I don't know what brought this to mind today. Maybe it was seeing a feather from one of the cats' toys. I suddenly thought about Pete the parakeet. When my son was either 11 or 12 he bought me a parakeet for my birthday. He was a cute bird and I named him Pete.
At the time we had a cat, another one of little brain, called Midnight. Midnight was interested in this little creature that we kept in a cage hanging high on the wall, but she usually left Pete alone. Until one day. When I came home from shopping, I found the cage on the floor and surprisingly, Pete was still in the cage and unhurt.
I decided that the wall arrangement wouldn't do anymore, so I put the cage on top of the china closet in the dining room. Unfortunately that meant that we couldn't see Pete as much, but at least he was safe from Midnight, or so we thought. Midnight actually climbed to the top of the china closet and kept trying to get at Pete. I had heard that if you put pennies in empty soda cans around the cage, the cat would leave him alone.
Somehow, Midnight managed to walk around all those cans without making a sound or even disturbing one can. She did this several times until one day she stuck her nose in the cage and Pete, having tired of her harassment, bit her. She never bothered him again.
Now that Pete was safe from Midnight, we could put him back in the living room on the wall. We had a few good years with Pete, he was a very hardy bird. One night, we all settled in to watch a movie, we were all very comfortable, even Pete. When the movie was over, it was time for bed so I went to cover his cage and found Pete lying on the bottom of the cage. He died quietly during the movie. We buried him in the backyard.
The name of the movie was The Birds. Was his time up, or did the movie scare him to death? I guess we'll never know.