Life is quiet here at the Manor, apart from the birds.
Our cat [I am thinking of officially naming her “Our Soul” for religious reasons] is very much an outdoor cat despite our being told by her previous owner that she’s exclusively an indoor cat. She likes to go out and explore the garden and when she’s tired of that she’ll lie on the roof or on the terrace. That’s when the extreme irritation kicks in.
You see, we have a few magpies nesting in the estate and their game is to collect around the cat and shrill their alarm call. It’s a loud clacking noise like one of those old wooden football clackers that supporters used to wave around at matches. It’s a really fucking irritating sound and it is loud and it is incessant. They are doing it purely to annoy the cat as they come down to the roof or terrace and stand a couple of feet away from her and let loose long strings of clacking at her.
Our Soul ignores them.
And the problem is that instead of annoying the cat they’re pissing me off.
There are a few superstitions about magpies for some peculiar reason. We all know the “One for sorrow, two for joy” shit, but there are those who proclaim that if we want good luck we have to greet them with a polite “Hello, Mister Magpie”. Well, I greet them all right but it’s usually with a rock. Unfortunately I miss them but once or twice I nearly got the neighbour on the head. He wasn’t amused.
Normally I like birds. I love the sound of a Blackbird singing his heart out on the Beech tree, or the sight of a Wren hopping around outside the kitchen window, or a Pigeon softly cooing in the distance or even the smell of a chicken roasting in the oven, but fucking Magpies? You can keep ’em.
I’ll take my chances with the luck thing.