The Most Exhausting Part of My Day


By Charlie Clark

What a way to wrap up an otherwise productive day.

So, I’m focused and pecking away on the laptop at the dining table when I notice my cat JJ won’t stop with the meows. He was wanting me to notice that he had brought in a kill and laid it on the kitchen floor.

As I cautiously approach the supposed carcass, it comes back to life and flies right toward my face. Heart stopper.

After JJ and I both gave a chase that would have impressed Cirque du Soleil, the bird eventually lands behind a hanging mop in the laundry room. I get busy securing exits with a blanket over one entry, closing another door, and herding the cat out, who has lost interest by this time anyway. (Epiphany 1: My four-walled laundry room has doorways on three of those walls. Perhaps the builder was thinking “Maybe the homeowner will someday trap a bird in here and need to tuck-and-roll into another room, while Tweedy Pie goes through another.”)

By this time I have identified the UFO as a female cardinal. As I’m cautiously opening the exit door between the washing machine and the recycle bin, I notice JJ has placed himself directly outside, in pounce position, ready for any low-fliers coming his way. (Epiphany 2: JJ knew my plan before I did.)

As I bend over to shoo away the Furry Messenger of Mayhem from blocking the doorway, the bird, whose life I’m trying to save, though at this moment I can’t remember why, dive bombs my head – again. This causes JJ to almost leap over my stooped torso. I say almost, because his claws helped him make it over the rest of me. (Note: Flip-flops are not the shoes to wear for all this Wild Kingdom action.) Over goes the bin of recycles, as I follow the bird upside down and backwards outside. Couldn’t do that again if I wanted to try.


Photo by Charlie Clark
JJ, looking innocent.