The past couple of weeks I have been irritated by a problem, which was created by my own good nature.
I've been feeding a cat named Scruffy who calls my front porch home. That's right, I feed a stray, although I think of him more as a friend.
Everything was going all right. I'd leave him food and water out in the morning, a small refill at lunch and dinner as well.
From time to time I'd sit on the front porch talking to him as we watched the cars and people passing along the block.
As it began to warm up, I started to notice the food was disappearing a lot quicker than usual. I began to wonder if another cat or perhaps a dog was getting into the yard and eating the food.
One afternoon I was watching TV with the front door open enjoying the warm afternoon breeze when I witnessed the culprit or should I say one of the culprits responsible for the foods disappearance.
It seems that the birds, which frequent the tree in front of my house, have developed a taste for 9 Lives cat food.
At first I laughed and thought this could be a win-win scenario for Scruffy. He could enjoy a tasty bird that was stuffed with his favorite cat food.
However, that laughter quickly passed as I began to notice there were eight birds, and they were picking Scruffy's dish dry.
I'd find him sitting next to his bowl hungry because what I had left him was long gone due to the birds.
It got to the point where I would only set the bowl out when I saw Scruffy or I was home able to keep the birds from the food. Though, that arrangement was not working out because I worried that Scruffy was going without food because I was not home.
So I decided to set the food out again as I had in the past, thinking a few birds eating it wouldn't hurt my wallet and I'd just make sure there was enough for Scruffy.
This of course turned out to be a bad idea, as the birds must have put the 411 out about the cat food buffet on my porch.
In one afternoon I counted eight to 10 birds of varying size sitting on my fence, pecking away at the food or knocking over the water bowl.
As you all know with birds come, well you know their gifts of love, which they deposit, on your car windshield every so often.
The birds are a problem. They are eating my friend's food, leaving a mess and their numbers are growing.
When you shoo away a cat or dog they tend to stay away for the most part, but with birds they simply fly away until you go back inside.
There is not much I can do as I refuse to kill or poison the birds that are just acting out of instinct. I won't try to convert Scruffy into an inside cat as he is older and pretty much set in his ways.
While this situation annoyed me at first and probably seems outright foolish to others, it has served me as a reminder.
With any action or decision I make, there is a reaction. And I have to live with the consequences.
Thomas Garcia is a senior writer at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org