Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Cat that (Almost) Swallowed the Housefinch

On this lovely, beautiful day Emily decided to show off her triumph and waltzed in through the open French doors to show me. She had a housefinch in her jaws. Still alive, unharmed, but caught.

I admonished Emily for bringing the bird into the house. (She was taking it off to the bedrooms. Great, just what I need: a panicked bird flitting around my bedroom!) She didn't hear me.

She returned a minute or so later with the bird still in her jaws, and I asked her to take it outside. (I was trying to get some work done!) She opened her mouth to say something and the bird flew out...into my office. Feathers everywhere!

The bird thrashed around the room while I tried to subdue Emily. At first the bird in its diminished capacity flit around low to the floor, allowing Emily within close proximity. Then she found the rail with the halogen lights and had a private perch. Then she spotted a window and promptly flew right into it. More feathers exploded around the room. Emily jumped across surfaces she doesn't ordinarily attempt to use, while I attempted to detour her away from the increasingly panicked bird.

I came to the rapid conclusion that I wasn't going to be able to direct the bird out the open doorway until I had Emily out of the way, so I hauled her off to the pantry and closed the door. She wasn't happy.

The bird, on the other hand, had taken sanctuary on the floor, behind a cabinet and partially behind my portfolio case leaning against the wall. I retrieved oven mitts in the event the bird thrashed in my hands (and I've heard it's healthier for the bird so it won't pick up pathogens on my hands). I tucked hands in and around the feet of the cabinetry she was hiding behind.

Surprisingly she was subdued and presumable exhausted and disoriented. I picked her up and carried her out into the sun, placing her on my fence by a hummingbird feeder. After I stepped away to decrease her panic, I realized I should probably have chosen someplace under a bush. But I had thought as soon as I got her outside she would fly away. But she remained shell-shocked (or rather, Emily-shocked) for several minutes. When I stepped outside to check on her, still sitting on the fence, she immediately flew off. Good for her!

That Darn Cat! Now I have feathers everywhere!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Marcia! Did I tell you I volunteer during Spring and Fall migrations here in downtown Chicago? If Emily brings another bird home, call folks from this list. A shoebox with holes poked for air is a good temporary haven. The bird probably could have used some fluids and observation after the experience. Also, after a window collision they can have fatal brainswelling that only becomes apparent after a few hours, so anti-inflammatories can be administered :o)