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The first hour

Any of you who have read my 66 things page would know that #32 is that I have always wanted to help an injured bird. In the very early hours of January first I was given my chance.

It was around 1:00am and I was about to go to bed. I remembered that Abby had got out earlier so I went to see if she was at the door and I also wanted to check something with the air conditioner (it was really hot), but when I opened the door I saw another furry creature instead (I thought it was a mouse at first). I called for Andy to go check what it was and as soon as he said it was a bird my eyes got wide, my heart began to race and I thought, “This is my chance!”.

I joined Andy outside and we had a look to make sure he was still breathing, which he was, but he was in very bad shape. He could not open his eyes, couldn’t fly properly and he was (of course) completely freaking out. Andy said we should just give him a shelter and leave him outside, but because he was in such bad shape and there are a ton of cats around here who all seem to end up in our driveway fighting – even if Abby is in the house – I didn’t think that was safe. I asked Andy if he knew what I always wanted to do. “Rescue a bird.” “Exactly!”, I said. “Do you really think it’s just a coincidence that this bird landed at our door just as I was coming out on the very first day, first hour of this year?” “Yes.”

It really didn’t matter what he thought at this point because my feathered friend was resting his little beak on my hand and now seemed to actually be soothed by my voice so my heart was officially in a big melted pile beside me.

We got an ice cream container and put some tissues inside to make a little bed and he sat in there very calm and quiet while I carried him around trying to figure out what to do. I really didn’t know if I should find somewhere on our back deck that was sheltered or if I should bring him inside. He seemed like a baby, but we’re a few weeks into summer so I think any young birds would at the very least have their eyes open and his feathers didn’t look like they were new. I decided he was probably and adult who was in rough shape, probably extremely dehydrated and possibly shaken up from the fireworks an hour earlier. (Can I just say that I think fireworks are awful. They scare and injure animals and they cost so much. Can you imagine explaining the cost of 15 minutes of pretty lights in the sky to a starving family in Africa or the like?) In the end I brought him in the house and put him in the shower; I figured since it was like a little room it would be quiet in there and safe from all cats, including my own. I gave him a dish of water and some bread crumbs. I was pretty certain he would die over night, but at least he would not be attacked (and I hope he felt that way, but I doubt that feeling could ever subside in a wild animal.)

I wanted to go in and check on him through the night, but I thought that would do more harm than good so I left him be. I took the door though the laundry to the toilet, didn’t turn any direct lights on and made sure Andy remembered to do the same. Abby seemed to get a sense that something was going on and was, at one point, sitting outside the bathroom with eyes as wide as saucers. She soon forgot about the excitement and resumed her normal routine: sleeping.

I went to bed around 2:00am and hoped he was having a peaceful night. E had come to sleep in our bed through the night and when the sun was up (well, for several hours in all honesty) I got up quietly so she wouldn’t follow (I didn’t want her to see him if he had died) and I rushed to the bathroom. The little guy had moved in the night and was now beside his water dish, but he had unfortunately passed away. It was a bit sad, but not surprising given his state. I only hope he wasn’t freaking out when it all happened and that the peace and quiet helped him a little.

Again I found myself unsure of what to do with him, but I ended up digging a little hole and burying him under a lemon tree in the backyard. And that’s where it ends. I’m glad I had a chance to help a bird (though I don’t want birds to be hurt just so I can help them. Obviously, I hope.). I would have likd to been able to save him, but I guess nature had other plans.


4 Responses

  1. 🙂 You’re a good woman, B. Happy New Year to you!

  2. Aw, that is sad. But you did good.

    “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
    -Immanuel Kant

  3. Thanks ladies!

  4. Whaaat…I thought the bird was going to survive! Thats where I thought the story was going.

    I used to hate it when our cats at home caught birds, or mice. Especially babies…erm baby birds or mice.

    One good thing about our two being indoor cats I guess.

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