• Sam Palmer

Cat Eat Bird

Updated: May 19, 2021



I locked eyes on the bird outside and felt my body go stiff. It didn’t matter that I’d never smelled the scent of a bird, felt my razor sharp teeth pierce through the layer of feathers and into the fat meat, the taste of blood punching my tastebuds and encouraging me to continue to devour my prey. Nearly 10,000 years of predator instinct were packed into my DNA and watching that fat yellow bird sit on that branch safely out of my reach beyond the window was nearly more than I could stand.


“Nick! Come help me with the groceries please!”


I watched the fat yellow bird fly away and turned to see Renee carrying in two armfuls of groceries. I ran my rough tongue down the length of my paw as I wondered if she picked up the food I liked and not that disgusting ‘seafood sensations’ slop she tried to feed me last month. My ear pivoted at the sound of Nick running through the house passed me and entering the kitchen.


“Hey, mom! Can Trevor come over?”


“Maybe. First, help me with the groceries. Is your homework done?” She yelled after him but he was just a flash of a blue sweatshirt as he sped out the door and to the car to retrieve more groceries.

May as well see what she got. I jumped down from the window sill, my feet landing softly on the hard word floor, and padded my way to the smell of food and plastic bags. I slowed my pace and came around the corner, rubbing my body against the cabinets and letting out my most charming ‘meow’.


“I know, Spencer. Don’t worry I got your food. And look-“ she reached into a brown plastic bag and pulled a bag of food out, holding it up “it’s the chicken & beef flavor you like!”


I love this woman. I let out another happy ‘meow’ as I pranced around her feet, my tail curling around her calf. She smiled down at me then shooed me away as she continued to put the food away. The light was pouring in from the open kitchen door, not a mistake they usually make since Renee is constantly yelling ‘Don’t let the cat out!’, and for a moment I considered how fast I could make it across the kitchen and into the outside. My body frozen I lowered my head and felt my muscles tense, prepared for a sudden burst of energy.


“Mom! Are these for me?” Nick interrupted my impromptu escape with two bags in one hand and a case of chocolate pudding in his other.


“Yes. Now put them away, they're for your lunches. And close that damn door before Spencer gets out!”


Slam. I watched as he kicked the door closed and dropped the groceries on the table before exiting the room with Renee yelling after him about his homework. I stared at the closed door for another moment before finally turning around and padding out of the room to lay in the last bit of sunshine still spilling in from the window trying not to think about how badly I wanted to go outside. I often wondered why I was so obsessed with the idea. I couldn’t even remember what it was like to be outside. Actually, I’m not really sure I had been outside once since they picked me up and took me to the shelter. I wasn’t there long before Renee and Nick came and picked me out. Gave me this blue collar with the stupid bell on it and the name Spencer. I didn’t hate the name, or Renee and Nick. They were alright in their own way. Renee liked it when I laid on her feet at night and Nick and I sometimes played a game of chase with this little red light he had. The three of us were sort of a family, I suppose. I knew I had it good, better than some in my litter I’d bet. So, why couldn’t I shut off this burning in my chest to run outside, feel the dewy grass brush against my underbelly, the wet earth under my paws, and breath in the scent of life all around me.


As if he knew what I was thinking about I heard the yellow bird start singing from his branch again.


My ears spun around and my whiskers twitched. This bastard is taunting me. I hopped up and sat at attention staring at him. He was looking right at me, his perfect little orange beak opening to chirp and tease. A second yellow bird flew in landing beside him and joined in the song. They cocked their heads at me, taking turns yelling to me in their cryptic melodious language. Fluffing their feathers, and flapping their wings. Yeah, you two wouldn’t be so brave if we weren’t separated by this glass. My mouth hung open slightly, my breath shallowed and came in short bursts, a low whine rising from my throat.


“Mom! Spencer is doing that weird thing at the window again!”


“Spray him with the water bottle!”


Squirt squirt squirt. The cold water hit my back, sending me scrambling from the window and away from that little monster with the squirt bottle. His laugh slowly faded behind me as I ran up the stairs and under Renee’s bed. I waited, listening for if he followed me up here. Wouldn’t be the first time he chased me around the house with his aquatic weapon of terror. A few more seconds and I was fairly sure he hadn’t come up the stairs after me. I tucked my feet in, my ears lying flat as I realized those two fat birds had seen the whole thing. Now they’ll never shut up. I needed to get out there and face those two. I was sick of being taunted as if I wasn’t a perfectly designed killing machine. I needed to remind them the natural order of things. Cat eat bird.


My ear swiveled behind me at the unusually clear sound of the street just outside and below the second story window. I crawled out peering over the bed at the white sheer curtains blowing softly. She left the window open! The screen on her window had needed replacing the last two winters. She’d finally pulled it out, mentioning to herself to remember to pick up a new one. That was months ago, and until today, it hadn’t been warm enough to open the window and remind her of the missing screen.


I couldn’t believe my luck! I sprung up onto the window sill feeling my first real wave of fresh air in what felt like a lifetime. The light was different, the shapes, the blues and grays. It was all so clear. So vivid! Seeing the world without the filter of glass took my breath away and I gave myself a moment to soak it in before snapping out of it. Get it together, Spencer. I jumped down onto the shingled overhang, my pupils shrinking down to slivers as I took in all the scents and details of my new surroundings. Now, where are those birds.

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