In Zari's case you catch it, bring it inside, meow a lot, demand praise then wander back out onto the deck - leaving it in the middle of the lounge for me to clean up.
|Mmmm terrible cell phone photo.|
In Basil's case you spot it while still inside, chatter you teeth madly (first time we'd ever heard him do this - hilarious) then race out on the deck at full speed, screech to a halt under the railing where the bird is perched and... well... sit. Perhaps pace back and forward a bit, or reach up to it (he could've tapped its toes if he'd tried), or get distracted by other birds flying past. But definitely don't try and actually catch it.
After about 10 minutes (I kid you not) Zari joined him on the deck, although this time she seemed to be about as clueless as he was...
|Huh? What are you doing here?|
|Go away, I saw it first!|
Cats use two hunting strategies, either stalking prey actively, or waiting in ambush until an animal comes close enough to be captured. Although it is not certain, the type of strategy used may depend on the prey species in the area, with for example, cats waiting in ambush outside burrows, but tending to actively stalk birds.
It truly was the most pathetic display of cat hunting we had ever seen. Did he get mixed up, thinking he was meant to ambush birds and actively stalk burrows? He'd never got this close to a bird before. Did his brain overload and shut down? Was he trying to figure out a way to get on the railing without it noticing (after he'd run at it across the deck oh so subtly)? Or is that giving him too much credit?