When The Head Simply Has To Rule The Heart…

Hi All

A couple of days ago I was presented with a decision that wasn’t easy to make. It was one of those ‘head-having-to-rule-the-heart’ situations.

I was in the greenhouse (which is situated, on one side, about a foot from the neighbour’s conifer hedge) trying to track down a caterpillar that had holed one of my courgette plants, when all hell broke loose and a blackbird, in her manic attempt to escape, hit the glass before flying off clacking wildly.

As my startled eyes narrowed they focused on Chea, hanging in the hedge, back legs trailing, and her head stuffed into a nest. My first reaction was to scream, ‘Chea!’ So I did.

This had the desired effect and amid a shower of dead conifer debris she dropped to the ground. I bolted outside and chastised her, which as usual, was massively ineffective. She rolled onto her back and purred. I seriously think that this cat is stoned half of the time. I often catch her rolling deliriously in the cat mint, rubbing her head against the sprouting stems and giving it the occasional chomp. She even has a kind of swaying, ‘hey man, I’m stoned,’ look about her as she dawdle’s off up the garden with butterflies circling her head. I’m not sure if I’m imagining the butterflies – but I can honestly vouch to never touching the cat mint.

I hurried back into the greenhouse and peered through the glass. My heart dropped into my wellies as I spied a perfectly formed nest, awaiting the laying of eggs. I didn’t need last year’s horror played out in my memory cells, because I remembered it all too well – Chea, raiding a robin’s nest and systematically bringing back fledglings, one a day for 3 days. The horror and hopelessness of it will remain with me forever. Tiny birds, too young to leave the nest, half alive.

As I stood staring at the nest, imagining the eggs like they were the Devil’s spawn, I knew in my heart how it was going to play out. Mrs Blackbird would sit on the eggs, half-starved in her coma-like state, waiting and listening for her babies chipping at their shells. Then she’d exhaust herself with dozens of trips to neighbouring gardens to find sustenance for her brood. And then, she would return and there would be 2 left…and then 1….and then none. Chea would have had them all. My head had to rule my heart.

I stropped back to the house and fetched Richard to survey the potential hopelessness of the scene, and after a few moments – and after I’d reacquainted him with last year’s slaughter – he agreed that we had to take the nest away. At least, at this stage she had only built a nest. She hadn’t put her heart and soul into rearing chicks to have them taken.

It wasn’t an easy task. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it and so Richard, who is most definitely wider than a foot, had to squeeze down the narrow gap between the hedge and the greenhouse. It was dreadful and I expected him to go through the glass at any stage. But he managed, somehow.

Of course, my earlier bawling at Chea had brought out the neighbour, and I think he was watching from a distance, behind his rather pretentious runner bean wigwam, waiting for the blood to run. Fortunately, his weird pleasures weren’t fed.

I am now on blackbird watch. If I see the merest attempt at nesting within my garden I shall shoo her away. I must say though, that I’ve never known more stupid birds than blackbirds. They just pick a spot and move in. They obviously see Chea hunting the boundaries, half-stoned, with bees and butterflies circling her tabby bonce – and being a cat, and doing cat-like things – and yet they nest barely off the ground and in her territory.

I know that I’m banging my head against a very big wall expecting Chea to be anything other than a cat, and in fairness to her she isn’t a tunnel-visioned hunter. But then, after she’s been on the cat mint I guess she’s too ‘out there man’ to bother.iPod pics 023


Take care my lovelies x


Again…many thanks to new followers and to those of you who take the time to comment and ‘like’ etc xx

16 thoughts on “When The Head Simply Has To Rule The Heart…

    • I know. I threw a fit last year with the baby robins and told Richard to take Chea back to the RSPCA. Obviously I didn’t mean it…well, I did, but I didn’t, if you know what I mean? So pleased you kept Cookie x


  1. apart from my own cat, who is inherantly evil, I have to contend with seemingly dozens of neighbouring moggies, most of which do the most unspeakable things in my garden!


  2. Oh how awful to have to make that decision . I’ve heard if you put a photo of a hawk or similar bird in your garden it scares other birds away. I think you can buy like a cut out bird on a board for this purpose. Might stop bird making a nest.


    • Ah, thank you for that, worth a try, although – this area has been recently populated by buzzards and I often see them circling. But then again, the gardens are quite dense so I guess there is a lot of ground cover?


  3. Hello Gail, yes, Chea phoned one of my cats, Alice, offered her some ‘far out man’ cat mint, but Alice declined, saying she doesn’t go for the hard stuff.


  4. As always, Jennie – a heartfelt and hilarious romp through your garden and cat adventures. I’ve been away too long. When did you change your wordpress format? I like it. Best Wishes.


    • Hi Francis. I changed it about 8/10 days ago but this is the first blog using the new theme. Decided that I wasn’t really a ‘pink’ person after all. So, actually you didn’t miss a thing and ten out of ten for observation. Glad you like it. Thank you xx


  5. I too gave had cats that are ‘solid gone’. And others that spurned the catmint. Most cats that consider themselves ‘cats’ to any degree, will go for the easy option. It ever shall be, I am afraid.


    • Yes, I agree, and then, when they actually raise their brood and they flit or fall out of the nest the parent birds go on a 24 hour clacking offensive, never shutting up. Give me a humble hedge sparrow any day!


  6. This was such a cute story! I’m sorry you had to shoo the mother bird away, but I think I would have done the same. Really enjoy your writing! I look forward to more.

    –Alyssa Auch


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