Archive | July 2019

Sometimes it isn’t about the bird at all

Tonight was one of those nights that reminds me that it’s not always about the animal.

The day started out on a sour note. I’d been up all night prepping for a medical┬áprocedure in the morning and was tired, sick to my stomach and suffered from other induced maladies.

A man called a little after eight about a bird that hit his window last evening. he was arrogant and demanding and did not want to listen to my advice about the bird and not being able to repair it’s broken wing. he kept pushing. I told him that I was not feeling well and getting ready to leave for the surgical center and really couldn’t deal with it at the moment. Maybe he could call back in the afternoon. He became belligerent and told me , he didn’t care. He’d “Just kill the bird and I could live with that”.

Ok, I guess I have a lot of bird lives lined up in my karma.

I got a nap in this afternoon and was trying to get caught up on the 9 hours of work that didn’t get done today and the phone rang again.It was a woman with of course, another bird. This one had a broken leg from a cat. I started to explain to her about the bacteria in a cats mouth, but she interrupted me and said she’d do anything for this bird to help it. She just lost her dog of 19 years a today and needed to do something for this bird.
I knew I needed to take this bird, even if it was hopeless.

So we waited for her. We finally gave up at 7:30 and started eating dinner. She shows up on about the third mouthful.

She’s driving an expensive┬ácar. She’s blond, in her mid 50’s. She has cowboy boots and smells like horses. Now anyone that knows me well, understands how and why that is an immediate PTSD trigger for me. I put my dinner down and let her in anyway.

The bird was hopeless. I could see the puncture wound when the cat broke it’s leg, but I fed it and made it cozy anyway. I knew I couldn’t do much for the bird, but I could for her.

We looked at the animals inside. I let Sophie lavish her attentions on her. I took her outside for a tour and asked her to tell me about her dog. We pet baby bunnies, watched the bob cat, played with Crow and the Blue Jay Brothers and then took her out to find the fawns. Red of course, figured if she was with me, she was OK with him and came to her for scratches and nuzzles.

She was here for about an hour and a half. She smiled the whole time. My diner was coagulating on my plate, I was still tired and worn out, but she was feeling better. That’s all that mattered. She was feeling better.
When she finally left around 9, I ate my cold chicken. After that I went in to check the bird. I dressed the wound with antibiotic powder, just in case it’s a claw wound and not a tooth and set the leg. It doesn’t look hopeful, I don’t think I can do anything, but make it comfortable and watch it die.

But you know what? It isn’t about the bird. It’s about the woman who lost her best friend of 19 years today and the fact that she smiled for an hour and a half.

I feel bad for the man this morning. He couldn’t see beyond his own immediate needs. He could have called back later in the afternoon. He could have explained why it was so important that I take the bird. Instead, he reacted with anger that his needs couldn’t be met immediately.

He couldn’t see that sometimes…. it isn’t about the bird at all.

Blackberry Bunny

Yesterday, as hot as it was, I went out and picked the black berries. In this heat they don’t hold long and if I want black berry jam and a pie for Jimmy, it needs to be done.

The heat was shimmering in the air and I could smell the chlorine of my little blow up pool that was my incentive to finish the job. I could almost feel the cool water close over me as I picked.

Of course Crow and at least two deer accompanied me, along with Sophie, my lab. My bucket didn’t fill very fast as it was “Pick two for the bucket, one for the crow, two for the deer and don’t forget Sophie”. Luckily the heat was a bit much for them in the sun and all but Crow left me. He moved up into the mulberry tree and contented himself with dropping mulberries into the pool below. (Now you know why I have a slight lavender cast to my skin).

I have a milk crate, one of the old sturdy ones) out there to reach the berries on top of the little arbor, but I still fall a few inches short, so there are plenty of prime berries for the other birds to eat. My young robin, came and did exactly that. After about an hour, I moved over to the other side of the fence.

Levi doesn’t mow as much as we do and the grass along that side fence and berries is long and tangled. There is a deep pink rosebush that rambles along and through the fence and I had to tread carefully to avoid it wrapping around my ankles. (A 1oo year old rose has very long thorns)

My flip flops kept getting caught in the long grass, so I left them behind as I kept picking. Being in the brush like that, not all the berries make it to the bucket tied around your waist. Every so often, you hear the soft plop as one hits the ground, but who wants to search through the weeds for one berry.

Sometime, I became aware of something occasionally tickling my feet and ankles. I has seen a little deer mouse scurry through the fence when I began and I knew that there was a grass snake that lived in that comer, so I really didn’t think much of it. Then something definitely sniffed my ankle.
I looked down and there was a tiny brown bunny at my feet. Every time I would drop a berry, he would sneak in to eat it. I laughed out loud and it scurried away.

It was too hot to continue and my bucket was heavy around my waist and the call of the pool was irresistible. I left a handful of berries on the ground where the bunny could reach them and climbed back through the brambles and richly scented roses.
I fell into the pool and let the cool water envelope me. I lay on my raft with the current from the filter swirl me around. I watched clouds, then trees, clouds then trees, pass through my vision.

Crow came down to join me and I was nearly asleep when he started dipping his beak into the pool and spitting water on my head. I figured this meant he was ready to go inside and I knew everyone’s feeding time was coming up. (Including my husbands)

As I passed back through the arbor, I noticed the pile of berries was gone. Happy bunny. Happy me.

One more time for the masses

Cat’s have filthy mouths. Besides their foul language, their filthy mouths are filled with bacteria that is FATAL to small animals, ie…birds, squirrels, rodents BUNNIES. If a cat even breathes on one of these small animals (Even if the bunny IS bigger than the cat, trust me on this one), the animal will die of sepsis within 24 hours. TWENTY FOUR HOURS OR LESS.

Do not tell me that it is a small wound or that the cat only used it’s claws. DO not bring me a bunny that half the skin is ripped off or a leg has been chewed and say that you are sure it wasn’t in the cat’s mouth. DO not bring me a bunny or anything but a child over 4 years old that a cat has dragged in for 24 hours. Not 10, not 18. 24. Got that 24 hours.

You have no idea how many people have insisted that it’s been 24 hours and drive out her only to open the box and it’s a dead bird, or bunny, or squirrel or toad. Yes, it did look perfectly healthy an hour ago, but it’s not now. (Once someone had the balls to ask for gas money reimbursement because the bird was dead. I laughed. I laughed a lot)

TWENTY FOUR HOURS. Believe me, I have tried every antibiotic, short of a 24 hour IV drip, and nothing works. Cat bite = Death.

What do you do then when Fluffy brings you a present? Three things. 1. You can either give it back to the cat (hopefully you avoid a disposal process, unless your cat is a puker) 2. You can put the animal in a box in a quiet place and not open it for 24 hours. If it makes you feel better, you can put some water and food in with it. 3. If the animal is badly injured, put it down, either manually or back to solution 1.

NOW. On the off chance that Fluffy had no teeth or didn’t like the taste of fresh meat on the paw or was just using the animal for batting practice and you open the box after 24 hours and the bunny, squirrel, toad, mouse, bird or toddler is still alive and looking at you, THEN you can call me. It can probably be released back outside or in the case of an injury, I can see what I can do.

But if you call me? Daylight hours only. I’m getting pretty damn crabby in my old age.