The Fred Files

Who's Fred? Bear's bird buddy. For the majority of the day, Fred sits on top of the storage shed on Momma's front porch and "talks" loudly and incessantly. Bear listens to him intently and watches his every move (from the safety of his cat tree, inside the house). Usually Bear is too scared of birds to care, but for some reason, Fred is different. Another unusual thing about the bird/cat friendship? Unlike his feline visitors, when he caterwauls and meows loudly (sometimes for hours), Bear remains completely silent while Fred is outside talking. I can't be sure he's the same bird, but last year, a similar bird did the same thing during the spring and fall. The bird's presence was so reliable, I checked for a nest anywhere near my front porch. No luck. Maybe this year? After all, as you'll read below, there was a bit of an interesting development in the Fred situation only a few days ago.

MK: Momma Kat
BC: Bear Cat

Introducing Fred (for those of you who missed the 03/13 post on Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat's Facebook page):
MK: Bear? What are you . . .
MK: But . . .
MK: You're being really quiet so I'm trying to figure out what you're up to.
BC: I'm TRYING to listen to my friend update me on all the neighborhood gossip!
MK: Your friend? {Momma looks out the window}. You mean that huge bird on top of our storage shed?
BC: His name is Fred.
MK: Bear, if you went outside, THAT bird, your friend, would hand you your ass . . .
BC: Shhhh! Ooooooh! Bella knocked off the bird's sister's mailbird! I knew she was tough as nails!
MK: Bella, your little black kitty girlfriend? I haven't seen her around here recently!
BC: Oooooh! And Trouble's come home to roost in his uncle's nest!
MK: Trouble? What happened?
BC: He got kicked out of his girlfriend's nest!
MK: Oh. The bird's name is "Trouble."
MK: You're just sitting here and not talking like you usually do with your kitty friends.
BC: Are you jealous?
MK: Ummm . . . WHY?
BC: Because the bird is yakking on and on about random stuff, just like you do ALL THE TIME, but I'm actually LISTENING to him?
MK: You're just sitting here listening to the bird cooing?
BC: You don't see me judging YOUR friends!
BC: Oh, wait. That's because you don't HAVE any friends!
MK: You're usually scared of birds.
BC: This one's not evil. He doesn't dive bomb me. He just sits up there and shoots the breeze.
MK: You've never been dive bombed by a bird outside.
BC: No! Through the window.
MK: Somehow, NOT the same. And he didn't dive bomb you, he just landed on the window sill outside and squawked at you.
BC: Yeah! Dive bombing!
MK: Oh, Bear. I suppose you were scared, considering you fell backwards out of the window.
BC: {GASP} You were NEVER to speak of that AGAIN!
MK: "That?" Over the course of a month, it happened like ten times! More like "THEM!"
MK: Uh oh.
BC: Yes! That's right! Run as fast as your annoying human feet can carry you! Who's afraid NOW?
BC: Oooooooooooooooooooh. You don't say! Baby birds? How tasty! Err . . . I mean yummy . . . umm . . . cute! Who's the father? {GASP} Noooooooooo!
MK: {from the other room} Those baby birds could hand you your ass on a platter too!
BC: And YET. You ran.
MK: Because I'm the only living thing besides spiders you aren't afraid of. And I'm on the wrong end of your claws and fangs enough as it is already. And HOW long did you hide under the bed when the bird squawked at you?
BC: Which tim . . .
MK: Exactly.
Fred, on top of the storage shed. Momma had some difficulty taking a decent picture of Bear's talkative friend. If I tried to go outside, or he noticed I was trying to take his picture through the window, he'd fly away . . . thus producing one of the dirtiest looks ever seen on a feline's face. I didn't particularly want to be murdered in my sleep, so I ceased trying to get a good picture and let Bear enjoy Fred without my interference.

