An Attempted Murder of Crows

1 Conversation

A blackbird. Crows are bigger.

There's a murder of crows outside my window.

Well, maybe not. How many is a murder? Maybe more like a manslaughter – there are only three of the sleek black devils, but they are large and noisy. Or a vehicular homicide, since they're strutting about the parking lot, making snide remarks at passing motorists.

It's odd that they're here, flying up into the large, bare tree in front of my screen-porch balcony. They usually hang out down at the other end of the parking lot, on the roof of the end building, because the people down there eat fast food, and they're addicted to chips. Maybe somebody has a new dog down there, fiercer than my little white Shih Tzu, whose bark is definitely worse than his bite unless you're trying to get the burrs out of his beard. Anyway, down our way, it's not Ariel they need to fear – it's Boozardina, the sneaky black cat.

Boozardina (legal name Isis) has never quite forgiven me for taking her away from the paradise of a 100-year-old house, where the mice were plentiful, to this one-bedroom flat where – in a whole three years – she and Clancy have seen one lousy mouse. (The maintenance people were surprised, too.) She was supposed to share that one with the big red cat, Clancy, but 'share' not being in the Boozardina vocabulary, what ensued was the usual conversation:

'Mee-rowrrrr...' (This is my mouse.)

'Mee-rowrrrr...' (Share, why dontcha?)

'Mee-ROWRRR...' (Go get your own mouse.)

Boozardina thoroughly enjoys the screen porch. The rental folks call it a Feature. We call it cat TV. She can sit out there for hours, twitching her tail, while that cheeky fella with the overbite perches in the tree opposite and cusses her out in fluent Squirrel. I don't have a dictionary, but I know it's X-rated.

During the fall, Boozardina has a special hobby – one that costs us a bit in repairs. She 'catches' leaves. The leaves actually get caught in the outside slats of the porch – which is, I believe I have mentioned, screened in. This does not deter Boozardina, who is equipped with sharp claws and the stubbornness of a Missouri mule. She simply removes a suitable portion of the screen, and then goes fishing for leaves. Leading to my confusion at finding large bits of fall foliage on the living room carpet of a first-floor apartment...

Sometimes she and Clancy pretend these leaves are mice. I know they do, because they have this conversation about them:

'Mee-rowrrrr...' (This is my mouse.)

'Mee-rowrrrr...' (You sure that's a mouse? It don't smell like a mouse.)

'Mee-ROWRRR...' (It's an ersatz mouse. Go get your own ersatz mouse.)

So it goes.

When hurricane weather and the leaf-blower people have done their work, and there are no more leaves to gather, Boozardina and Clancy sometimes get desperate and find other substitute mice - for instance, the porcelain bolt cover from the loo. Though, like the leaves, the bolt cover refuses to run in a pleasing zig-zag, it does occasionally roll about, and usually leads to this conversation:

'Mee-rowrrrr...' (This is my mouse.)

'Mee-rowrrrr...' (You sure that's a mouse? It's sort of white and cold and shiny, and don't smell like a mouse.)

'Mee-ROWRRR...' (It's a high-tech mouse. Go get your own high-tech mouse.)

Of course Boozardina is interested in birds. (I'm not sure Clancy knows what birds are, even if they do sort of resemble that bat that got in the house once - the one I swore was an ectoplasmic apport from an alternate universe, since there was no way it got down the chimney and out of the latched woodstove without supernatural assistance.) Boozardina's holes in the screen porch have other ulterior motives besides enabling her to function as an unpaid adjunct to the leaf-blower brigade – they are also bird-catchers. Last winter, she caught one – a bird, I mean. A very pretty one.

Fortunately, Elektra is faster than guinea pigs, hamsters, dogs, cats...especially a cat with a bird in its mouth busy having the following conversation with Clancy:

'Mee-rowrrrr...' (This is my mouse.)

'Mee-rowrrrr...' (That don't look like a mouse to me. Not even a high-tech ersatz mouse.)

'Mee-ROWRRR...' (Okay, it's a bird, already. Go get your own.)

Elektra: 'Give it HERE!' (Mee-ROWRRRR and double Mee-ROWWRRR.)

The frightened ornithoid was freed – minus a couple of unimportant feathers – and told to go and sin no more, lest it end up back in Boozardinaville.

Now I am worried about those crows. What if they make their way through a Boozardina hole to prance around on my screen porch?

The burning question is – who would I be sorrier for, the crows, bad vocabulary and all (they cuss worse than the squirrels), or Boozardina, who, let's face it, has never taken on anything quite that big?

This could turn into the battle of the century. This could be detrimental to my lease agreement. This could be hugely entertaining.

Maybe we should sell tickets.

After all, Boozardina might get her comeuppance. She might learn a salutary lesson in peaceful coexistence. We might even hear this conversation:

'Ca-awww...' (This is my cat.)

' Ca-awww...' (Share, why dontcha?)

' Ca-AWWW...' (Go get your own cat.)

Who says nature is quiet in winter?

Cat with bird in its mouth coming through cat flap.Boozardina makes her own cat flaps. And she's black.

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