© 2021
Dr Joe Murray

Bibs the Cat

  1. we’re all family, really
  2. a little feline philosophy
  3. excuse my french
  4. on the cludgie
  5. the baby
  6. a lesson in socialism
  7. sleeping with the enemy
  8. on the level
  9. a little black and white philosophy
  10. the magpie ultimatum
  11. Indy Cat?
  12. Who’s the Daddy?
  13. It's no about flags

Video Stories

Alasdair Gray & the
Book of Prefaces

Keekin Through Windaes
The Two Heifers
The Congo
The Hotdog

Other Stories

Aye, right ennuf
a natural balance
a short tale of woe
Maggie and the Little Pollok Carpet

10 the magpie ultimatum

I looked up from my book but couldn't see anyone. It wasn't Bibs, I'd know her wee voice anywhere.
"Heh!" said the voice again.
On the fence across the garden was a bird. "Heh," it said again. I looked around.
"Aye, you." said the bird.
I looked at it, "who are you heh-ing at?" I asked.
It ignored my question, "gonnae have a word wi her?"
I noticed the bird feeder, though full, was devoid of its usual fluttery of feathered friends. There was only this one in the garden. Well, on the fence at least.
"Have a word with who?" I asked.
"Her… you know… her… that cat. She's causing havoc around here, man, pure havoc. You can't come to a feeder but she's hiding close by and… WHAM!!! you're suddenly staring at cat tonsils."
I did feel some sympathy for the bird, I do go out of my way to care for them, especially in winter. "Oh," I said, "were you the one she had the other day?"
"Aye," said the Magpie, "Ah'm still recoverin from that." It shuddered. "I shooda got an Oscar for my play-the-dead-bird performance."
"It would have been well earned," I said. "I thought you were dead. You should have seen her face when you flew away." I laughed.
"Wasn't funny to me," said the Magpie, seriously.
"No, I guess it wasn't," said I, "sorry, But listen, she's not my cat. I can't tell her what to do, even though I would prefer she left you guys alone… and me, for that matter, but she's not mine."
"We know, but it's your garden and we know you like having us birds around, so have a word, eh? Y'never know, it might work. Otherwise, we're aw just going to have to get our fatbaws and seeds somewhere else."
I hesitated then said, "not in Peter Mullen's garden, you won't!" I giggled.
"Aye," it sighed, "right enough. Ah've heard the Jackdaws are gauin bananas ower there. But this isnae just me, and the rest of the Magpies, we've hud a meetin, it's the Sparras, the Blue Tits, the Great Tits, the Green Finch an the doves annaw. So, hiv a word wi her, eh no? Or we're off!"
The bird did two hops to the left and took off - it flew over my head.
"I do love my biodiverse wee garden." I thought, "maybe I should try and get her to see sense."
"Ah widnae haud mah breath, Big Man," said Bibs from under my chair, "this lady's not for turning."
"Wha… fuhrfuxsake! You can read minds now?" I cried.
"YYYUP! The Shaolin Temple is online these days," she purred.