Here in Nova Scotia, spring is just around the corner. Actually, I think it might have retreated behind a wall or two 'cause even though yesterday mornin' was quite spring-like, by late afternoon, it was snowin'... again. MOUSES!
But if we are to assume that the planet will continue to turn on its axis while orbiting the sun, we must also assume that eventually, spring will make an appearance. And with the arrival of spring, will come soft breezes, gentle rains, pretty flowers and singing birds. Yes my friends, in due time, all shall appear.
Of course, the other thing that will crop up are the peeps who keep tellin' everyone that cats, when allowed outdoors, kill all the birds. In fact, rumour has it that these peeps have begun tellin' their tall tales, already. MOUSES!
We all know how these things start. Someone with a few letters behind their name or somebody associated with a big-time organisation starts spoutin' off about the cats killin' all the birds and the next thing you know, everyone else is repeatin' what they're sayin'. They repeat it over and over and over again until they, and everybody else, start believin' it as fact.
But the truth is, just saying somethin' repeatedly can't make somethin' fact. That somethin' has to actually be factual in the first place in order for it to be fact and that, my friends, is a fact.
Remember all those peeps who kept claiming that the world was flat? For centuries, everybody said, "the world is flat." They said it over and over and over again until everyone believed it to be so. But did their sayin' it, make it so? Ummm... NO.
Oh sure, there may very well be peeps out there who still believe in the flatness of the Earth. There are probably peeps out there lookin' for a Flat Earth Society to join at this very moment. And there are probably peeps still tellin' other peeps that yes, the world is, indeed, flat. But the fact remains, the Earth is not flat. No, my friends, the Earth is round. Now that's a fact.
So just what does all this have to do with cats and birds? I'm gettin' to that.
For starters, this business about the Earth bein' flat should teach us all that we can't believe everything we hear. There might be a lot of hype about somethin' and there might be a lot of peeps sayin' that that somethin' is true but that doesn't make it fact. You shouldn't just believe someone 'cause they say they know what they're talkin' about. You need to actually listen to what they're sayin' and ask yourself, does what they're sayin' make sense?
You need to use your own senses. You need to use your own powers of observation. You need to use your own mind. Don't believe other peeps 'cause everyone else is believein' them. They might be all wrong. Just ask the peeps who used to believe that the Earth was flat.
What if Columbus had believed all this flat Earth stuff? Where would we be then? Well, for starters, there would be no such thing as Thanksgiving.
Anywho... back to the birds and the cats.
It has been said, by some, that outdoor kitties are killin' all the birds. Songbirds, specifically. I don't think they're talkin' about turkeys and chickens 'cause even they have to admit that it's peeps who do most of the killin' of those birds. I wonder where pigeons fit in? Hmmm...
Peeps with letters and whatnot followin' their names have been claiming that cats like me have been systematically decimating the songbird population. Well I have news for them. I, Nerissa the Cat, have evidence DISPROVIN' those reports! I do. I really, really do.
I live with nine other cats. Yes, there are ten of us cats livin' at my house and all ten of us are allowed outside in the garden. We're allowed to go anywhere we like in the garden 'cause... you know... it's OUR garden. During the spring and summer and fall, we all spend a lot of time outside in the garden. We play out there and nap and have meetings and whatnot. On particularly nice days, sometimes we only come inside to eat and use the litter box. On particularly nice days, we can be outside almost all day long.
So here we have a garden and that garden is filled with cats. Do you know what else fills that garden? BIRDS! And not just any ol' kind of birds. SONGBIRDS! Why, we have songbirds up to our ears. There are all sorts of 'em. Blue jays, chickadees, waxwings, thrushes, finches... you name 'em, we've got 'em. We even have hummers! There are birds upon birds upon birds!!!
Sometimes, when Peep #1 is outside playin' in the garden part of the garden, she'll stop what she's doin' and just listen. My peep loves the songs those birds sing. She simply loves hearin' them sing. And she's not the only one to have heard birds singing in my garden, either. Others have commented on it. Yes, my friends, others have noticed that even though we a house full of cats spendin' time in the garden, the garden is still filled with birds.
