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Monday, June 04, 2007

Do robins make cats sick?

Going back to robins. There aren't many left in my garden. I have had three of them. Celia knows about two of them because she found the complete corpses. She was very upset. She doesn't seem to mind about hedge sparrows but dead robins really distress her. She was even more upset when she found some feathers and a long thin leg which looked like a robin's leg. She assumed (correctly) that I had eaten the rest of the bird. Was it a robin? I really can't remember. My interest in birds is a foodie one, not a taxonomic one. Some species taste better than others, of course, but I can't say I take much interest in the differences otherwise. So I eat some and I don't eat others. Depends partly on my mood and what else I have eaten that day.
I do not eat shrews - ever. Foxes and weasels and stoats may eat them and I suppose if I was starving I might manage a nibble. The problem is that they taste awful. There are fatty glands on their flanks which produce a vile secretion. It's stuff to mark their territory as they pass through the grass. Read by another shrew it says "Keep off. This territory already has a shrew in residence." Of course if the shrew is male, and a female is passing by, she might take a sniff and think "Handsome fellow. Might stop for a bit of rumpy pumpy." But to me the smell simply says: "Don't eat me. I taste bad." That's good news for the shrew, of course.
So do robins taste good? I may have eaten one and I have certainly caught two others. Celia says that it might have made me sick even though she can't remember that particular pile of sick (there are quite a few). If any of you cats out there have eaten a robin (the English kind) please add a comment, remembering to say whether you sicked it up or not.

16 comments:

  1. AnonymousJune 05, 2007

    Good work mate! Well, I don't know. I've never had an English Robin. I've only had the American type. My human does suspect that when I do vomit I've been eating wildlife. :-) I think she's on to me. I do get really particular about my food after having something from the wild--like birds, or chipmunks. I usually demand high quality human food after munching on fresh meat from the garden. I really like the warm roasted chicken my human cooks on the Big Green Egg (it's a smoker). They cook salmon on it as well and I REALLY like that! As for the shrew, I don't know if I've ever encountered one, I don't even know if they live in the US.

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  2. AnonymousJune 05, 2007

    Dear George
    Have you been allowed to watch Springwatch on the TV - perhaps Celia won't let you in case it gives you bigger ideas about stalking birds.
    I get up real close to the TV and watch the birds but they are behind glass and I can't understand where they go to when the go off the screen. Have you got any ideas about this?
    Regards
    Elegant Emma

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  3. AnonymousJune 05, 2007

    We have an extremely irritating robin in our garden - and I would very much like to munch him and shut him up! but he's a slippery customer - so I usually focus my hunting on the mice and pigeons. My brother and I make a good hunting team and it is the greatest fun to bring live prey into the hall and sit either side of it and watch - we do have to keep an eye on 'herself' though who will charge into the game lock us in the loo and then make off with our prey - the mixture of loss of dignity (being shut in the loo) combined with the loss of our sport is gruelling in the extreme. My brother and i don't think she's very bright but then what do you expect? they are poor things humans. She calls us opus 1 and opus 2 for a start *sigh* which is lazy at best, or just plain unimaginative. Cats like us should have elegant distinguished names to suit our characters - she just likes to shout o puss puss from the back door and that covers the two of us! Possibly she thinks it's funny but that just goes to prove my point. I'll go and check out that robin now.

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  4. AnonymousJune 05, 2007

    Hi George
    hmmm, not sure whether or not it was a robin that I ate but will keep a whisker alert for you next time I make a kill. So far it's been one tasty blue tit. I brought home two nice live mice for her indoors - got to keep her happy and I just love a bit of group hunting! tally ho, Jaffa (Ginger Mog and keen Hunter)x

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  5. I sicked up birthday cake the other day, no birds though. I was forced to take cake from the kitchen as my 2.30am breakfast request was turned down, my owner had got in late and not hidden it so I thought the sick would be an adequate punishment... While we're swapping hints though, have you ever moved house? I've heard talk of it and apparently there's a bigger garden to be had but I'm not sure I will stay there...
    Smudge

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  6. AnonymousJune 07, 2007

    All those piles of sick George? And I worry about leaving the odd small clump of caecotrophs behind. I am very proud to say rabbits don't do sick.
    Got fleas yet?

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  7. Miss KittyAugust 10, 2016

    All this talk of eating birds leaves me feeling a bit resentful. Being an outside cat, with the exception of on very cold days when my people grudgingly allow me to sleep in their sunroom, on top of the hot tub, I have access to many wild birds. Unfortunately, my people get really ugly with me on the rare occasion when I can reach a concussed bird before they do. This house has many windows and birds seem to have a habit of flying into them and falling, addled, onto the deck or walk outside the windows. But the old lady, er.....lovely mistress of the house, usually manages to get to them before I do. I hear she puts them in a box, takes them into the garage, and leaves them alone for a while, and they almost always recover and fly away when the garage door is opened. As for robins, I see a bunch of them every day in the yard, but pay them little attention. I guess I think they're more pleasant to watch than they would be to eat, and my usual diet of Meow Mix has pretty much ruined my desire for meat anyway. I have been told that some of my friends of the feline persuasion don't really care for the taste of robin, but I wouldn't know about that. Pretty sure I've never tried it.

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