Posted by: canthold | September 11, 2007

No Cat Burglers Today!

Today I was sitting inside my dining room with one French door open to the deck. All of a sudden, my kitty came tearing into the house from out there at break-neck speed. Her tail was as fluffy as a squirrel’s. She flew under the buffet, (which I usually just call My Grandmother’s Cabinet.) After a few moments, she ventured out again, only to go flying back under the cabinet.

I wondered what she could be doing. The dog wasn’t chasing her or anything and I thought maybe a squirrel had scared her, but that didn’t make any sense because I’d bet she’d kick any squirrel’s butt.

Then I looked up.

Two giant turkey vultures were circling relatively low over our deck. I watched them for a little bit before they realized they weren’t getting any lunch from our address today.

Phew! That was a close one.

These turkey vultures fly all around our area. They’re easily identified by the white-ish wing color with a smaller black silhouette underneath. Except that I’ve been calling them Osprey for years now and it turns out they’re not. I’ve even seen them roosting in a tree on our hill – you can’t believe how huge they are up close! But when they’re flying, I don’t notice their little red vulture heads because I’m mesmerized by the “shadow” underside.

It bugs me not to know the proper names for things and it bugs me when the proper names aren’t used. I just have to know what things are called. I had a professor in college who said that if you don’t have a name for something you tend not to notice it. He was teaching us about the Victorian architecture of San Francisco. You can bet that after that class, I noticed more buildings and more about the buildings, too.

And I have to be accurate. You have no idea how much it bothers me that I’ve been using the wrong name for these birds for so long. It started because I knew that Osprey flew on Mount Tamalpais (Mt. Tam to the locals.) I assumed that the giant birds were Osprey. I also like the name, how about that? Well, shoot.

I guess, though, if it steals your cat it’s official name just becomes Sonofabitch.



  1. Suzuki Miami…

    Suzuki Miami…

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