Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Holiday Cats Can Get Into - The Eating of Large Birds

Peep and Rudy sat on the deck looking out at the yard. A vulture sat perched in a tree on the edge of the neighbor's property. They weren't sure what he was looking at, but knew it wasn't them.

"Vultures are the ugliest birds the Great Cat ever made, don't you think, Peep?" Rudy had her lip curled up in disgust. "I bet they don't taste any better than they look, too. They eat road kill, for goodness sake. Who knows how long the things they've killed have been dead, or even why they died. They could have been diseased. I'd never want to eat vulture."

Personally Peep thought that Rudy had as much chance of catching a vulture as she did winning the lottery. Rudy might be a good hunter - she certainly claimed to be, but that vulture outweighed both of the cats put together. It could probably pick one of them up and fly off with no problem.

Peep sighed. She loved eating birds, but they were so hard to catch. She'd never consider going after the vulture herself, but she'd like it if a nice grouse were to slowly walk through the yard. Then Peep could have a good fowl dinner. "Even if the vulture isn't good to eat, wouldn't you just love to have a nice large bird for your supper, Rudy?"

LT sauntered up to the bottom of the stairs and looked up at Peep and Rudy. "Well, if you don't mind them cooked, you'll have your wish soon." He sat down and began grooming himself, studiously ignoring the others.

"Is Mommy making a chicken for dinner tonight? Oh, I love it when she makes chicken!" Peep jumped up, but sat down quickly when LT shook his head.

"Nope. She's not even home yet, Peep. week is Thanksgiving, or as we of the feline purrsuation call it, "The Eating of Large Birds". LT smiled to himself. Oh, how he loved the crisp turkey skin, or a nice cooked turkey heart.

Rudy looked confused. Last November she was still living at the barn, so she didn't know much about Thanksgiving. She'd seen some talk shows about it recently, but the cooking ladies seemed to talk about pies and vegetables. Being an obligate carnivore, she automatically tuned out those discussions. "Where, pray tell, do we get these large birds? Is this part of the fall migration or do they get deposited in our food dishes?" Rudy hated to be teased, and she had a suspicion that LT was making fun of her.

Peep saw that Rudy wasn't understanding the conversation, and undertook to explain the holiday of Thanksgiving. "Rudy, Thanksgiving is a holiday. People get together and eat cooked turkey and other foods and then either they all watch football games or they yell at each other. I've seen it on television lots of times, and sometimes Mommy and Daddy make a turkey here and people come over and eat it with them. They don't do the yelling or the football watching here, though. Just the turkey eating."

As explanations went, this one left a lot to be desired, even from a cat's point of view. LT interrupted, "Rudy - who cares why they do it. They cook birds bigger than that vulture over there! And unlike that scrawny buzzard, these turkeys have so much meat on their chests that they can barely stay upright when they're alive. And their legs - ah, their legs are so big and round that you couldn't put your mouth around one and carry it away. The Eating of Large Birds is the best holiday of all for cats. People always talk about Christmas being the best, but for cats, it's definitely Thanksgiving.

Rudy looked at Peep and LT, eyes wide. "A whole holiday just devoted to eating birds? Maybe people aren't as silly as I had thought. It makes more sense to me to celebrate good food than things like soldiers or ships sailing somewhere or working. I like this idea. Count me in."

LT sauntered past and went into the house, licking his chops in anticipation. Peep sat on the deck drowsing in the sun. Both of them dreamed of Thanksgivings past when they'd had their fill of turkey. Oh, if only Thanksgiving were tomorrow....

Photo courtesy of Josh Bousel -

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