In our home is a long window through which we enjoy watching the activity of the neighborhood, and especially the antics of small pink-blushed sparrow-like birds who feed in and around our Japanese maple. While glad to welcome these feathered friends, we still miss Franklin, the darling Siamese kitten-turned-cat who lived next door. Franklin was a hoot, high-fiving us with a long body-reach up the window, paws outstretched to meet our tapping fingers on the other side of the glass. He regaled our grands with this cute behavior. And always delighted me when he was in the mood.
One especially poignant day when I was needing solace, there sat Franklin outside the window. He was not just sitting, he was visiting, as though he needed solace, too. A few weeks before, as hubby and I carried groceries in, Franklin streaked through the back door and headed straight for that window, as though he needed to see our view from the inside looking out. Now this day, he rolled and lazed, snuggled up against the outside glass, eventually resting his chin on the sill, eyes on me as I poured out my thoughts to him. It was kind of like talking to God in cat-fur! He truly seemed to be listening, for a half-hour or so. Sadly, as dear Franklin proved to be full of bird-killing hormones as he grew, our friendly birds had flown away. They rarely visited since Franklin laid claim to the sunny spot near their tree.
Several months after Franklin and his adorable humans had moved on, the birds returned, peacefully flitting about. Only when they saw movement inside the house would they fly off. As my husband rounded the corner to come into the room he started chuckling. As I was unable to see what was so funny, he filled me in . . . one of our tiny bird friends was hopping along the window sill, looking in. Not pecking about, but looking in. Immediately memories of Franklin peering through that window burst upon my mind. Obviously curious if a box or something new was placed into view, he was definitely bewildered with the strange configuration of a shoe. Yes, I will admit to explaining to a cat that it was “just a shoe,” even showing him how it fit on my foot. And yes, he paid attention to the whole litany as though he truly understood. His furrowed brows smoothed out as the explanation was given, cocked head returning to upright position. Yes, I think he understood.
I wonder now as grandchildren, and other critters, peer in that window, who exactly is watching whom? It seems that birds – at least one – are peeking in, too. Maybe one day that bird will stick around and not flee from fear. One never knows . . . it might be fun to chat with a bird!