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Bird-related mystery (1) Thu, Jul 19, 2007
I came home from work on Monday and stumbled upon a mystery I can't solve.  It involves cats, birds, windows, feathers, and blood.  Here's what I know: 
  1. I walked in the house and spotted several (10-15) small (1-2 inch) gray feathers on the ground.
  2. I walked upstairs and found a fairly large (4-5 inch diameter) hole in the window screen near the bed.
  3. Two cats live in our house, and the boy (Dilbert) has been known to furiously chomp on raw meat and chase stray cats.
  4. I brought Dilbert upstairs to see if he recognized the hole in the screen, and he acted like he was seeing it for the first time.
  5. I gathered the feathers into a pile and put them on a table to show Wendy.  Dilbert cautiously approached them and fearfully sniffed them as if he'd never seen anything like them in his life.
  6. The cats' food dish was completely full when I got home, despite being full all day.  Most other days, there's little to no food left when I get home.
  7. The next day, Wendy spotted a streak of blood on the floor and two spots of blood on a cardboard box the cats play on.
  8. I searched the house and found no other remnants of a dead bird, including blood, guts, bones, or anything else.
  9. Our house doesn't smell like a dead animal.
  10. No partially digested animal parts were found in the litter box, though a full and intimate inspection was not made.
I can really only think of a few possibilities regarding this mystery, and they're all unbelievable. 
  1. A bird flew through the screen, shed 10-15 feathers, and flew out again.  The feathers mysteriously traveled downstairs and were gathered into a relatively close area.
  2. A bird flew through the screen, Dilbert caught it and ate it whole, eating all but a few feathers and leaving only a few drops of blood as evidence.
  3. Dilbert saw a bird right outside the window, so he tore a hole in the screen, grabbed the bird and ate it whole, eating all but a few feathers and leaving only a few drops of blood as evidence.
  4. A bird flew through the screen, flapped around the house for a while, left some feathers in a specific area, and flew into an unknown part of the house to hide.
  5. A bird flew through the screen, got batted around by the cats for a while, left some feathers in a specific area, then escaped and crawled under the stove to die.
That's all I can come up with.  If anybody has any ideas, please leave a comment. #nature

Wendy Fri, Jul 20, 2007
I've taken a tally at work and here's what people think:
3 people think 2/3
2 people think 5, specifically saying there's a decomposing bird and we'll smell it soon enough

I can think of two other scenarios:
6. The bird flew through the screen and was chased around our house by our cats. The bird received a superficial wound courtesy of Dilbert but managed to find the hole in the screen and return to the wild.
7. Dilbert the cat attacked the bird at the screen inflicting a deadly wound. The bird dropped from our second floor window to it's death where it was eaten by some other wild animal. Dilbert then coveted the feathers from his kill and brought them downstairs to show us when we got home.

My personal vote is for scenario 6. I know it's highly unlikely, but so is the idea of an well-fed, indoor cat ripping through a screen to attack a wild bird that happened to sit on a small window ledge where our cats often sit.

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