Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cat television: Hummingbirds and hunting neighbors

Small hummingbird on a feeder

Four of my cats live strictly indoors. They have never experienced uninterrupted and unsupervised outdoor time, and they are accustomed to watching the world go by as they perch in the many windows that are arrayed around my house.

I break up their time indoors with games, with leash walks and with catios. All of those steps help to ensure that a cat's vital hunting instincts are both respected and honed. But I also ensure that they have plenty of things to look at right on the other side of our windows. And lately, the cat television has been tuned to some wonderful channels.

Small female Anna's hummingbird

This is a very small, female Anna's hummingbird. This is one of the smallest birds in the hummingbird family, and they unlike many other little birds in the family, this is a type of hummer that doesn't migrate. These birds are with us in the Willamette Valley all year long.

Even though they are here, the cats do not see these little birds much in the summertime. The hummers feast on nectar, and there are plenty of flowers to eat in the summer. They also eat tiny insects, and those are abundant when the weather is warm. But when things cool down and the flowers die and the bugs go away, the little birds spend a lot of time on the feeders.

This little female must have a nest close to the front feeder as she is parked in her spot first thing in the morning and last thing at night. She is there so often that she doesn't even move when Fergus and Maggie are crowded in the windows to watch her  She sips her nectar without even giving them another look, and since she doesn't react, they don't chitter at her or bang at the window. They watch her, while swishing their tails, but that's about it.

So I was surprised to hear the cats making a great deal of ruckus the other day. I knew something unusual was happening with the cat television. And I wasn't wrong.

White cat hunting squirrels

This tree is the main view out of the front window, and there's a handy little squirrel feeder up top that we keep filled with corn and nuts for our little chittering friends. The other day, neighbor cat Riley thought he had a shot at taking down one of our dining squirrels.

See that little blur on the side of the tree? That's a very young squirrel that came awfully close to being Riley's dinner. Fergus was shouting his support for the hunt, and I think that alerted the little critter that something bad was afoot. Up the tree he went.

Such exciting cat television, don't you think? What do your cats see out their windows? Leave me a note in the comments and let me know!

And don't forget to visit the other blogs in the BlogPaws hop this week. Good stuff!


  1. That looks like some very entertaining bird TV.

  2. That looked like very exciting TV.

  3. Wow! There is a lot of cool stuff going on there. My kitties don't get much good tv because we live on the second floor and we aren't close to any trees. Those little humming birds are really cool! That squirrel doesn't even know how lucky he was to get away.

  4. Whoa! All I see are the cars on the helix and the construction workers next door's, er, full moons.

  5. How exciting! Pierre loves to watch from squirrels and lizards out the back door. He loses his mind and I have to let him out to try to catch them. I love catios and would have enjoyed having one when I had cats. ♥

  6. Wow, cat TV has it all - drama, chase scenes, and a happy ending! I bet they binge-watch! :)

  7. This is rather impressive shot. My cats hate camera and I find it extremely difficult to photograph them.

  8. The squirrels and birds are the main TV for the kitties. The skunks only come out at night so they rarely see those. Same with the resident raccoon. They do often get to spy on the groundhog family. Though we have a hummingbird feeder and have for years, we see very few. We saw one maybe three times this year. That was some great kitty TV you had going then other day. Wishing you all a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo