Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Iron Ring and Other Stories

There are times when having cats really sucks. Like, for instance when your cat develops a taste for birds, small, yellow, red, and beautiful; kinglets, robins and winter wrens. In the last two days Kettu has killed a gorgeous pine siskin and tried to kill a winter wren.

As upset as I am when she kills any bird, a have special place in my heart for winter wrens, so when I saw her with one, I went after her like fury.
After throwing Kettu out in a violent, growling fit, I picked up the little bird and carefully examined it. Its wing bones extended perfectly, not broken, and though one of its legs was limp it did not seem broken either. Both eyes were in place, there was no visible blood. I could feel its tiny heart beat furiously against my palm and worried that the shock it was already in, compounded with being held by  a giant might be enough to kill it. It kept closing its eyes for long periods of time, like it was hoping that the next time it opened them I'd be gone. Poor little person. 
After examining her chances, I took her to the woods behind the house, set her on a bed of moss and hoped for the best. Today I went back to check and sure enough she was gone, leaving behind just a little pile bird droppings. 
The pine siskin had a sadder end. I hesitated taking her wings and tail feathers, but in the end felt okay about it. It'd have rather she hadn't died, but since she did, I don't think she needed them anymore.
For days now, I've been wearing my grandmother's rings, instead of my own wedding band which has gone missing. While I hope I find it soon, I've rather enjoyed wearing my grandma's rings. The bottom one is the wedding ring she wore when I knew her, thin from years of wear. It's a replacement, not her original wedding ring. During the war our government asked women to donate their jewelry to support the war effort. In return they were given iron bands as a recognition of their sacrifice, which of course extended much further than merely giving up jewels. The iron band was a mark of honor.
Which is what the top band is. It means a lot more to me than my grandma's original wedding ring ever could.
The moon is building up to her full glory. The skies have been filled with sunlight and stars lately.
It's amazing what the clouds parting does for our mental state. Everything seems so much brighter in the midwinter sun.
Witches butter, the fool's gold of mushrooms.
Happy Weekend Everyone!


  1. I'm not sure if your kitty wears a collar but you could try putting a bell on her. The jingle will (hopefully) scare the birds way before they get pounced on.

    1. Thanks Kate, that is actually what we're gonna try next. It's just that she's also our rat-catching device.

    2. Be careful! Collars can be dangerous for cats, they might catch on a branch or something, practically strangling the cat :(

  2. That's tough - cats and birds. Cats are the no 1 reason for the decline of songbirds in North America. It's in their nature and they can't help it. Sucks, though. :(

    P.S. Hassua, mäkin olen lähiaikoina kuvaillut kuuta, paljon. On se ihme mollukka. :)

  3. I hate it when my cat brings home birds :(

  4. wow! it doesn't get much cuter than that plump little birdie! what a beauty the pine siskin is. i would have taken the wings and tail too. i love your sweater, i just posted a pic of a pullover that is very similar.

    happy sunday and i hope your kitty has had her fill of birds :D

  5. oh, those beautiful wings! and i am so glad that you photographed the lil one who escaped a similar fate, thanks for sharing those!
    i adhere to strict roadkill philosophy: if i come across it already dead (whether by cat, owl, or vintage fur in the thrift store), i feel compelled to gather and use the remains in some way. seems like a waste not to.
    a bell on her collar might help to curb the bloodshed-- so long as she isn't astute at losing her collar, like my childhood kitty, harold, was :-)

  6. Milla! How precious that you have those rings. I have one piece of jewellery from my Nana, a gold locket that has her initials etched on it and a photo of her father inside. It is very special, and when I wear it I feel ethereal. Cats and birds huh, an unfortunate inevitability. Good luck with the bell. Also, can you let me know back here what happens when you try to comment on my blog? At first glance I can't see anything particularly stringent with my settings. Love your skirt. Well. And you. x

  7. love love love that skirt. and i didn't know about the iron rings in the war. that is very, very special.

  8. Does Kettu eat what she catches? Our little farm cats were strays-- so they quite frequently catch things (rabbits, birds, rats...although they have never eaten the baby chicks) and enjoy them for dinner. I have come to be okay with this practice as it supplements their diet and they are very sustainable little ladies (Orange Blossom & Black Susan).

    What will you do with the feathers? Are you making something? Never thought of this, what a great idea!

    I also really quite love the story of your Grandma's ring. I had never heard of this happening during the war. There was a significant level of rationing here in the states, but I don't believe (although now I'm going to check into it) about turning in jewelry. How fantastic!

  9. Poor birdies! But I suppose your cats only get the weaker ones, right?

    And I wear my grandmother's wedding ring too! My old vintage wedding ring kept falling apart, so I tried on my grandmother's and voila! It fit!

  10. all beautiful little clips. Your grandmother's rings especially.

  11. p.s I want that crystal necklace!