El Gato es Drinking the Beer

05.16.11

My back yard has a trumpet vine that threatens to take over the carport. It blooms madly in the early summer and again in August. There are bursts of red, pink and orange that remind me of Carmen Miranda and a tangle of greenery that is home to at least two songbird nests. When Pedro (my gardener) shows up I remind him to not trim the vines as they are home to these birds. Then I plead with him to put away the leaf blower as he’s stripping me of my top soil. We’ve been together a dozen years, every week it’s a fight to put away the leaf blower.

We’ve been in this house a half dozen years and for a half dozen years I’ve woken to the sound of songbirds early every spring morning. By summertime they abandon their nests, and near December they return to rebuild. I don’t know what sort of birds they are, but I know that the male has a red breast and they’ve not small, their bodies are the size of my fist. I assume their brains are smaller than a grape. Still, I like their songs.

Friday morning I went for run, had breakfast with a friend and then popped into the grocery store. I arrived home and was unloading the car when my housekeeper came to help with the bags. This is unusual, unloading groceries is not a two woman job.

“Yessica, el gato es drinking de beer.” She said, as she pointed to the sky.

“That’s weird,” I said, “how did she get beer?”

“Not beer the beerrrd.” She repeated and gestured to the sky.

I made my way through the living room, the dining room and the family room. As I approached the kitchen I got tunnel vision and all I could see was Sparky and her songbird. Since the chest cavity was torn open it was impossible for me to discern if it was the male or female bird.

I took the grocery bags off my shoulder and stood frozen staring at my cat. Slowly, arrogantly her head turned up at me and she began licking her paws.

“Mayra, este no es drinking ella es EATING. It’s a BIRD.”

Smirking, Mayra replied, “Si, es un beerrd. Yo se.”

I gave her two plastic bags and an extra $25.