The Barn Owl and The Farm Cat – A Most Unusual Friendship!

 

There was once a Barn Owl, who was very wise, indeed. He had a deep, deep hoot, when he was still, and he made a chirrup noise, when in flight.

A solitary bird, he was, however, not like his owl playmates. In fact, he was very unusual. Whereas most owls like to hunt when the moon is high in the sky, under the cover of darkness, this owl was very industrious. He liked to hunt for fun, night and day.

One day, he was gliding over the countryside, near a farm, when, with his keen eye, he spotted a glossy black creature running around in a field. This creature was quick as lightning, and was scampering in the long grass, and along the dirt-track that led to a farm.

At first, when Owlie, spotted Paws, (that was the kitty cat’s name,) he thought that the cat was a very large rat. But the cat’s fur wasn’t quite like a rat’s – it was much fluffier. The cat’s yellowish green eyes were as different to a rat’s eyes as you can imagine!

Owlie decided to land in a large tree, to observe the cat a little closer. He glided down to a steady, thick branch, and he peered down, with his black, button-like eyes, to the ground below him, and waited to see what the puss-cat would do next.

To his astonishment, the little cat started to climb the branch of the tree! And when the cat was up on the branch, the owl winked at him as if to say:

“Hello Mr Kitty Cat, what on earth are you doing here?”

The cat was a little annoyed that the cheeky owl was staring at him.When the cat stared back, the owl’s heart-shaped face swivelled right round, as if the owl was trying to out-stare him. The curious cat patted the owl with his paw, as if to say:

“You nosy bird! What are you looking at?”

The wise owl gazed back at the kitty cat in amusement. He liked animals who stood up for themselves. When the cat patted him, he kept his claws in, and his tail was not swishing, so that meant he was a friendly cat. Owlie was not afraid of the cat because he was a big bird, and the cat was no threat to him.

In fact, Owlie wanted to show the kitty cat what a good hunter he was, and then the cat, who he knew also hunted mice for food, would respect him.

The owl alighted from the tree, and sailed down to ground level, his huge wings making no sound. Mr Kitty Cat followed him.When the owl nearly touched the grass, the cat played a game of tag, touching the flying owl’s big, soft, golden-gray mottled wings as if to say:

“Gotcha, Owlie!”

And the owl was like an acrobatic plane, ducking and diving, almost always just out of the cat’s reach. Owlie was such a tease!

Owlie chirruped, inflating his white chest, “Try catching me!”

Paws joined in Owlie’s antics, but, when he spotted a field mouse, running through the long grass, he forgot about Owlie for a second, and paused, in a crouching position, before chasing the mouse, who outran him. Owlie had also spotted the mouse!

“I’ll show Mr Kitty Cat who’s boss!” Owlie thought.

He swooped down, and focused all his efforts, catching the mouse in his beak, and Paws felt a little envious.

When Owlie circled him, Paws could see the big bird of prey was showing off, and the little cat jumped for all his worth, trying to paw the bird down to earth. When Owlie flew, his clawed feet seemed to dangle, and the cat hoped to pull him down!

The harder Paws tried to catch the owl, the more the owl flew away from him! Owlie even had the nerve to touch down on the grass! The little black cat rolled forward, down a grassy slope, like a gymnast, in his efforts to catch up with the owl. He tumbled down the slope, head over tail, but was soon back on all fours. Owlie teased him, with playful pecks, as if to say:

“You can’t catch me, Paws!”

Cats and owls have similar hunting instincts, and they both have good vision to track down their prey. The difference is that, although cats make good hunters and climbers, they cannot fly like owls.

Owlie caught the mouse because of his binocular-like vision, and his swivel head, which meant he could keep the mouse in his sights easily.

It was an advantage to hunt the mouse from the sky. He could fly silently at speed, and ambush him!

Through playing together, the owl and the kitty cat became best of friends. The cat respected the owl for his super eyesight, his ability to focus, and concentrate, and most of all, for his excellent flying skills. And Owlie respected Paws for his agility, his curiosity, and his sense of fun. Even though the owl won the hunting competition, the cat was a good sport. They were a most unusual pair!