Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Birdsong is not only for the birds

How many cats should you have in one house? One? Three? I’m thinking 181 is a bit obsessive. Not that I HAVE 181 cats in my house, but if I did, I wouldn’t tell you because I’d – 1) be super embarrassed to admit it; and 2) be so tired herding cats all day I’d have no strength leftover to even floss my teeth – not that I do floss, but I really wouldn’t be able to if I did.

One dog is more than enough. A small dog. A dog that knows deep inside it’s a cat.

According to something I read somewhere a while back (maybe a week or two ago, online, from a credible source, not some “Joe Bob’s Therapy Blog” dot com website), I read that going outside and listening to birds is good for your mental health. The birdsong – which is all around us and absolutely free – is calming, and could very well help reduce feelings of anxiety.

The humming of the humming birds; the cooing of the mourning doves; the pips of the tiny Titmouse; the knock, knock, knocking of the woodpecker; the who-ing of the owl; the who-ing owl impersonation by the sarcastic mockingbird – birdsong, to help lift a heavy heart and give us the strength to keep doing what needs to be done.

Unless, of course, you unleash all 181 cats. Then a screaming, cawing, squawking cat-induced cacophony ensues, and nobody wants to listen to THAT while you’re all Zen-like on the front porch, drinking your morning cup of coffee.

I envy birds and their ability to fly – their talent of soaring high above their problems, alighting on any branch of their choosing, and then calling out to their neighbors as if in deep conversation:

“Yes, I actually heard it in the other tree. It was from a credible source, not some ‘Toucan Sam’s fruit loops detector’ dot com website. I heard that if you sit and listen to those people down there for too long, you’ll absolutely lose your little birdie mind. They’ve done studies. I think I’m going to Tweet about it. Re-Tweet, like and follow.”

Then of course, the conversations change significantly when the birdie neighborhood is awash with 181 cats, all with dubious intentions.

“Yes, I see them. There are too many to count. Stay high. Stay high. Did you hear me, Fred? Good. Now, Betsy, where’s the children? Whose children? Are you serious? Grab them all and… Hey, where’s little Monica? She’s not down… Oh no! There she is! You divebomb that Tabby, I’m going to take out the Siamese. Good hunting, boys! We’ll all meet up back at the branch. Tallyho! Tallyho!”

Many a time I’ve walked around in the front yard, or sat on the porch, and listened to those little winged creatures and thought to myself we should be more like birds. See how they fly with gusto; see how they live their short lives to the fullest; see how they look after each other; see how they “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,” as Henry David Thoreau once wrote (even though he wasn’t talking about birds).

Yes, we should be more like birds: as brave as an eagle, as thoughtful as an owl, as quick as a roadrunner, as amusing as a humming bird, as useful as a turkey vulture who always volunteers to help clean up after the party’s over, all the while being mindful of the cats – all 181 of them – who may not always have our best interests at heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment