Toads and Chipmunks

Letting the cats out into the yard has become a fraught exercise lately, and this morning was the topper.

I have to check the yard for any wildlife that I don’t want the cats to eat – um, that would be all of it, any of it! – and this morning I had to cage in the toad who has taken over Big Daddy’s position (I don’t know where Big Daddy, the huge toad who lived in our back yard for years has gone, but last year’s medium size one doubled in size in one year, so he has now become Big Daddy 2) because Mr. Toad is either a) too stupid or b) too stubborn to be afraid of the boys. I vote for too stubborn, because he hates me. Really. I had to chase him around the yard while doing yardwork one day, afraid he’d get caught in the lawn mower, and ever since then our relationship has just not been the same. We have malevolent ‘stare-offs’ and he wins every time. So I refuse to pick him up to move him out of harm’s way, and he just hunkers down and expands himself, glowering up at me, if I try to nudge him away, so I have to surround him with cat repelling objects (watering can, garden chicken, potted plant) and let him be.

But this morning I also had to chase a chipmunk who is way too confident, and scare off another random bird. Then there was the baby. A baby robin was perched on the cross bar of a table and I had to rush down the yard before the cats noticed him. I really didn’t want baby bird guts eveywhere.

But gosh he was so cute! So while I followed him, trying to coax him to leave the yard – I could hear his momma hooting her dismay from a nearby tree – I kept up a conversation with him about cats, and the inherent dangers in the beasts.

But I don’t know if he listened. You know kids these days. Anyway, I hope he doesn’t learn the hard way. I chased him into the neighbor’s yard, into the raspberry patch, which must seem like the Black Forest to him.

Sigh. I’m so trying to work, but instead I’m sitting here worrying about Baby Bird and Big Daddy, hoping the cats haven’t eviscerated and fricaseed either.

Better go check!


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