Bear suspects Fred is a tasty whole chicken:
BC: Momma?
MK: Yes, Bear?
BC: Can I go outside?
MK: No.
BC: But I have to catch Fred!
MK: Every time you go outside you hide, get nasty toward me, or refuse to budge and stand out there in defiance even if it's pouring rain.
BC: But that was before Fred came back for the spring!
MK: I thought Fred was your friend?
BC: He is! But I'm beginning to suspect he's a chicken. Friend or not, I must follow my feline instincts with regards to chickens. 
MK: I guarantee you that Fred IS NOT a chicken. Probably a pigeon, but definitely NOT a chicken.
BC: Are you a chicken expert? What do you know about WILD chickens?
MK: I know enough to know that he's not a chicken. Wild or not. And we live in a suburban area. There aren't any WILD chickens here.
BC: Shows what YOU know! We must trap him!
MK: Ummm . . . WHY?
BC: Because if he's whole AND tasty, this might be the only chance I have of getting a tasty whole chicken. Since YOU won't buy me one. I must take matters into my own paws!
MK: And how are you going to catch him?
BC: I'M NOT. You are. I just want to watch.
MK: Why am I not surprised?
BC: Because you want a tasty whole chicken too? Don't deny it . . . I see you watching Fred with that ravenous look!
MK: Talk about projection. Bear, you can't just go around catching and taste-testing random birds. That's not nice.
BC: I know THAT! That's why YOU have to catch him. I'll do the taste test. You wouldn't know a tasty chicken from a non-tasty one. And do you know all the chicken parts to verify he's a whole one?
MK: Bear, Fred IS NOT a chicken! He doesn't LOOK like a chicken, he doesn't SOUND like a chicken, and he doesn't "FLY" like a chicken.
BC: Maybe he's a flying chicken in disguise. I can't imagine I'm the only cat that wants a tasty whole chicken. And Fred's smart. OF COURSE, he would disguise his chicken-inity.
MK: A tasty, whole, wild, flying chicken in disguise as a pigeon?
BC: Exactly!!!
MK: I think you expect a bit too much from a bird.
BC: What do you have against birds?
BC: I promise that if he's not whole or not tasty that we'll let him go!
MK: Bear, you can't just take a chunk out of a bird and expect it to fly away like normal.
BC: A year ago, the vet took a chunk out of me and then expected me to be normal!
MK: Bear, you had a TUMOR. And not just a tumor, but an INFECTED, NECROTIC tumor.
BC: Hmph. That sounds like an excuse to taste test me. Or steal my fur, since they did that too.
MK: They had to shave your fur in the area to do the surgery.
BC: But did they have to take that much? Or did they take a little extra?
MK: Bear, NO ONE was tasting you. OR stealing your fur for nefarious purposes.
BC: Are you SURE you weren't crying when you picked me up because they told you I wasn't tasty?
BC: And if you can't just take a chunk out of a bird and expect it to fly away like normal, why does the duck farm I'm buying have whole ducks AND part ducks?
MK: That was my concern! I have no clue how they have portions of ducks. Maybe that's why it's thrown in free with the purchase of the tasty whole chicken farm.
BC: SEE! I TOLD you it was a good deal.
MK: NO! Just . . . NO!
BC: Even if we get the twenty foot aquarium for them to swim around in with my fish?
MK: No. No. No. No. NO! No fish. No ducks. No chickens. No parts, portions, or bites of any of the above. Not wild. Not tasty. Not non-wild. Not non-tasty. No babies, no eggs . . . nothing that will turn into fish, ducks, or chickens, in whole or in part.
BC: When you say "no chickens or ducks," are you speaking only of the plural or is one WHOLE chicken and one WHOLE duck okay? You just said no portions. Because I really think Fred is a chicken in disguise. Or even a duck! We should put out a bowl of water and see if he swims!
MK: We'll leave Fred to his freedom in nature.
BC: You caught me! Maybe I wanted to be a free TOM CAT! Sow my wild oats!
MK: A free, oat-sowing TOM CAT wouldn't have climbing in my lap and rolled over for belly rubs. And CERTAINLY not every day for a few weeks . . . until you became my permanent snuggle kitten.
BC: So it was okay to pluck me out of my natural environment but you want to retain a bird's freedom? Whose side are you on anyway?
MK: And what happens when you're outside and you think I've left you?
BC: Phht. That howling? I'm trying to contact my relatives to rejoin the pride.
MK: With your tail between your legs?
BC: I have to hide the fact that I don't have the necessary parts to make kittens. I'd be the laughingstock of the pride.
MK: Clowder.
BC: Bless you. 

MK: No, a group of cats . . . 
BC: They'd say, "Hey, did you see Bear's balls? He ran from the bird!" "Bear doesn't have the balls . . . " And on and on. 
MK: Bear, you run from other cats.
BC: That's why.
MK: No. You ran from them even before the surgery. When you were still homeless and intact, I'd leave the food for you and if even one other cat came sniffing around, you'd run for your life and leave the food. Even though THEY could hunt. And you . . . well.
BC: I can hunt! I hunt a lot of things! All the time! Just last night, I caught your big toe! And you told me how scared you were of my ferocity! 
MK: Hunting someone that you know won't hurt you regardless is a bit different than hunting food.
BC: Because you hunt your Kit-Kats now?
MK: And if we "off" Fred, how are you going to get the gossip?
BC: We're not "offing" him, just tasting. If he's not a chicken or not whole or not tasty, he's free to go.
MK: And you think he'll come back after that?
BC: He always comes back!
MK: After being assaulted? 
BC: You're the one who's trapping him! He can't hold that against me!
MK: He'll tell his bird friends not to come by either.
BC: That's okay. Unless his bird friends are chickens, all other birds are evil.

Links for more information on incidents or items mentioned in the above dialogue:
*** To read more about Bear's "Tom Catting" and adoption story: The good news is your cat is not pregnant . . . the bad news is . . . (or How We Met).
*** To read more about Bear's obsession with tasty whole chickens: TMC ISO TWC.
*** To read more about the events surrounding the removal of Bear's tumor: Too Close to a Nightmare I Couldn't Handle.
*** To read more about Bear's desired duck/fish aquarium: When a Sexy Cat Lacks Sexy Things.

Fred-watching (and listening to all Fred's gossip) is VERY SERIOUS business.

