Tragedy at Bella’s nest

I’m so sorry but this is very sad news.

Bella’s potted plant (where her nest is) fell down onto the floor early this morning. We did hear a loud thud at about 6am plus this morning but we didn’t come down to investigate.

By the time we came out to the porch, my husband saw Bella’s potted plant down on the floor. We checked the nest and both eggs were missing.

Bella was nearby, though, she was flying around and perched on the nearby trees and cable. I wasn’t 100% sure if it was Bella as we have many birds around here.

It was so heartbreaking.

Who could have been strong enough to pull down the potted plant and cause the heavy pot to fall laterally onto the floor? We have already barricaded our gate with netting and set up an obstruction on the pillar. The usual visiting cats, Gingertom and Bushy White, have not come for a long time now.

It was really so sad. We’re so sorry, Bella. We’re so sorry we failed to protect your nest.

The strange thing is that as we cleaned up the spilled soil and put the potted plant back upright, there were absolutely no traces of the eggs or any broken shells. The nest was quite intact and was still nestled in the plant. And there were also no feathers at all, which gave us a little bit of consolation that hopefully Bella was not harmed and it was probably Bella that I saw on the tree and cable just now.

It took us sometime to get the playback on the CCTV and we saw it all.

It was a long-tailed bicoloured cat (or Calico, it was dark and not very clear). I have seen a bicoloured cat around the playground but have never seen her come into our porch. From the playback on the CCTV, this cat was actually sleeping on our doormat. Then, something attracted her to Bella’s nest and she started to investigate.

Cats are naturally curious, we understand this. It is their natural behaviour.

The cat took his time, stood up, pawed at the potted plant many times, then she started pulling on the leaves. We saw Bella fly off. Then, the cat pulled on the leaves until the whole plant fell down onto the floor. As heartbreaking as it was for us to watch, we still had to find out what had happened. But we did not see the cat eat anything or take anything out of the nest. She just circled around a few times and then went off.

After the cat went off, Bella came back and kept fluttering around the fallen plant. She kept circling around it many, many times. This was extremely sad. I cannot begin to describe how heartbreaking it is to watch it, and I’m still so traumatised by it all.

But at least we know that Bella is safe.

We’ve put the potted plant back and tried our best to “restore” the nest. Bella did come back just now to sit in the nest.

But the eggs are both gone now.

I know this is Nature. It’s one of those losses in life that we have to learn to accept and deal with. But it is so, so sad.

I took these photos yesterday and was planning to post it today in a happy update.

Here’s Bella on my car, taking a break from her incubation duty.

Here’s Bella in her best.

And Tabs watching from inside the house.

Our only consolation is that Bella is safe. We are very sure of this as Bella came back to the nest just now. As much as we wish we could provide a safe place for Bella, I don’t think we can keep the neighbourhood cats away. Cats will just find a way into any house and it can happen late at night or early at dawn as it did in this case. I hope Bella will find a new and safer place to build her nest.

We are so sorry, Bella. I’m truly so heartbroken.

An update: I just saw a Calico cat sleeping under my car. From the size and the tail, it must have been this cat. She is thin and was able to easily slide in through the side of our gate. Sigh…  I’ve never seen this Calico around before.

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