Pam’s Pictorama Toy Post: In past posts I have discussed how I have supplemented my cat collection with toy mice for their pleasure – Starting Small with Mice is a prime example. However, even toy cats need other diversions too and with that in mind, many years ago I purchased this lovely Schuco bird. I bought him at a flea market in London, a small item among a rather huge toy haul. Sometimes these get identified as Steiff, but I believe that the ones that wind up are Schuco and their real name is Pick Pick Bird – with the action making the name self-evident. According to Wikipedia production on them started in 1920’s and over 6 million were produced and sold through 1960’s. From what I can tell they do not vary substantially in design during that period. Therefore, should you decide you too need one it will not be difficult to obtain.
Heinrich Schuco was evidently a bit of a toy prodigy who began patenting toy designs when he was 17. It is unclear if the Pick Pick bird was already a staple of the company when he joined it or if it was one of his winning designs. The company remains in existence today.
So what is it about cat and bird? There’s nothing like the movement of a bird, or tweet, to snap a feline to attention. I watch videos with cats playing with birds and you can say what you want, but the cat always seems to have a bit of killer lust in its eyes even as it plays nice. Cats have generally been portrayed poorly in cartoons in the cat-bird relationship. I have always felt that there was something particularly mean spirited about the Sylvester and Tweetie cartoons. It isn’t that I am saying I want a cartoon where he catches and manages to eat the annoying little yellow bird (and keep him down – there seem to be many where Tweetie escapes Sylvester’s digestion of him and he pops back up), but it is sort of demeaning to cats.
Having said that I am certainly as unhappy as the next person to be confronted with the hunting prowess of my kitty in either bird or mouse form. Cookie and Blackie have virtually no opportunity to polish this bird skill (we are hopeful they don’t get a shot at mice either, although more likely in a NY apartment) we are glad to report. However, there was a morning, years ago now, when I was meditating very early and the window of the apartment was cracked open a few inches. (Our windows are never open because even with screens I don’t believe these two – and their predecessors – would not pop out the screen if sitting in the window and we live on the 16th floor.) Much to my amazement, a sparrow came and sat on the window sill and serenaded me. Mysteriously, both cats (probably Roscoe and Zippy at the time) slept through the event; it did not rouse them. Birds rarely visit us this high up – the occasional pigeon might fly off the roof, but we rarely see small birds parking themselves here. He sang, looking right at me with head cocked, for what seemed like several minutes, before flying off.
Below is a Pick Pick Bird video from Youtube – I think they called it a Peck Peck instead. I was trying to make my own video and I will report that yes, Blackie and Cookie came running to check out that bird toy!
Schuco Pick Pick Bird video.