Fred and the celebirdies:
BC: {running through the room} MooooommmmmmmMA! You didn't tell me Fred is outside!
MK: You were napping! Nothing ticks you off more than when I wake you up. Besides, he's very loud - he announces himself.
BC: SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! The "celebirdies" news is always first . . . it's my favorite!
BC: Do you MIND?
MK: I'm just trying to figure out . . .
BC: Woodstock? Baby daddy?

Fred disappears:
BC: Momma! You chased Fred away!
MK: What are you talking about?
BC: Fred hasn't been here for TWO DAYS! I bet it was all your spying on him through the window! You just HAD to take pictures!
MK: I just wanted to see what was making that sound and what had your rapt attention.
BC: You scared Fred away!
MK: Maybe he caught wind of your desire to "trap and taste" him since you're sure he's a chicken.
BC: If he's a chicken, it's important to find out if he's whole AND tasty! I wouldn't want to go through the whole effort of catching him if he wasn't either.
MK: Bear, you told me I was supposed to do all the work! What "effort" do you have in it?
BC: I'm the brains behind the operation! And the brains requires safety behind a window.
MK: Maybe he's visiting other kitties in the area. His news is important.
BC: {GASP} Fred is NOT that kind of bird!
MK: Maybe he's spending time with his family?
BC: But, but, he said he loved me! We were supposed to fly/run off together!
MK: Oh, Bear. Remember the Nigerian prince who e-mailed you and wanted to marry you?
BC: In my pain, you are so cruel to remind me of another time I was left at the altar?
MK: The Nigerian prince wasn't real!
BC: How do YOU know! He sent pictures of himself!
MK: Bear, the first  picture was of Barack Obama: The President of the United States. As far as I know, he's not a Nigerian prince. And neither is Donald Trump, who was shown in the other picture "he" sent you. You didn't notice the huge difference in appearance? Like that the second guy had strange blonde hair and looked kind of grumpy?
BC: But back to Fred! I bet you're GLAD he's gone! Now I have to listen to you natter on and there's no competition for my attention.
MK: Bear, most of the time, you try to GET my attention. I'd say you're more concerned when I'm NOT paying attention to you.
BC: Well, yes. When I WANT your attention, I should get it. And I'll WANT it when you're NOT paying attention to me! Do I have to explain EVERYTHING to you? I curse the supreme being who gave you stupid humans thumbs!
MK: Stupid human, huh? Then why did I adopt you?
BC: Even humans have moments of non-stupidity. That was yours.
MK: Only one?
BC: No comment. You'll just get mad.

Link for more information on the incident mentioned in the above dialogue:
*** To read more about Bear's Nigerian prince: Bear Loses His Internet Privileges, Permanently.

Fred returns:
BC: Momma! MOMMA! Fred's back! Oh, happy day!
MK: What? I didn't hear him talking!
{Momma looks out the window.}
MK: Sure enough! But . . . OHHHHHHH.
BC: What? What's OH? Why isn't he talking? He's moving!
MK: He brought back a . . . err . . . friend.
BC: What do you MEAN a friend?
MK: Come over here and look from this angle. If Fred's a girl, she now has a Fred-dude. And if Fred's a boy, he has a Fred-ette.

For some odd reason, with his "friend," Fred didn't mind me taking pictures through the window. Maybe he was distracted? 

BC: That charlatan! Rapscallion! That snake in the grass! This is YOUR fault!
MK: How is it MY fault?
BC: You were afraid we were going to run/fly away together so you made him go away for a few days and paraded all kinds of birds to tempt him into betraying me! And he's not talking! How will I know what the neighbor's dog is doing? {GASP} No more celebirdies news! This is not acceptable! Not at all! You refused to let me go outside! This is all your fault!
MK: Maybe they'll have baby birds on our storage shed. I was sure there was a nest last year, but I couldn't find it. Maybe this year?
BC: WAIT! Babies?!?!
MK: Now HOW exciting will that be to watch?
BC: Hmmmm. I still want the old Fred. But this might do. If Fred's a tasty whole chicken, his babies will be too, right? I can start MY OWN tasty whole chicken farm!
MK: {sigh}.
BC: Are there babies yet?
MK: No.
BC: Now?
MK: Bear, it doesn't work like that. They require a nest and a bunch of other things.
BC: Then where do babies come from? I thought you decided you wanted babies and then VOILA! Babies! Isn't that the reason for baby factories?
MK: {NOT wanting to explain where babies come from} Maybe they haven't decided to have babies yet.
BC: But . . . but . . . I need the babies for my tasty whole chicken farm!
BC: Hey! Fred! BABIES! BABIES! Get the babies going! 
BC: Why are they doing a strange dance together?
MK: No way! You have GOT to be kidding . . . BEAR! You can't watch that . . . {Momma looks outside} Phew! They're just preening each other.
BC: Does that make baby chickens?
MK: {sigh}.
BC: I'm going to keep watch! The SECOND those baby chickens appear, they're MINE! 

And so, Bear is watching for baby "chickens." Still. Two days later. And Fred is still not talking. Nothing alive is more persistent than a cat, especially a cat with a "mission" . . . no matter how misguided and impossible that mission might be. Because when does a cat ever listen? Besides to Fred . . . the tasty, whole, wild, flying chicken disguised as a pigeon.

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