“Yikes! She’s a guy!” —Fly, from “A Bug’s Life”
I am guessing that at least 90 percent of the general population imagines the same picture when seeing that word with an exclamation point. That picture would be Doug from the movie “Up.”
Now that spring is basically here, our similar phrase at home has been “fat robin.” Big-bellied birds are everywhere and it seems like anytime we are outside or driving, one of us is yelling, “fat robin.” My youngest daughter asked me if they were pregnant. I told her, sure, probably. I didn’t know actually, and after researching that, it appears I’m probably wrong.
But, no matter. As we, along with our very interested cat Casey, watched the birds from our front porch this morning, it sure looked like the circle of life at work. Fat robins hunting for bugs in the dirt and smaller daddy birds picking up twigs.
We both agreed they must have been constructing homes for the eggs the fat robins would soon be laying.
One particular “daddy” bird was no slacker. We watched him grab a long weed and circle it around like he was in a double dutch contest. When it didn’t budge, he’d drop it, hop a couple steps, grab the next one and try it again.
He must have stuck with it for at least five solid minutes before flying away empty-handed (or beaked.)
We also kept one eye on our Casey. She is a hunter, proven by various trophy heads she has left for us through the years. Random reminders that she is earning her keep, I assume.
Casey isn’t what I would have ever called a typical lap cat, although she has relaxed in the last couple of years. But as calm as she presented herself on the step, I saw her prop up her hind legs, casually ready to spring if an unsuspecting bird wandered too close. And we didn’t miss the eerie tail twitch either.
My youngest daughter giggled and said she knows what the birds say to each other when Casey is around. “Watch out for that cat,” they say. “She’s mean, she eats birds, and she thinks she’s a GUY.”
I laughed. Casey looked at me. So I stopped. She sleeps at the foot of my bed; I just can’t risk it.
We joke about Casey’s gender confusion a lot. She really does come across a little manly. From her strut to her demeanor, she gives off more of a tom vibe than a queen. But after this weekend, I can say that I got a sense of why she owns her masculine side.
I have written before about the calming effect of yard work. Plugging in my iPod and mowing the lawn or digging in the dirt of my flower garden. It’s one of those things that give instant gratification. Spend a couple hours raking or weeding and the change is immediate.
I have a lot to catch up on this spring, but it’s nothing that a couple more 75-degree weekends can’t solve.
And this past weekend, thanks to the gift of gorgeous weather, I took it a step further and tackled my garage. The building has been a mystery to me for a while. So, being a list maker, I made a list starting with two things that were already done, so I could check them off before I started (that is not cheating), then went after it.
I sorted tools, organized shelves, stacked paint cans, checked bike tires, rearranged lumber and moved some heavy stuff to add an exclamation point. You know, got my “guy vibe” on.
When the floor was swept and the garage door closed, I watched a couple more “fat robins” roaming around the backyard, then came inside with dirt under the fingernails that hadn’t broken and splinters in my palms, wiped out. Productive and shower-worthy work.
All that was left to do was pour a glass of wine, sit at a fair and safe distance from Casey on the couch, paint my toenails and watch “Red Dawn.”
It’s all about balance.