The Eagle Has Landed!
I admit it. Last Sunday I was really feeling down because of my rejection by Officer Jane, the security cat at Dava. I had spent the entire morning moping about the house, moaning softly to myself. Helen my housemate became exasperated by my behaviour and stormed out of the house, stomping her feet as she marched across the deck. (It is quite difficult for a cat to stomp its feet but that Sunday, Helen managed to do so.) She returned thirty minutes later with Clarence of Belden and Raymond Hazelwitz at her side.
Clarence cuffed me on the back of the head. "Snap out of it, Henri! Jane isn't the only queen in town!"
Raymond wagged his paw at me. "Clarence is right, Henri. It is time to move on. Life will always have its sorrows but we must conquer our sadness and look for joy in each day, in each hour, in each minute....Besides, you have become a pain in the tail!"
Clarence sniffed and wiped his nose on his paw. "Allergies......My person is driving out to Essex this morning and I asked him if we could come along for the ride. He said yes we could come along if we don't meow too much and bring our own spotting scope and cameras."
"Why would we need our spotting scopes? What are we going to be spotting?" I meowed.
Clarence sniffed again and coughed into his paw. "My person wants to photograph the eagles which are nesting on the banks of the Connecticut River. For that, he will need binoculars, a spotting scope and a camera. If we wish to do the same, we will also need these items, Henri."
"And what exactly is an eagle? Do we have any in my backyard. We have lots of bird houses," I asked, handing Clarence a tissue.
Raymond stood up on his hind legs and puffed out his chest. "An eagle, my friend is a large bird with a very large and sharp beak and with large talons on the end of its feet. It has a strong appetite for mice, rats and other rodents. I would not number this bird among my friends."
I patted Raymond on the head. "I should assume then, that you will not be joining us on this trip?" I meowed.
Raymond nodded. "You assumed correctly, Pussycat." And with that remark, Raymond Hazelwitz, bowed, saluted and left the building. Clarence and I quickly gathered together my telescope, tripod and camera and with Helen's help, we carried via backyards and alleys, to Clarence's home.
The journey to the bank of the Connecticut River took almost one hour. Clarence and I meowed about the neighborhood, looked out the window at the passing landscape and as cats often do, fell asleep in the rear seat of the automobile. When we had finally arrived at our destination, we found that Clarence's person had found an area quite far from where a group of humans had set up there telescopes. Happily, we unloaded the instruments from the automobile and set up the telescopes and cameras. Although there was a cold breeze blowing from the river, we were able to take many pictures of the eagles in their nests. And here is my picture.
Hester Guarding the Nest
After both Clarence and I had taken pictures of the nest and its occupant, the occupant decided to fly across the river and pay us a visit. That is one big birdie! She landed about ten feet from where we had set up the scopes, looked us over, very carefully and then chirped at us. "Exactly what are you cats doing, may I ask?" I explained that we had driven a long distance to take a photograph of her nest. "You can do that through that funny looking stick there?" she chirped pointing her wing (her very large wing!) at the telescope.
"Yes," I meowed. "Would you like to take a look? Clarence and I could hold you up so you can see through the eyepiece." Clarence glared at me and pointed his paw at the eagle's feet.
"Have you lost your mind, Henri!" hissed Clarence. "Just take a look at those feet!"
"Not to worry," chirped the eagle. "I will be very careful with where I place my feet. By the way, my name is Hester. And your names are....?"
"I'm Clarence of Belden and this is my friend Henri of Twin Brook," meowed Clarence. "We are very pleased to make your acquaintence, Hester." We put our paws together and made a sling to support the eagle. After much groaning and huffing, we managed to lift the bird high enough for her peer through the telescope's eyepiece. She looked to the left and then to the right. She looked up and she looked down. She gasped, fluttered her enormous wings and hopped down from her perch on our outstretched paws. "Oh, my goodness! What a mess! I had no idea my nest looks so untidy! What a mess! I suppose all those humans over there can see how disorganized the nest has become? And I told Alfred to straighten up this morning...but he is so busy preening and putting on a show for the public that he has no time for housework these days! Everything falls on my shoulders! It takes two to tango you know! But you'd never know it the way he flies around here like he hasn't a care in the world, fluffing up his feathers to look bigger. I don't know what he thinks that will get him except muscle strain..." Clarence and I were meowless for the next ten minutes as Hester went on and on about her mate's lack of responsibility and general laziness. To hear her chirping, not only did she build the nest, lay the eggs, fertilize them, hatch and feed them, then teach them how to fly and hunt for their dinners and make their way in life. "If it hadn't been for me, not one of our brood from last year would have gotten into a good preschool.....If you don't attend a good preschool, you are nothing!"
By the time we had disassembled the scope and tripod and finished packing up the automobile, our ears were ringing with Hester's shrill complaints. We thanked her kindly for allowing us to take pictures of her next and wished her well without mentioning the same good fortune upon her errant mate. Clarence's person returned with his own scope and camera which he placed in the trunk and we were off and on our way to another adventure....
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