You are not going to believe this.
Yesterday, at 2:42 I jokingly wrote "Maybe I'll find a wounded bird on the street that I can nurse back to health later, too. Yea, that should fix it."
Well, guess what?
On my walk home, I found a wounded bird.
weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird weird
So, there I am, walking home, feeling pretty good because I went to the gym for the first and only time this week and had a good run on the treadmill. It's starting to to rain a little bit, but the sun is still shining and it's nice and warm. No rude or unwanted comments are received, no roaming gangs of children are harassing me, I'm just having a nice stroll home, thinking about what I'm going to make for dinner.
When I'm about three blocks away, I notice a little bird flapping around on the sidewalk. He's hopping around, but when he flaps his wings, he doesn't seem to be able to take off. He hops over to the corner formed by the sidewalk and someone's marble steps, and tries to hide.
I just stood there and looked at him. Normally, I would not have bothered him. If he was hurt, I would figure it was nature's way, and he'd either figure out a way to hide from all the predators until he could fly again, or he would become a meal for the stray cats. I don't believe in fate. But I do believe in karma, and irony. I've never found a wounded bird on the street before, and I've been doing this same walk twice a day for the past eighteen months. I decided I would at least try to help him.
I had a plastic bag in the bottom of my backpack, so I took it out and crept over to where the bird was sitting. He hopped away from me, towards the street, but when I put the bag's opening in front of him, he just sort of fell in. I picked up my backpack and gingerly carried the bag home (with the top open -- I don't think that suffocating a little bird is a way to score any points). He flopped around and squawked a bit, but he didn't fly out the wide open top.
When I got him home, the cats were clamoring around for food and Joel was sitting at the computer, as usual. I yelled for Joel to bring me a box or something, threw a towel in the bottom, and (gently) dumped him out of the plastic bag and into the box, which I then locked in the bathroom. The cats, although they may fancy themselves Great Jungle Hunters, were wholly uninterested in him, because he did not come out of a Friskies can.
Now, here's the real problem: I know nothing about birds. Despite what I may have said in jest, I do not think I can nurse this little guy back to health, especially not in a house filled with felines. But! I do know of a little place called Wildlife Rescue, because I am a crazy tree-hugging hippie cat lady, who knows about these things, and even gets their newsletters, and is able to fish said newsletter out of the recycling to find their phone number. They didn't answer the phone. So I decided to drive him there myself.
If I had been thinking clearly, I would have realized this was not a good plan. But I was all riled up, with a chirping bird hopping around the downstairs bathroom, thinking about how destiny had chosen me to help this bird and I'LL BE DAMNED if I'm not going to save him. Joel googled directions, I packed Charlie back in his box, and off we went.
Oh, yes, while I was in the shower, I decided to name him Charlie. After Charles Lindbergh, of course. Joel wanted to name him Dinner, but I didn't think that was very optimistic.
So, it's almost needless to say, I didn't find the place. I made a valiant effort, followed the directions, used the trip-meter thingy, and got hopelessly lost. At one point, I stopped and asked a man who was sitting at a busstop for directions, even though he was loudly talking to himself. He gave me directions to the street I was looking for, and even offered to hop in the car and come with me to make sure I got there OK. How nice! (I declined).
Eventually I found the elusive Cornwall Street, but #8519 did not exist. The street dead-ended into a cul-de-sac in the 3700's. I gave up and went home, where I set Charlie up to spend the night in Casa de Cats. I crumbled up some whole wheat bread for him to eat, and gave him a dish of water and a towel to sleep on. When I opened the box, he hopped out and "hid".
After we had him settled, Joel and I did what anyone would do in this situation: we ate some pizza and googled information on taking care of a bird.
From the great Information SuperHighway, we were able to guess that he is some variety of starling. We also learned that starlings need a high protein diet, and bread is not good for them. Oops! Luckily, the recommended diet was dry cat food, crushed up and mixed with water. Do you think he would like Low Allergen, Iams Adult, or Safeway Select Kitty Chow? Because I have all three. I ended up giving him the Safeway stuff, for no particular (logical) reason.
What the internet did not tell us is that starlings like to "chirp" (aka squawk -- LOUDLY), beginning at about 4am. "Whose idea was it to bring home a songbird again?" Joel asked me this morning. I was just happy to hear him yelling in there, because it means he's not dead. If he dies in my house, I'll have ruined my chance to make things right in the universe. And then I'll need to start taking out ads on Craigslist to find "Lady with a Baby/Young Kid on Train to Jersey: Sorry I Was a Rude Bitch, I Swear I'm a Nice Person. PS -- You Didn't Have To Get Snippy About It".