Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bye, bye, Birdie.

I am a sucker for weak, defenseless animals. See a cat playing with a live mouse in a and save it. Find a kitten in some bushes by the side of the road...take it to work and pawn it off on a coworker. Come upon a fledgling floundering helplessly on my balcony...take it in for a night, feed it and look after it, then return it to the closest nest and watch until the parents return. Which they did.

It drives Padawan nuts. You never know what poor lost soul I'll bring home. Last night he walked in the door and found me trying to feed little bits of meat to Iago  in the kitchen. 

"Where did you get that?"

"I found him! He was all alone and it was getting dark and I was afraid he'd get eaten!"

"We can't keep him, Chanel."

"I know that! I called a wildlife rehabilitation center and left a message. They can pick him up tomorrow."

When he suggested we just leave it outside in the grass last night and leave it up to Darwinism, I started crying that it was just wrong to leave it there, that it would probably die and get eaten by Ghost, or it would hop into the road and get run over by someone. We agreed to keep him on the balcony overnight to keep him safe.

I hope I find a baby squirrel one day. I'd like to take care of one, just to see how it works.

I did take pictures of Iago, but I left my camera and memory card at home so I'll put a picture up later today so you guys can see how freaking cute he was. 

Oh, I named him Iago because he had a big mouth and kept peeping until the sun went down and then started again as soon as it came up. Cute little thing, but very needy. At least baby birds appear to sleep through the whole night. Must make it easier on the parents.

Interesting thing: I went out about forty five minutes after I left the bird out by the nest this morning and left Choo Choo inside of the apartment because I wasn't going to be gone long. Padawan came home while I was outside and opened the door. 

I was sitting in the grass not within sight of the stairs that lead to our apartment, watching the birds with Iago, when I saw something small and blond shoot past my eye. I turned to look and there was Choo Choo, no leash, no collar, no halter, tearing up grass as she bounded to me. I didn't think she was going to stop, but she ran right up to me and jumped on my legs and started whining and yelping like I'd left her forever! I was confused and looked around. Sure enough, a minute later Padawan came running up, looking horrified and then relieved.

"What the hell happened, Padawan?"

"I just opened the door and she shot out like a cannon ball! There was no warning!"

"Didn't you try calling her name?"

"Of course I tried. She ignored me and just ran down the stairs! I thought she ran away!"

*sigh* "How did she know where I was?" I mused, scratching her ears.

"Lucky guess?"

I guess I should be relieved. I won't have to worry about her ever trying to run away. Her one object in life it to find and stay with me, wherever I go.

EDIT: Pictures!

My camera wouldn't focus for some reason. But this is my little Iago!


  1. well I'm so glad that Choo Choo found you and didn't actually run away. Poor Padawan probably had a mini heart attack. I have stopped caring for baby animals left alone after trying to care for some bunnies only to have my scent on them so their mother refused to care for them when she did come back a couple days later. Poor things. :( I try to stay out of it now but it is hard...they are just so cute.

    Can't wait to see pictures of Iago.

  2. He looked really scared and worried when he came around the corner, so I know he felt bad. He'll never just throw open the door again.

    Some animals do that. Birds don't actually care if you touch their young or not. It's only a problem if you handle them so much that they stop smelling like the mother and start smelling like you. If you find any more abandoned or orphaned babies you should try handling them as little as possible and if the mother doesn't come back you should call a wildlife rehabilitation center to come pick them up. Orphaned animals are often the prey of stray or indoor outdoor cats and dogs trying to hone their hunting skills.

  3. Little birds are cute. I think my cats would try to eat it though, and I could only imagine what the dog would do. I was doing some yard work last year, clearing some weeds that had grown up around the deck. The dog came up, stuck her head in an opening I'd uncovered and then darted away. A minute later, I hear my wife yelling at her across the yard. She was running around with a dead rabbit in her mouth (the dog, not my wife.) Apparently she had stashed it there months earlier, and then the weeds had blocked her access. It was a shame about the rabbit, but really, the dog can't help doing what comes naturally to her.

  4. That's sweet that you would take those animals in like that. I hope Iago will be alright.

    I confess that I don't rescue animals like that. I am WAY too paranoid about diseases that they could be carrying. But I suppose in certain situations I would intervene if I could. There really aren't a lot of helpless animals around here for me to rescue, though. So who knows? :)

  5. Bryan, my dog likes to play with other animals...she lacks the instinct to kill, I guess. Except June bugs. She eats those happily. Still, I know animals have their world where it's survival of the fittest. I'm glad your wife wasn't running around with the bunny in her mouth. That would be horrible.

    Candice, I can't take in stray dogs because it's a violation of my lease if an animals stays unregistered for longer than a few days. But I do take in whatever I can, or make calls to find homes for them. Not all animals carry disease, but I can understand your concern since you have children. Although there aren't any diseases that I'm aware of that dogs can pass to people except rabies, and even then only through biting.

  6. It's a good thing women are sentimental. Otherwise none of us guys would have a place to stay. I think the wife originally took me in for practical reasons. She's small and I could reach the top shelves and change light bulbs without a step ladder. And I'd give her those puppy dog eyes and she relented and let me sleep on the couch. The ASPCA said they didn't want me so I got to stay.

  7. I took in Padawan because he's a good pillow/portable heater. Men are very lucky we are sentimental, indeed.

  8. I found a baby Green Heron in my yard one day. I didn't even know they came in that color. My neighbor knew who to call and they came out the next day and picked it up. It was a neat looking animal. I thought for sure by your story that Choo Choo was going to run right over and swallow the baby bird. Silly me.

  9. It was entirely green? Or just the wings?

    You just call Wildlife Rescue in your city (they're generally nonprofit and volunteer based) and they come and pick them up and take them to a rehabilitation center until they can live on their own. You can find their number in a phone book or google it if it happens again.

    I'm sure other dogs would probably do that. My dog, however, has a profound appreciation and respect for life. For everything except June bugs, that is. Mostly she just wants to cuddle and play with other animals.

  10. Once upon a time I had to interview a wildlife marshal. He agreed to the interview for one reason: to tell people not to rescue hurt or abandoned wild animals, including the cute young ones. He said it was unfair to the animal, and also that coyotes and other predators had to eat, too. There was no Wildlife Rescue in the small hick-town where I used to live.

    While he comments were true, and I did publish the interview, I always thought it was a little cold-hearted. I'm more of the nurse-them-back-to-health kind of guy.

  11. I would have happily told him that I live in a gated apartment complex where there are no wild animals, and it's unfair to the bird to let a house cat eat him just because it's bored and has nothing else to do.

    I'm glad you're a nurse-them-back-to-health kind of guy. Padawan is a "leave it to Darwinism" kind of guy, and that's just sad.

  12. It had some green on it. I would never had said that the heron was green.

  13. I never worry about Buddy running away from me either. Even if he takes a little gander somewhere, he comes back looking for me. It's the best part about puppies, they're such loyal companions.

  14. George, that feels like a punchline somehow...

    Jenna, puppies just get curious. The few times Choo Choo has decided to go for a little run, she never where she can't see me. She likes to keep me in her sights at all times. And that's a good feeling. Unconditional love.


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