This, is Gaia.
She’s been mentioned here more than once. She is my rescued 3-legged orange tabby. She is a wonderful cat, and full of personality. She loves to cuddle and give kisses.
She’s a fan of boxes, attacking toes in the night, and likes to lay in the sun.
But Gaia has a problem.
Seriously, this cat eats everything. She’s a big fan of toast and chips. She’ll eat peas, carrots, lettuce, spinach, mint, the insides of pumpkin carvings, cheese and all forms of gluten and meat. If you leave an unwatched plate she will swipe something off it. If something drops on the kitchen floor, she’s on it. She will grab a cookie out of your hand while enroute to your mouth. She will appear out of nowhere and lick up your ice cream bowl. She eats flies, termites, craneflies and worms. I’ve found her sneaking in the chicken pen more than one time to scavenge for toast and pizza crusts. If you’re in the kitchen, she’s right next to you, begging for whatever you’re cooking. If her bowl is empty of crunchies and you walk by her without filling it, she will angrily swipe at you with her one paw, or flip over her food bowl, glaring at you, in protest.
Granted, we encouraged this bad habit. Her pitiful meows and the ” I’m a cute little kitty who lived in a shelter and only have 3-paws” looks get us everytime, and we (ie- husband) feed her little bits. But lately, Gaia’s food cravings have turned to eating birds. The first time it happened, I assumed it was a freak accident and I was slightly proud of her- my handicapped cat, with a bell, managed to get a bird. But then it continued. This past week alone she got 3, 2 of which she ate. The 3rd, a tiny little Timouse, I was able to save and put it out of harm’s way until it flew away.
Cats kill an average of 1.4-2.7 BILLION birds a year. I am not ok with one of my creatures contributing to that statistic. She spends most of her time under the bird-feeders, just waiting for her next victim. This behavior has to stop. But there is no training of cats, and this one has no judgment of right from wrong.
Her strategy, which unfortunately is very effective, is jumping and knocking the birds out of their feeder, then promptly eating them. How she gets her fat ass off the ground and jumps as high as 6 feet to the feeders is beyond me, but she does it. So enter my solution: create a barrier of scrap chicken wire and rabbit fencing around the bird feeders so she can’t jump up and grab them.
It’s totally working. Now, she just sits outside the janky fence, staring at the birds. But she can’t get them. For now, the birds are safe.