If there was any truth - at all - about cats who are allowed outside killing all the birds, how could my garden exist? Why, it couldn't. If we cats were killing all the birds, all the birds would be dead. And if all the birds were dead, they wouldn't be able to sing. See? This little theory of those peeps is startin' to unravel like a half-knit sweater carelessly left on the couch next to a curious cat but I digress. That's an entirely different story.
My point is, CLEARLY, we cats aren't killing all the birds. But are we killin' some of them, you ask. Would there be even more birds if we weren't allowed outside? NO.
Peep #1 has told me that when she has been in other peeps' gardens, she has not heard as many birds. She has told me that she hears far more birds singing in my garden than in many, many others. Even in gardens where there are birdbaths and feeders and whatnot. She has also said that she notices a difference when she walks down to get the mail. There are not nearly as many birds singing at the other end of the subdivision as there are singing in our, very own garden. You know, the garden with all the cats.
How can this be? How can there be more songbirds in a garden with ten cats than in other gardens with fewer or, in most cases, no cats? It doesn't make sense. At least, it doesn't make sense according to those stupid theories about the cats killin' all the birds.
Personally, I believe it's all in the peeps. Yes, my friends, it's a difference of peeps.
You see, when my Peep #1 gardens, she does so with birds in mind. Apparently, most people don't do that.
My peep grows plants that she knows will provide food and shelter for songbirds. Mankind continues, on a daily basis, to destroy the habitats of songbirds, leaving them with nowhere to nest and no food to eat. And the little food that is left, they poison with pesticides and herbicides. If those poisons don't kill the birds directly, they do so, indirectly. Many songbirds need insects to eat. When peeps kill all the insects with poisons, the insect-eating songbirds end up starving to death.
And what about the bees? Something is killing the bees and you can bet your last loonie there's no way to blame cats for that one although, I am sure there are some peeps out there who are willin' to try. But no, it is far more likely that the bees are dyin' because of somethin' peeps have done. Not my peeps. Other peeps. If you're gonna blame peeps or cats on this one, you've gotta go with the peeps.
What about the birds who eat berries? Those berries are pollinated by bees. If the bees die, they can't pollinate the flowers that produce the berries and the songbirds will, again, all starve to death. Many seed-bearing plants are pollinated by bees, too. Another food source gone as well. MOUSES!
We have a garden filled with birds 'cause my peep grows things like multiflora roses and crab apples and Russian olives, all of which provide berries for birds to eat throughout the winter. We have a garden filled with birds 'cause my peep grows flowers that produce lots of seeds that provide food for birds in the summer and fall. We have a garden filled with birds 'cause my peep grows nectar-rich plants like honeysuckle and fuchsias for the hummers. We have a garden filled with birds 'cause my peep grows pollen-rich plants and trees to feed the bees who then pollinate the plants that will eventually feed the birds. We have a garden filled with birds 'cause my peep only gardens organically. She never uses any kind of chemical that could harm the birds or the bees and the birds, in turn, take care of any insects that might bother the plants. We have a garden filled with birds 'cause my peep did not cut down all the tall trees so there are places for the birds to nest and find shelter. We have a garden filled with birds 'cause my peep has provided them with a haven, safe from mankind. Safe from the peeps out there who are REALLY doin' all the killin'.
So you see? It really is a difference of peeps. Nothin' to do with cats, at all. It can't be the cats. When you think about it, it doesn't make sense that it's the cats. If the stories were true, we cats would have killed all those birds in nothin' flat. We're all quite skilled with wand toys and nip mice, you know. Our garden simply cannot exist, according to all those stupid theories about cats killing all the birds. It just couldn't. AND YET IT DOES.
I will admit, there have been some fatalities. In a good year, we catch one or two birds. Very occasionally, three. That's three birds, tops, in a whole year for all ten of us. Not three each. Three in total. That means, in a good year, I'm responsible for the death of just under one-third of a bird. Hmmm... I'm thinkin' there are a lot of peeps out there responsible for killing a lot more songbirds than that. Of course, that's just my theory. But the stuff about my garden bein' filled with birds and cats? THAT'S A FACT. MOUSES!