I was supposed to be helping to process (vaccinate), some heifers. I really do enjoy processing cattle; it’s another of the many weird things that makes me tick. There’s a long list of the unusual things that I enjoy – like fixing barbed wire and electric fences (my favorite), vacuuming (although you wouldn’t know that right now), giving medicine to cats….the list goes on and on.
On this day of vaccinating heifers I had a little headache so I left the chute area to go and steal from my husband’s Advil stash. I have noticed that it seems when you don’t need it there is a huge bulk bottle of Advil around every corner and behind every door of our house. However, when pain strikes, the Advil must get frightened because it runs and hides. All those bottles that are falling out of the cupboards every other day are no where to be found….so we buy more. Which makes all the lost ones reappear…..but I digress.
While looking for medicine, I noticed two robins flying in and out of our evergreen tree. I grabbed my camera, and this is what I found…..
Awwwwwhhhhh! He was so cute, so I took his picture. This was not a great idea.
The baby bird, which was doing a pretty good job of looking undisturbed by my cooing adoration, became agitated when I took his photo.
He decided that this seemed like a pretty good day to try flying. It wasn’t. He appeared to be lacking some of the important feathers or something because he hit the ground running. But not fast enough for our house cat.
I didn’t even know that Gypsy was outside, and she knew exactly how to take advantage of the situation. Within a millisecond of that baby bird hitting the dirt she appeared out of nowhere, grabbed him in her mouth and ran away from me.
I learned something almost immediately, and that is this – shrieking “No! Gypsy, sit! Put that down! Drop it!” does not work with a cat. Especially not with a cat who has a baby bird in its mouth. Our two dogs on the other hand recognized both the commands as well as the voice of Terra coming unglued, and were frantically sitting, standing, and generally looking at each other like “I don’t recognize that name, but whoever she means is getting a licking so let’s just do what she says.”
Add to this the poor frantic bird parents who were screeching and dive bombing us, and I think it was quite a sight in our backyard.
It seemed like it took forever, but it was probably only a few seconds before I got hold of the cat, stuck my finger in the back of her jaws so she couldn’t bite the bird and got him away from her. She thanked me by swiping at the back of my legs before running away. The dogs just sat there looking guilty. They must be catholic dogs. They hadn’t actually done anything at all, but I assume they must have had impure thoughts regarding the cat and bird situation because something was clearly bothering them.
I checked the baby bird out thoroughly and he appeared unharmed. A bit wet and very unhappy, but no puncture wounds or other abrasions. I apologized to him and set him carefully back in his nest. His parents were very displeased.
I found the cat, told her she was bad (she didn’t care), and put her back in the house.
By this time, the guys had finished all the vaccinating without my help, and I saw the truck leaving the yard to move on to the next project….and my headache was gone!
It has been a week since my incident with the robin family, and the baby bird grew stronger during that time. With the cat confined to the house, he was free to try flying a few more times, and now the nest is empty. I wish him a happy life, free from paparazzi and house cats.
“Nature is my medicine” Sara Moss-Wolfe