This weekend as I have mentioned before, I will be in Lincoln, thus missing Cardiff Singer of the World etc..........but also being unable to maintain 'cat watch'.
For anyone who imagines that the birds' mating season where they raise their young is a simple straightforward thing, helped by friendly humans with feeding and so on, you are reckoning without the input (or rather, the outtake) of cats.
I missed a young blackbird being snatched by a cat by mere seconds on Wednesday morning, so I was informed by my fellow bus passengers. The poor mother bird had flown into the glass at the bus shelter in a vain attempt to get to the cat and was crouched, stunned in front of a group of helpless humans. She was stunned but would obviously recover so we didn't feel too badly about her, but the poor baby.......
At home I keep an ear open for unusual alarm sounds from birds and am usually able to prevent too many murders by the neighbouring felines.
I would point out that I love cats equally as much as birds - just not in the same arena - and I noticed this morning that next to the 'you can't see me' huddled form of Hercules, the local ginger bandit, was, horror of horrors, a large yellow lily in full flower.
Much as I love lilies I thought i had removed every last one from the garden last year, but obviously this one escaped. The reason for their eviction for anyone who may not know is that they are absolutely deadly poison to cats. Every part of the lily is poisonous and if an unfortunate mog brushes past one with open flowers and later when grooming, licks the pollen from its fur it will die. There is apparently almost nothing a vet can do to save a cat which has ingested lily pollen and the resulting illness and eventual death is long and wretched for both cat and owner.
Strange isn't it, that this most beautiful of flowers should have this lethal effect?
Just a plea to anyone who loves them too much to give up growing them, please try planting them in pots and keep them away from ground level.
I have just been out and dug up the lovely thing and put it in the compost!