Apparently my animal magnetism is not limited to cats. I was trying to have a nice quiet Saturday evening to myself when I noticed a parakeet in the neighbors yard. That’s right, a parakeet. I walked past the window with my dinner plate and out of the corner of my eye noticed a little green and yellow bird sitting on top of their loveseat/swing. I thought to myself “What a beautiful green and yellow bird! That’s what, a parakeet…Wait a second! Parakeets don’t live in the wild!” All this of course happening in nanoseconds in my head. I stopped, did a literal double take and said “Crap” as I sat down with my dinner.
I am slightly ashamed to admit that I tried to ignore the bird. Being the self-destructive softie that I am, I couldn’t ignore him for long. So I stopped eating dinner and went over to the neighbors yard and tried to approach this lost birdie. He let me get mighty close. I was standing right next to him, talking to him in a calming voice. I could see the little blue band around his leg and he made little inquisitve bird motions at me. I slowly reached out my hand and he flew away into the neighbors’ tree. Thinking back I should have just gotten a towel and thrown it over him. But I didn’t think about that then, I hoped I could approach him and he would come to me. When he flew away I told myself that was it, I tried, no more bird rescue attempts. Yeah right.
I called my dad, a bird lover, and asked if he had any ideas about catching him. He had nothing that would work with the bird in the tree. Perhaps I should have called him sooner, then I could have tried the sheet over the bird thing. Anyhoo. Then I called a local emergency room which specializes in birds and exotic animals during the day. They suggested setting out a small bird cage for him in hopes that he might be reminded of home and fly into it. Problem was, I had no bird cage, nor anything that would pass as a bird cage. What I did have was one parakeet sitting in the neighbors’ tree and two feral cats sitting on my deck. Not a good combination. I didn’t dare leave birdie alone with those opportunistic hunters. I made several more phone calls in hopes of tracking down a bird cage, all unsuccessful. I tried jingling my keys (to mimic the sound of a bell, in hopes this guy might have had a bell toy in his cage). I tried a box of Cherrios based on the knowledge that my friend’s parakeet eats the Cheerio’s she feeds her daughter. Birdie showed some signs of interest in the keys but not the Cheerios.
As I was deciding what to do about the bird he moved himself and started singing. Little Black thought he sounded delicious. I could see it in the way she moved her head and the look that came into her eyes. Oh did she think he sounded tasty. I gave her a firm “NO!” and she was smart enough to act like she wasn’t interested in him anymore. Well I finally decided on a course of action, I was going to risk leaving the bird and get a cage and some bird food to try luring him to safety. In the time it took me to walk inside and come back out, he had flown away.
I decided to still go to the store and buy a cage, some bird seed, just in case I saw him again. Problem was, by the time I came home night had fallen and it was too dark for any birds to be around. I looked for him the next day but he was nowhere to be found. I can only hope he managed to find his way home or somehow managed to survive the cold March night and live another day. Sadly, as is often the case with rescuing animals in the “wild” I will never know. I suppose, in a way, this is a blessing, not knowing. Not knowing is probably the best, because it allows for positive outcomes, or at least not confirmation of the worst (for the rest of my life I will wonder what happened to my Tuxy and Fluffy Butt, both of whom simply disappeared.) I can say I tried though, which is more than most people would do.
As I have said before, it is hard caring so much. It is both my gift and my curse. I wish I didn’t care so much, yet I know this is an essential part of who I am. The running joke in my family is that there is a zoo in our backyard. My dad keeps joking that there are cats, raccoons, possums, skunks, zebras and giraffes in our yard looking for food. My mom tells me to stop attracting animals. I tell her I can’t help it. Not sure she believes me. When I was little, as in all the way up through high school, parents called me “Elmira” after Elmer Fudd, because I always seemed to find deer in the forest preserve by our house.
I have a talent at finding animals. It’s what I do I guess. It is fulfilling but God, sometimes I wish I had a different gift or a different calling in life. Something not so emotionally and financially expensive perhaps? Oh well. Gotta work with what your given. Here’s to more animal adventures!