We try to keep the murderous thug in the house, but sometimes he escapes–and sometimes there are vigilantes waiting for him. I refer to our thuggish black cat (who has been known to steal neighbor cats’ food and pet toys). He likes to go out and kill birds…

But lately he’s been attacked by birds, mostly mockingbirds, who give off a distinctive warning sound when he appears. I’ve observed this, heard this, over and over. The sound is like, “CHEP! …CHEP!…CHEP!..CHEP!” Not cheep–chep. A harsh repetitive sound, like an alarm siren. It’s like they’re saying, “Cat!…Cat!..Cat!” Then–the mockingbird dives at the cat and, sometimes striking it with its claws. The mockingbird often adds a second sound –softer–like “CHEP!…chirp…CHEP!…chirp….” ANd when it does this *another mockingbird shows up.*. It’s well known that birds sometimes call for assistance…When this happens, the cat pussies out, his thug ways vanish–he has no instinct for repelling this kind of assault–and makes a pathetic “Meep!” sound, then runs and hides under low hanging limbs.

To my surprise, the mockingbird will sometimes hover, in the course of this harassment. Most birds can hover, but many only do it on special occasions, it appears.

Meanwhile this thug cat comes in and whines to me that he’s being persecuted by the birds. He’s actually been driven to take refuge back in the house by them at times…

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