The Pet Lady


I fear my guests are beginning to take advantage of me. I installed a tubular bird feeder some months ago, steadfastly suction-cupped to the window in front of my computer (left ajar now because of this heat we’re having). But a boisterous gang of finches has taken up permanent residence, regularly rousing me just after sunrise and spilling seeds recklessly on my windowsill. I imagined tranquil birdsong and the occasional graceful little friend. Instead, I found one noisy young lady-finch inside my house yesterday morning (who promptly peed on my hand upon rescue), and today a small circle of poop landed by my computer. What now? Must I continue feeding these ruffians?

Hassled on the Hill


Summer is indeed the season of the errant guest. They come, they take advantage of your gracious disposition, they drink the liquor cabinet dry, and then they avail themselves of your Canadian aspirin, leaving you with nothing for your most dire aches of head. What now, indeed? It is our duty as good citizens of the world to be hospitable, but how far does this responsibility extend?

In your case, H.O.T.H., you have essentially invited a group of acquaintances over for a nice meal, in the hopes that, as you put it so sweetly, they would become graceful little friends. What you have ended up with is a greedy mob of hooligans, fighting and shouting (in their not-so-wee bird voices) at all hours and showing no intention of ever taking their leave. We’ve all felt the obligation to pry ourselves out of bed prematurely to entertain unfortunately early-bird houseguests, but your guests are actual early birds, renowned for their determination as well as their earliness. There will be no gently encouraging them to go to the caf頩n the morning, as you are unavailable until a civilized hour, nor will there be any proper use of the loo, as has been made all too clear.

The Pet Lady suggests you cut them off for a while. If and when guilt or revived magnanimity prompt you to re-extend the sullied hand of your hospitality, never fear—they know where you live.

The Pet Lady

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