14 May, 2008

Pigeons among cat

I arrive home and find the half-drunk port in the living room bouleversé. The Goethe on top of the bookcase, likewise, is bouleversé. The flowers on the table are bouleversés. The books stacked and not yet shelved are, yes, bouleversés. My first thoughts are of Aubrey. Aubrey is our kitten. My wife's kitten. (Picture of kitten. I recommend not clicking this link if you are squeamish.)

I look down at the floor and notice that the floorboards are studded with merde. I glance at the sofa and find merde there, too. I find merde on the chair, merde on the card-table, merde on the CD-player, merde on my wife's book. (No merde on my books—the merdeur evidently has taste.) Aubrey is nowhere to be seen.

I am in the room for about two minutes, looking at all the bouleversement, and at all the merde, before I notice that I am not alone. Perched, quite serenely, on a low shelf in the corner, is a huge pigeon.

I cannot stop myself exclaiming, Holy fucking sh—

I say something similar when I see the other pigeon, equally as big, scrunched up on the top bookshelf, next to my Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, and, with the greatest contentment, merde-ing.

The windows are shut. A trail of merde leads confidently to the bathroom, where, sure enough, the window is open. Gobbets and pellets of merde, in a variety of sizes and shapes, adorn the bath, sink, taps, soap.

As I come back into the living-room, the Birds are getting rowdy. I haul up the sashes and am showered with squawks and the beating of wings. There follows a game of chicken—or rather, of pigeon—as I dart around, attempting to shoo the birds outside with cushions and pillows. Instead they hop back and forth along the ceiling, from the bookcase to the top of the window to the CD-player, banging repeatedly into the top (closed) panes and quite failing to grasp the simple mechanics of the sash. I toss coasters at them. Still nothing.

Half an hour later, they are gone. Aubrey is still absent. Did the Birds take him, or even eat him? Do Birds eat kittens? Mrs. Roth is absent too. Do Birds eat—?


Le monde, il a besoin de moins de chats choyés,
et de plus de pigeons provocateurs

— La Rothfoucauld


"Q" the Enchanter said...

"Holy fucking sh—"

Pardon your French.

Malone said...

I believe the politically correct term is "Rock Dove." No wonder they're mad at you.

John Cowan said...

Rock Dove is appropriate for the wild form, or when speaking of the species Columbia livia as a whole.

But the domestic or feral varieties are called pigeons.

To reminisce: I once arrived at my country house in winter to find the house even colder than usual, the kitchen window smashed, and a large bird (I am no aficionado del pajareo myself) dead on the kitchen floor.

Fortunately, the stained-glass panel which hung on a chain just inside the window was undamaged: ironically, it portrays a mythological bird known in my family as Thunderchicken.

Anonymous said...

You have granted much mirth in this 3 a.m. desert...but I do hope you've located the missing parties! I spent a good deal of time observing the life cycle of the pigeon from various Italian flats, and I always expected some to invite themselves in. Surprisingly, it seems the British strain is more cheeky.

Malone said...

John Cowan:

It's pretty clear you're part of the problem.

Conrad H. Roth said...

Aubrey safe and sound; Mrs. Roth safe and sound. Best of all, Goethe safe and sound.

Andrew W. said...

Thank Göttliche.

Sid Leavitt said...

I looked at the jpg of your kitten, and if it's as large as the image that came across my screen (I had to scroll to get it all in), I'm surprised the pigeons dared enter.

Robert said...

I assume the large cat was curled up on your bed without a care in the world? Don't look a gift horse Roth, cat food not bird food! Save the Tescos bill, 'every little helps'. Jackdaws down the chimney can be entertaining too!

Conrad H. Roth said...

No, the cat was cowering behind the sofa. If I'd had a gun I might have made cat-food, but sadly this isn't America.