This morning, as I sat down to write after my breakfast, which is my usual routine if there aren’t pressing projects for work, my cat began to meow incessantly. She kept staring at the front door. When I had awakened, it was gray and cloudy, but for a brief hour the sun peeked through the clouds and cast a bright beam on the front door. I thought she was meowing at her shadow, or the shadow cast by creatures from outside.
I sat down to work, but the meows continued, and she hadn’t meowed like this since she was a kitten. Okay, maybe it’s Spring, I thought, and she’s getting the itch to go outside? I opened the rear window so she could smell the fresh air. Meows continue. I give her a toy and a rub. Meows continue. Okay, so I prop open the front door and let her roam the hallways of my apartment building.
Calm. Finally. I get back to my writing.
A few minutes later I hear her meowing again and also a banging, and when I check on her this time I find a very excited European starling fluttering about my apartment and trying to get out the closed window. (There is a very small attic above me where birds like to make nests. I suppose it’s warm and quiet. Sometimes, an adventurous bird finds its way into the hallway via small openings in the wood and then cannot find its way back again.)
So now I rush to open the window, but the bird gets scared and darts across my apartment and back into my bedroom to slam into the closed window there. I open this window, but the bird panics and hides behind my computer desk. Solution, I think: Open all the windows and the bird will find one to exit (but be sure to only open the tops of the windows so the cat doesn’t leap out to her death after it!).
Problem solved: The bird leaps out my bedroom window and flies happily away, though perhaps with a few bruises from slamming into closed windows. You’d think nature would select for that by now.
After the small chaos my cat pridefully struts back to me with her head held high. “I told you,” she seems to say. “Yeah, you did,” I say. I’m going to trust her instincts from now on.