The cardinal was my mother's favorite bird. As I sit here this morning the house is quiet. Kelly has a day off from work today making it a four day weekend for her. She and John are still asleep. I have to work, so it's me and the cats watching the sun rise, listening to the world wake up and begin to stir through the open kitchen door.
And the male cardinal is in the big oak tree like a bright red jewel among the green leaves, singing his mating song.
We had a long-haired black cat named Fantomas in 2001. He was a strange cat. I remember the day he caught a male cardinal and proudly brought it to the back door. He hadn't killed it. I looked at him and yelled, "No red feathers! Put that bird down!" He dropped the cardinal and the bird just lay there on the deck. I shooed Fanto away, gently scooped up the cardinal and set him on his feet on the deck railing. He sat there for a few minutes pulling himself back together before flying off. His little adventure with the fluffy black cat didn't hurt him any, he continued to hang around the yard and I imagine the cardinals that arrive every year in our yard like clockwork are relatives of that cardinal.
Fantomas never caught another bird. I still remember the look on his face as I ran screaming out the back door at him! Poor cat! But that certainly was one lucky bird that day!