Friday, October 19, 2007

On birds.

There are 7 people who live in this house. Quiet it is not, so the bumps & bangs emiting from upstairs had gone unnoticed for some time. It finally occured to me I was home alone ~ well Ditz was there but still sound asleep in bed ~ so what on earth was making all the racket? Snakes are quiet so I didn't go armed. To my dismay a triller (bird) was banging itself sensless against the window on the inside.

Now all our windows are screened in an effort to thwart the mosquitoes & sandflies (they don't but that's beside the point) so opening a window was of no avail. Worse, Issi was almost beside himself around my feet. He knew jolly well he wasn't allowed to pounce but restraining himself was making him nuttier than usual.

Now I have a thing about birds. I love them ~ out there in the wild where they belong. Handling them gives me the creeps. I hate how fragile they are, how fast their little hearts beat against my hands, the sense of terror they emit when handled. Normally I would bellow for one of the kids but if anything Ditz is worse than I am & a major drama activist to boot, so I gathered my courage, girded my loins & gathered up a bath towel. As my brother says, 'There is a reason for the term 'bird brain'.' This one had abandoned what few it had begun with & I was able to pin it against the window without too much trouble, gather it into the towel & truddle it downstairs & out the door where it belonged despite my blood curdling & my skin crawling.

Meanwhile Iss, who is normally a fairly silent cat, sat in a dissappointed puddle & cried.

It could have been worse. I had a whole gaggle of kids arrive one day to drag me into the swamp to rescue a black swan. Now these are not nice little birds & the long whippy neck has a nasty sharp beak on the end of it perfectly capable of giving a vicious peck but the fact 6 kids had managed to get close enough to pet it didn't bode well for its condition. There are times when I could really do without being my kids' hero ~ & that was one of them! Luckily the poor thing was so covered in sea lice it didn't have the heart to attack me but I nearly sat on my bum in the mud for I had braced myself for the expected extra weight & it was so much less than I had anticipated I nearly toppled over.

Iss, being male & a particularly brainless cat, is not much of a hunter. He went through a stage of bringing in the pigeons that had broken their necks flying into our windows, a particularly disgusting habit that mortified his origonal owner as it seemed the only thing Iss could catch was already long dead. We were worried for all the scores of little birds attracted to our garden by the bird bath & flowering natives until the day we spotted Iss hunting the pheasant. Five minutes later Iss was looking bewildered & the pheasant was stalking Iss! Which is why Iss spends most of his life semi~comatose.

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