bold they scratch through window screens to get on countertops and scrounge for food. Not here. Nary a squirrel in our yard since the day she was proudly batting around the remains of their cousin.

A squirrel? My neighbor asked.

Yup, a squirrel.

Can you send her over here?

I am certain she covers that territory. She’s out all day and sometimes at night. I wanted to keep her indoors, always, but her hanging on the screens, paws outstretched, yowling at the top of her lungs was too much for me.

Buy her a collar and get another for insurance. Just let her out! A friend said to me, having witnessed the pathetic plea to get outdoors.

So I did. Not soon after that, she came in the house with a baby robin in her mouth. Still alive. Kind of. The boys all shrieked in horror.

Make her stop! Make her stop!

Guys, I’m going to make her go outside with it…


Great instincts for small children but clearly they need to watch Wild Kingdom. There was no saving the baby. For many reasons but the biggest was the fact that it was pretty much disemboweled.

What I should do is get a shovel and put it out of its misery…

More shrieking. Okay, I usually make Jeanine get the shovel but she was, of course, at work. I know it’s the right thing but I just can’t seem to do it.
So I got the bird and the cat and sent them outside.

The boys were all standing at the window, saying BAD KITTY.

No, she’s not a bad kitty. It’s what kitties do. Don’t watch.

Yesterday’s count came to six birds and one squirrel. I’m guessing the mice go down in a single gulp. I’m glad none made it in the house.

My kids now have their personal edition of Wild Kingdom. Her name is Sofia.

AKA Killer Kitty.


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