This brings me to the Cat Across the Street.
Shortly after the feeders were hung and the bird community was a buzz about the new place to eat, Gypsy was still a very young dog. Early one morning we came out for the initial trip outside and she went right to the back of the yard, digging and sniffing. Upon further investigation, she was checking out a pile of fresh bird feathers under the feeders. Obviously the work of an outside cat. Our cats were all inside cats and are way too perfect to eat a bird. We kept our eyes peeled, looking for the culprit but never saw anything. Finally, one night I let Gypsy out and she goes after, and almost catches, the cat across the street in the backyard. From that day, I continue to find piles of feathers in the yard and we see the cat across the street patrolling the yard. Gypsy chases the cat away every chance she gets but, Sandi and I can't help but to feel guilty over the bird carnage. We had heard that many outside cat owners would put a bell around the cat's neck to warn the birds, this little guy didn't have one ...so we name the cat NO BELLS.
NO BELLS still comes into the yard as if it was his/hers.
Here is NO BELLS tormenting one of our cats.
I can't tell you how many times Gypsy has chased old NO BELLS out of the yard over the years. I have to admit, NO BELLS was pretty good about avoiding Gypsy. I have always been curious about what Gypsy would have done had she caught NO BELLS . With time the piles of feathers have just about come to an end. I don't know if it is that NO BELLS is so fat she/he can't catch a bird anymore or, Gypsy has been such a good guard dog. We can keep the open sign up on the bird feeder buffet without guilt.
During our walks Gypsy and I run into NO BELLS from time to time. They look at each other with respect, remembering all the backyard encounters they have had over the years.