Lisa*: And we're back at the 2010 Cat Olympics, James, checking in on the Squirrel and Bird Watching Event at the The Furry Bambinos blog. It looks like the Canadian Cat-hlete Team of Jack and Persephone are up next!
James: Jack and Persephone are carrying the hopes of the Northern Prairies on their shoulders, Lisa, and it's looking good for their chances in this event. They've gotten a lot of practice this year after a Cat Olympics quality bird feeder was installed on their balcony this spring.
Lisa: Bird watching may seem like a easier choice to some, especially as Jack used to chase squirrels competitively some years back. But he's made bird watching HIS sport in recent years.
James: Yes, Lisa, while Jack is a known and feared squirrel chaser on the north shores of Vancouver where the Human Olympics are being held, he's been concentrating on bird watching the last several years after an unfortunate move to a third floor apartment curtailed his squirrel reaching abilities.
Lisa: That was a heartbreaking loss for Jack, James. Hopefully one day he'll be able to return to the sport and feel the grass between his paw-pads once again. But Squirrel Chasing's loss was Squirrel and Bird Watching's gain, and here he is with his team-mate and sistercat, Persephone ready to go for the gold!
James: Let's go now to the arena with Michael, where Jack and Persephone are coming out onto the field.
Michael: Thanks James! As you said, Jack and Persephone are coming out onto the field, checking out the bird watching potential, looking for where the bird is most likely to be watchable.
And here comes the bird already! Looks like Jack and Persephone will be watching a blue jay!
This is good luck for them! Blue jays are loud, bright and fairly big in comparison to the more likely possibility. They could have been dealing with a sparrow which, while plentiful, are drab and small, making them harder to watch.
The blue jay is calling it's intention of feeding on seeds. This can only help Jack and Persephone, as the loud call gives them additional focus.
Another possibility would have been a crow or raven, but they're rare and a bit much for cats to watch from a close angle, especially as ravens in this area are almost as large as cats, and the crows are not much smaller. That would have knocked points off their score, if they'd have had to watch from across the room.
The blue jay is spreading its wings in preparation of it's being-watched...You can just see Persephone's ears in the shadows of the window sill as she's taken up a close viewing position at the window directly in front of the bird seed on the balcony floor. She's ready to go, crouching half-hidden behind the window frame.
The blue jay's in the starting position...
And down it goes! We can see now Jack has chosen to take up a farther position than his sistercat, on a high point over on the cat-tree where he can see the bird without having to stretch up and risk being spotted! He's really leaning into the bird-watch!
Persephone's showing a tiny bit of hesitancy on the watch, not quite daring to stick her head too far up. This caution is not uncalled for. A sudden move now could send the bird fleeing for cover and hurt their chances for a medal.
And there she goes! Head is up, taking advantage of the moment when the blue jay's back was turned, so she was in position by the time it turned toward them! Jack on his perch is leaning in and watching for all he's worth! What balance! What sleek House Panther grace! Beautiful bird-watching form!
And Persephone! She's got the long neck stretch going, lovely! We can't see it from here, but I'll bet her eyes are just as big and as intent as can be! She's a true competitor!
You can see the quivering focus in that glossy plush figure of hers!
Uh oh! Looks like the blue jay may be onto them...
Yes! Yes, it is! The blue jay is now suspicious of being watched! It has retreated to the higher ground of the railing and is scoping out the terrain, checking for cats! Hopefully Jack and Persephone can maintain their calm and not make any sudden disastrous moves!
Still checking...checking...not quite sure if those immovable cats are real...
No! A truck went past and the blue jay has decided to vacate the field! It's taking off! Persephone's tracking!
Oh! Oh, no! Jack fumbles on the watch! He's lost sight of the bird and is looking in the wrong direction! Oh, that's too bad! A unfortunate end to an otherwise flawless Bird Watch! Hopefully they won't lose too many points over that!
Jack and Persephone take one last look about the field to see where they could have improved their Bird Watch. Persephone seems intent, but Jack is looking a bit disconcerted by his last minute troubles.
Persephone! Persephone, how are you feeling about your chances for gold after that Bird Watch?What do you think of Jack's loss of the bird at the last moment?
James, Lisa, there you have it, an almost flawless performance by Jack and Persephone! Persephone seems a tongue upset with her team mate, but I see Jack is fairly confident they've managed to place in the top three. He's taken up a position at the very top of the cat tree and appears to be practicing his podium standing!
This is shaping up to be an exciting day at the Squirrel and Bird Watching event! Back to you!
Lisa: Thank you, Michael. We'll be right back with further Cat Olympic coverage!
(*Hey, we're Canadian cats! We're watching the Canadian coverage of the events!)