• Cécile Graven

I am owned…

I am owned by my cat and intrigued by a female blacjack ( Turdus merula, vrouwtjes-merel).

Weird as it may sound, those two things are related.

You see, when the nights are not cold anymore and it is not raining, my cat ( his name is Benno) has a walkabout each night. When he arrives home, a liitle bit later than sunrise, he looks to his food and thinks: “That is old, my bowl is nearly empty, let us get my servant to correct that error.”

By experience he knows the best way to wake me and to get me out of my bed is to come to my bed, purring loudly while he does and than nestling him self on my pillow, his nose against my nose. Then the purring intensifies and razorsharp nails make small holes in that pillow. Still slightly asleep I use one hand to stroke him softly.

More loud purring and than his nails start to touch me, sometimes through my t-shirt, sometimes on my naked skin. Ever so lightly, not harming me, but not a nice feeling at all.

“Softly”, I urge him and I cup my hands around his frontpaws to stop the  threading on my skin. He purrs even louder and I slip back into sleep… for a few seconds that is.., because he unfolds his paws again and touches my face with it, again and again, untill I decide that he will keep going and I will not sleep anymore.

When I rise he purrs and purrs, moves a bit and goes to the foot-end of the bed to keep watch over me.

When I have put on clothes he jumps from my bed and waits for me on top of the stairs. We have our traditions together and the tradition requiers that we cuddle together on top of the stairs. It is because when 3 steps down I don’t have to bend down ( what my body cannot do properly, especially in the mornings) to stroke him. Three strokes it is and than both of us go downstairs. Benno looks through the catflap to see if all is clear in the kitchen and than waits for me to open the door.

He goes to his foodbowl ( it is on top of a big wooden box so I can reach it), I move my finger through the kibbles  and the miracle has happened. Suddenly he thinks his bowl is full enough and the kibble fresh enough. He eats a mouthfull and the.., returns to my bed … to sleep for a five or six hours !

That about my owner whose humble servant I am.

And now about the female blackjack.

Because I am out of bed early I often go outdoors to water the plants on the two patio’s and in my front garden.

It is very quiet in my neighbourhood this early in the morning. I enjoy to see my plants, I enjoy the concerto of all kinds of birds and I do feel very close to nature allthough I do sit in my scootmobile while watering teh frontgarden.

And then I noticed her:

merel (v)

She came to sit in one of the two trees in my frontgarden and watched me closely. At first I did think she was hoping that earthworms would come up while I watered the plants, but she stayed in those little trees and only flew away when I came  within  a meter ( a bit more than 3 feet) from her.

tamariks in my frontgarden

tamarisk in my frontgarden

Two mornings ago I opened the door to the rightside Patio to water ( with a can) some strawberries that are growing in a windowbox at the wooden fence.

Opening that doors makes a noise, I have to turn the key, move the squeaky doorhandle and I walk through an anti-musquito-thingy like this:


The heavy ends always bang to a radiator of the central heating, so going out there makes a lot of noise.

While I was stepping outdoors I saw her sitting on top of the fence, about 30 centimer ( one foot) above the blooming strawberries. I expected  her to fly away while I walked the 3 or 4 meters to the plants, but she did not.  I watered the strawberries and she kept sitting there. If I should have stretched my arm I would have been able to touch her, so close to me she was. I could see the little strands of moss she caried in her pecker.

Such a surprise, such a gift!

And it got even better!

From the other side of the fence her partner arrived and landed some 50 centimeter away from her. He was clearly shocked to see me there. But he looked to his wife, looked at me and decided to stay. I wished them both good morning and went back into the house, when I turned to close the door they still were there, but when I looked out from the kitchenwindow both were gone.

And then this morning.., when Benno had returned to bed I started my day by opening the kitchenwindows.

On the fence of the leftside patio she sat and observed me. Opening the window was okay, she stayed. While I was pressing half a lemon ( I drink the juice of half a lemon each morning) she watched me for a bit more and then started preening herself. I moved to the sink to dilute the lemonjuice, she kept preening. After a while I decided I realy had to take the silverware form the dishwashing  past evening out of the drainingboard and stash it in its drawer. Noisy, but she kept preening. I watched her for some 5 minutes more.

Then her mate arrived onto the roof of my neighbour ( I recognize him because he has one feather on his back that is out of place, the first time I noticed that was at least 3 yrs back), she looked at him, stopped preening, looked at me and flew to him.

It has touched me deeply, the confidence she showed in me.

Please tell me about your expieriences with (semi-wild) animals or how your pet(s) interact with you.

#miracle #Turdusmerula #blackjack #gift #merel #cat

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