The Exploits of Starsky
The Blackbird and the Black Widow
This is a story of a cat trying to sleep peacefully in the sun lying on the warm earth out of the way of everyone causing no disturbance.
Before we get into the story, it is important to explain that the Black Widow is a water pistol and not the venomous North American spider of which the female devours the male after mating. A trait that has not been adopted widely by the human race or cats; a great advantage mammals have over male spiders!
Anyway, back to the water pistol, it is capable of shooting water a good distance and making the recipient very wet if the shooter is so inclined. This is a voluminous water gun made of plastic very familiar to parents and adults with the wrong intentions. However, in this case it important to make the point that the purchase of these pistols, which come as a pair, was purely to distract the pigeons while they are fighting in the trees and generally making a nuisance of themselves on the roof of the bungalow. It holds a good amount of water in the container and can shoot about thirty feet if well pumped up. Yes, you have to pump it up once you have fired it to get the distance on each firing. You can get several shots without having to refill it but it gets much weaker after each firing; this is important if you trying to discourage pigeons from disturbing your peace and, yes, it does work. I thought you would want to know that since it is very relevant to this story!
We have to mention the blackbird before we go any further. This female blackbird spotted Starsky lying in the sun fast asleep with his back against the fir tree looking like he did not have a care in the world. There are many blackbirds in and around the garden that have come to except Starsky, providing he is asleep or not doing anything else to upset them. During the day this is very usual and peace normally reigns.
Not the case with this particular young blackbird; as soon as it sees Starsky, it starts squawking in the way they do to warn other birds. No other blackbirds wanted to join in and this particular bird continued with his squawking for about ten minutes before yours truly trying to work on a document on the computer started to wonder, what is going on! Starsky is there, having been woken up, meowing as to say ‘why don’t you buzz off’ with no avail.
I am now distracted from my work, Starsky is meowing and the blackbird is squawking. Action has to be taken! Yes, you’ve guessed it; the Black Widow has to be brought into action to squirt the blackbird and discourage this behaviour!
The water pistol is pumped up, the window is opened carefully, aim is taken at the blackbird. It won’t stay still but continues squawking. It moves out of the aim of fire allowed by the window and patience has to reign. All that has to happen is for the bird to move into range and the big squirt can sort it out.
At last, the bird moves into the line of fire, Starsky is still meowing and FIRE! The jet of water misses the bird but surprises it so much that it flies off into a tree but it is still squawking. A quick pump up and another squirt into the tree followed soon after. This further surprises the bird unused to having jets of water aimed at it, it flies off well out of range and it has stopped squawking. Although a direct hit would have been nice, the objective has been achieved. At least that is how it appeared.
During all this activity, Starsky has woken up completely and starts licking his belly ignoring the great achievement. Cats have a habit of doing this, which can be annoying at times. I pumped up the gun and went back to work. You have to remember to do this to act quickly to squirt pigeons or other targets!
A few minutes later the blackbird is back, squawking louder than ever. I am now getting frustrated at all this disturbance and am determined to stop this racket as soon as possible. Back to the window and take aim waiting for the bird to come into range. At last, the bird comes into range and FIRE!
The water pistol is made of plastic and this pumping up puts quite a bit of strain on the structure. Unfortunately, the jet of water goes just over the top of the bird but another jet sprays me all over my shirt from a small section that has become unglued at the back of the gun.
The blackbird flew off, stopped squawking and I am drenched. Starsky starts licking his belly again but does look up and make a little meow as to say ‘thank goodness for that’. I have to go and dry myself off and change my shirt.
Oh, you want to know about the blackbird. It is still bothering Starsky from time to time but when it sees me now it flies off a long way, well out of range! At least Starsky seems to appreciate this interference when the blackbird starts squawking. Our companionship has strengthened by this little disturbance, so there is a benefit after all!
The moral of this story is ‘water pistols are better for deterring pigeons and if you want to effective against blackbirds have a sparrow hawk as a pet or something like that’ or ‘leave Starsky to sort out his own problems which he is very good at in his own time and put up with the racket from the blackbird’.
If you can think of a better moral, please let me know!