44 photos

Hershey, The Cat Formally Known as The Lion King, belongs to our neighbors, the Letitias. Two years ago, for reasons known only to the parties involved, Hershey became the subject of an intense, relentless obsession by one male mockingbird, a.k.a. The Lunatic.

This bird defies any rational explanation; he expends a bazillion calories harassing Hershey for sessions that last twenty minutes or more and occur 4-5 times a day. By any conservative estimate, he dive bombs Hershey at least 25-35 times per session, for a total of some 120-140 attacks per day. The attacks have an audio track: he screams constantly during every one of them. No game theory could explain the amount of time this bird devotes to torturing Hershey. How much food does he have to find to account for all of this energy loss?

There are five other outdoor cats around our house and yard and the immediate area. I have NEVER seen this bird attack any of the other cats. Not once.

A long time ago Hershey just gave up worrying about the crazy bird. He can sleep with the mockingbird picking up his tail (yes, it happens every day) or riding his back or screaming ten inches off the back of his head. You should know The Lunatic never goes after Hershey's face or eyes, and I have inspected Hershey's tail and back, the target area, and there are no injuries. As you can see from the photos, Hershey never flinches during any of this. I'm beginning to think he secretly enjoys the fuss, most of the time.

Hang in there, Hershey.

Please run the slide show (red button upper right corner this page) for this or you'll miss half the fun and the photos won't have the full detail. Look for the captions. You can stop the show either with the control bar at the bottom or by placing the mouse cursor over the caption. The show takes about 4 minutes, faster if you take it over with the control bar.

All photos made with the Nikon D700 and the 200 f/2 VR lens, with the exception of the very last one, which was made with the D300 and the 200VR.
The Lunatic would be the one on the left.This is a low level torpedo attack, similar to the ones used against WWII ships.A Thousand fleas on the souls of your grandkittens. I hate you, I hate you.Hershey is obviously consumed with terror.Whoops, missed.Hershey tries to hide back in his yard. It doesn't work.This bird can put the brakes on and turn in the air in less than two feet.Can you hear the screams coming out of my beak, you stupid cat???From the dive bomber's point of view.Step off this table, right here and right now, you punk, and meet me cat to bird.And don't give me that "I'm old and pitiful" stuff, either....What, you're leaving? I'm not done yet.Another torpedo attack, this one aft, near the back powder magazine.