Pigeon Toed


Cat sat
Glancing sideways
Next to pigeon toes
Facing skywards
A scatter of feathers
Betrays the act
The plump bird
Too often at seed
Had not heard
Soft paws
Presage sharp claws
At his final feed.

Cleaning the fish tank, my eye was caught by a handsome cat looking over his shoulder at me through the back door. Stone me! Feet up, flat on its back, is the greedy pigeon which spends most of his time in our back garden chomping on scatters of birdseed. It’s a cat eat pigeon world.

Eventually I shooed the tabby off as he was playing with the lifeless body. But the dispatched bird needed dispatching. The missus having toed it and returned indoors, indicated such matters were clearly down to me. A food bag reversed and the pigeon was quickly bagged and binned.

As the kids exclaimed ‘yeuugh’ I was struck by life’s rich pattern. I used to be ‘nesh’ on insects, muck and vermin – dead or alive. I’d probably have dithered with a shovel in years gone by.

Today I just picked it up and bagged it. Last week I enthusiastically stuffed my hand down the drain in pursuit of congealed fat, without so much as a ‘by your leave’. Dealing with a dog, a family home and two kids certainly lessens the standing on ceremony. I find ‘yeuugh’ much less toe curling these days.