Every day after work I go down to my mom’s house since it is only four houses away and drop off some newspapers. Most of the time she is there, but when I went down recently she wasn’t. I let myself in because I still have a house key. I am reluctant to give it back, mostly because I sneak down often to steal an egg or two out of her fridge when I run out, but let’s just keep that between you and me.
Usually when I am at my parents’ house and nobody is there I feel strange (unless egg-stealing is going on). My mom is practically home all the time. I always half expect to come across her dead body on days when she does not answer the door.
Now that might sound crazy to you, but when I unlocked the front door and entered her living room the other day I came across a dead body.
It wasn’t so much of a “somebody” as it was a “some-birdie.”
There were a slew of feathers spread out across the floor of my childhood home, and others still floated in the air. I quickly deduced that I had walked into the aftermath of a bird massacre.
I have lost track of how many cats my mother has. But in the living room four of her felines had perched themselves up high and were licking their paws. With the taste of fresh blood on their lips they sized me up in a situation not dissimilar to Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”
In terms of the strangest things I have ever found in my parents’ house I would definitely rank finding an eviscerated bird somewhere between 47th and 53rd.
Later in the evening I called my mother. I just felt it was the right thing to do after discovering a mutilated bird on her ornamental rug.
The story she relayed to me was unbelievable.
Apparently my mother was minding her own business in the kitchen and running 15 minutes late as usual when she heard a familiar thud on the window. Having previous knowledge of that unfortunate sound — another bird has senselessly flown into the window, kamikaze-style — my mother rushed outside to render first aid on the bird, but alas, found the feathered creature lifeless.
Most people would leave the story at that. We see a dead bird and say, “There’s a dead bird,” walk away, and go back about our business, but not my bird-brained mother.
My mother took the freshly-dead bird carcass inside because she thought her army of cats would want to smell it since they are all exclusively indoor animals.
Now running 20 minutes late, my mother was consumed by cats as she walked in through the door. That’s when her enormous alpha male cat, aptly named Papa, seized the dead bird and ran off under the couch to enjoy the spoils of war. My mother said she chased after him, and so did the other cats, but it was to no avail.
Running late even by her own standards, my mom left the house and the cats to do their bidding. A short time later I entered her home, and this explains the brutal murder scene that I had stumbled into hours earlier.
I can’t for the life of me understand why she brought a dead animal into her home. I have cats, too, and I am sure they are curious to smell a lot of things. But that doesn’t mean I am willing to scrape some raccoon road kill off the pavement and bring it home with me.
I guess my mother’s cats ate everything, even the bird bones. I asked about the skull. My mother told me her felines licked it clean, and that her cats were knocking it around on the floor like a cat toy.
Yeah, the skull is still in the house — and has been for days now!
I am not exactly sure my mother should be bringing sacrificial offerings into the house for her horde of house cats to consume. The fact that she did it once is all the evidence I need to say that this time my mother has flown the coop.