Stalemate

A couple of feathers on the patio, greasy smudges on the window pane, several more feathers and a streak of blood on the kitchen sink tell the story.

Down in the blue corner the aggressor, haunches pressed down on the tiles, angry tail tip flicking rhythmically, low continuous moan emitting between snarling lips.

Over in the red corner a mightily miffed larger than average rock pigeon, left wing drooping slightly, eyes ablaze, neck feathers puffed up. With head bobbing, he pushes out a defiant “oooorrrrrhhhhh”.

-oo00oo-

It seems Orion the hunter (Tiddles* to you and me) initially got the upper hand, surprising Mr Coo* near the back door where he snacked on some breadcrumbs. His momentum carried him halfway up the steps and with a mighty leap he landed on the windowsill. The stunned old codger started regaining his senses as he was dragged headlong through the open kitchen window and on the draining board he frantically flapped his wings, boxing the feline around the ears. The startled tabby momentarily lost his grip and as they tumbled down to the floor in an untidy heap they took up battle stations. The wily old bird was used to ruling the roost, and he knew a whippersnapper when he saw one. He pulled himself up to his full height and strutted around (albeit at a safe distance) while he turned a suspicious eye this side then the other side towards the cat.

The young pretender gathered himself together, his neck low slung between shoulders, thigh muscles recoiling for the pounce. The pigeon fluttered clumsily up onto the chair back, that wing clearly not functioning properly. Down below the cat hit the empty floor with a thud and skidded up against the kick board. Exasperated he flopped over on his side, stretched, and proceeded to lick his ruffled fur. The bird pecked at the glass. He could clearly see sky (and freedom), and was more than a little perplexed with his inability to get away.

Tiddles sauntered over to his water bowl and lapped up the cool liquid. The old bird on the windowsill found a few more breadcrumbs. And that’s where I found the pair in an unhappy stalemate.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Note: I wrote this little story in 2010 and blogged it here:

http://blogs.litnet.co.za/vetweet/2010/03/24/stalemate/

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