When is a bird not a welcome bird? When it’s in your kitchen, that’s when. And when is not a good time to find a disabled bird in your kitchen? Any time, that’s when. I appreciate that it was going to happen at some point, that her kitty killer instincts would move on to larger fry, but knowing roughly how nature works doesn’t make it any more pleasant to have to witness it.
Miss Hairy Mary Miyagi has had a bit too much of a pampered kittenhood (gasp, shock, horror) and all those soft wet luxury foods that she wolfs down as and when she feels like it means she hasn’t been eating her dry stuff and so her teeth have been compromised and the vet suspects that already a couple are well into the decay process. Such a shame, she’s not even three yet and yet she’s developing the kind of dental health one might expect from a chronic crystal meth addict living in Baltimore.
To confirm this he has asked us to try her with some hardcore dental food: big lumps, harder than a ship’s biscuit and about the size of an aniseed ball. To a cat of Mary’s size they’re like trying to swallow a tennis ball and so she has to crunch them up. Easy enough you might think, but she’s a lazy cow and she’s set in her ways and when she realised that her supply of wet food was massively diminished she resorted to her baser urges and went out on the hunt. Fucking lucky fucking us.
Now, moths I can tolerate, even when their wings have been distributed across the landing. Mice I just about deal with too. The one she bought in on Monday night was clearly a little distressed but once we had zoned in it was easy enough: we just grabbed the mouse box (a Jo Malone cosmetics box, because L’Oreal just wouldn’t do in our house) and it scurried in and off I went to the back of the garden in my flip flops and boxers and plopped it over the fence. At a quarter to midnight. Job done. Mary’s blood lust thwarted. Well…….
On Wednesday morning we both heard the funny noise from downstairs but as we were half asleep neither of us responded. It was only when wifey (which is her new name to save time, time I can now devote to her continued happiness) went down to make a cup of tea that she noticed a pile of mucus-y/humus-y stuff on the floor and only when she was cleaning it up that she saw the extremely unhappy little brown blackbird squashed with fear against the skirting board. There is reason why no-one ever eats poultry for breakfast.
Upon hearing Penelope Pitstop yelp I dropped out of bed and slid downstairs to offer my assistance. The mouse box was quickly deployed as our feathered friend shuffled and oomph-flapped across the kitchen floor. She must have been injured. Mary suggested she might have fallen down the stairs or walked into a door though we were disinclined to believe her. Injured or not we were fucked if we wanted a bird of any kind in our kitchen so it was promptly boxed up and removed.
Carrying a small box with a small, live, injured bird in it is never a lot of fun; try it, you’ll see. I wasn’t about to call pet rescue or reach for the TCP and so eventually it was decided to walk beyond Mary’s zone of destruction and plonk it in a bush near the CO-OP. You’ve got to have a dream etc. Mary spent the next 5 hours asleep in our bedroom, as unburdened by remorse as any serial killer on death row. Nature is nature, fair enough, but when I looked out at the back garden I saw birdy’s daddy perched on the fence, calling for the chick he will never see again, and that almost broke my heart. But then I remembered that ten minutes earlier I had been stood in that garden, in boxers and flip flops, my toes irrigated with early morning dew, holding a Jo Malone box with a buggered bird in it. And so I went back to bed; sometimes it’s no time to get over sentimental.
G B Hewitt. 08.08.2109