Sunday, April 29, 2012
Elvis is in the Building
As you all probably know, the dog food containers have to be put up on my kitchen table because of Stevie being able to pop the latches off and treat herself to her own personal buffet. When she arrived last year around this time and I figured out her trickery, I quickly moved the container on the table and had left the lid off. I came home one day to bird poop in my bathtub and upon closer examination, found more bird poop on the shower curtain rod. Huh? I spent a staggering amount of time trying to figure out how bird poop got in my bathroom and where in the world the bird was. I often leave my back door open for the dogs so I knew how the bird got in but questioned why a bird had come in and far more importantly, where the bird had gone. I crept around the house while dreading the inevitable sight of bird feathers and a guilty cat licking her lips. Much to my relief, I found no other evidence of the bird. So, I figured out how the bird got in, that the bird got out safely but the why continued to mystify me. The next day, I was sitting on my couch, which faces the back door and in flew a beautiful blue jay who went directly to the dog food bin, perched on the ledge, and leaned in to help himself to some kibble before flying away. My dog, Timmie was sitting beside me and his eyes nearly start rolling around like pin wheels, while twisting his neck like something out of The Exorcist. He jumped off the couch, while barking, and chased the bird away. I sat on the couch utterly stunned and trying to piece together what I had just seen. Before I could even process it all, here he came again for a second helping. This started a daily ritual of visits from the bird, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I did my best to distract Timmie because I didn't want to discourage the bird from visiting us. I was fearful that Maddie, the cat would find and kill him but he had his mission down pat and could fly in, get his snack, and be back out before even Timmie had mustered up an adequate response. This went on all summer and fall, with me sometimes finding the bird hopping around waiting at the back door when it was closed. I would then open it up and he would hop right in. He soon started bringing a friend who would never come in but perch on the nearby fence, watching the action. I am assuming it was a female because I once saw him transfer a piece of kibble from his beak to hers before she flew off and he came back for more. Winter came and off flew the bird. I missed him but as time went on, I forgot all about it. I got back into the habit of covering the food until the other day when I thought that I spotted him again. I took the lid back off, kept the door open, and sure enough, Elvis came back. I decided to name him this year because he is pretty much a member of the family and Elvis seemed to suit him. He has been back every day, two or three times a day, and has virtually no fear of me. A few days ago, I was sitting on my back porch when he flew right past me, went inside, got his food, and flew back off. How he discovered the food I will never know, because watching where he flies, he doesn't even "live" here. I think he lives one or two doors down and he must be a savvy little thing because this neighborhood has a lot of cats. He flew in the other day as Maddie was walking by and she looked, did a double take, stared in what looked like genuine bewilderment, and then if she were a human, she would have shrugged her shoulders and walked away. Just as I am writing this, Elvis came in for his first snack of the morning. The food is wheat free and it clearly doesn't kill him because he made it through last season, the winter, and looks like a very healthy bird. I can already tell that we are going to miss him once winter comes again but we have all summer and fall to enjoy our own little Elvis.......as long as he doesn't get bloated and puffed up like the real Elvis and is too sluggish to outrun my geriatric, nearly deaf cat, Maddie, but I think the odds are in his favor.