The Incorrigible Night Owl

June 14, 2004

A little bird told me.... (pre-trip drama and more!)

It would go against the cosmic balance of the universe if we didn't have some drama immediately preceding our exit from the state. So, naturally, something cropped up last night to throw things (albeit briefly) into a tailspin. For simplicity's sake I will just cut and paste the story here, as I wrote it to some friends a few hours later:

"My life would be so much easier if I weren't so tenderhearted towards animals. If I could just shrug things off and walk away and still rest easy at night I would save myself a lot of trouble. But I can't.

So I'm at the park tonight, walking. I am heading down a hill and I see a lump of something on the path ahead of me, which I, at first, assume to be leaves or a clump of mud. Then I notice it looks as though it's moving. One half of my brain starts going, "Is that moving? It's moving!" while the other half is saying, "Please don't let it be an animal, please don't let it be an animal...." As I get closer I see that it is, indeed, a baby bird. Damn.

I squat down to examine it. It has quite a lot of feathers but is not yet mobile and its eyes are closed. A guy passes me on the path and mutters, "I don't think it's going to make it." Well, sh*t. This is a fine kettle of fish. Now I am obligated -- OBLIGATED -- to do something or suffer a guilty conscience for the forseeable future.

It's a long way back to my car and I'm afraid to carry it in my hands that far. I'm afraid if it beaks me I will startle and drop it. So I move it off the path, loop around, and head back to the car. I drive over to a parking lot close to the hill. There's nothing in my car to put the bird in so I grab a blanket and fold it up. I go get the bird and carry it out in the blanket. At home, in the garage, I grab an empty box and lower him and the blanket in.

Mr. Birdie is now in my closet, locked safely away from the cats. A Google search led me to a recipie for formula made of crushed kitten chow and rice pabulum, which I dashed to WalMart to obtain. He is eating okay; when I tap his beak with the syringe he "gapes" (opens his mouth wide). He grabs the syringe and chows down with gusto.

Tomorrow morning I will call Wild Care, a wildlife rescue organization. I am supposed to be cleaning my pets' cages tomorrow and finishing my preparations for our trip the next day, and then spending the entire afternoon at the dentist. Instead, I will be loading the kids in the car and driving the 70+ miles (one way) to Wild Care to drop off the bird and then be back before my appointment at 1:00.

Let's cross our fingers that the little guy makes it through the night."

Well, he did make it and was duly transported to the rescue facility first thing this morning. Turns out he was a Red-bellied Woodpecker. He was feeling much better this morning. He chirped all the way up to Wild Care and managed to crawl out from under the towel inside his box. He also attempted to eat the towel. He must have been in shock when I picked him up last night and that's what caused him to not move around much.

So, that crisis handled, I rushed home and had just enough time to clean the gp/bunny cages before dashing off to my dentist appointment. Whoopee. It actually went well. I got the whole nine yards. Polishing, cleaning and two teeth filled. My dentist's office is super-cool. Not only is there a tv/VCR/DVD combo on the wall in the corner, but also a t.v. monitor in the ceiling that plays whatever is on the main t.v. So you can, like, watch movies and stuff while you are getting holes drilled in your head! Woohoo! I took A Hard Day's Night and the whole thing was actually pretty painless -- well, after they shot me with two syringes of Lidocain in each side and then still had to bring out the "big guns" to further deaden me when the Lidocain didn't "take." (I have had a problem with this in the past, so no big surprise.)

I am now off to finish packing the carry-on bag and make sure our outfits are ready for tomorrow. We roll out of here around 8:30 a.m. in order to make it to DFW in plenty of time. I will most definitely be blogging from California but it won't be till Wednesday, at the earliest.