I needed a new blog topic and couldn't think of anything that was in the least bit interesting. Not that I mind a political blog, and will likely do more of that, just that I wanted something a little lighter, where friends would not be afraid to comment, haha.
Mother Nature has provided for me a new subject! As I type this there is a Kestrel in my garage, perched upon my laundry basket, just about a foot from the interior door. Luckily, it's the dirty laundry basket.
I was in the garage, waiting for a load of laundry to be done, when I saw a flutter of wings shoot past the partially open door and under my car. I looked. It was a bird. I looked closer. Hmmm, I think that's a Kestrel! He didn't seem too perturbed by my scrutiny so I went to get the camera. Mr. K didn't seem to feel well and I thought he came in for a rest. He fluttered about in the corner, perching first on the empty flower pot, then on the hot water stand. I got a couple of blurry pictures as I didn't want to frighten him with the flash and it was too dark to get good photos.
Now, I leave the garage door part way up on laundry days to allow fresh air in for the dryer. Also, even on non-laundry days, the door is sometimes up to allow the garage cats access to their food bowls... oh, yes. Cats.
A cat arrived and, being a cat, went after Mr. K, who tried to get away up on top of the dryer but couldn't quite make it. Yes, he was definitely in distress before the cat ever got hold of him, but, get hold of him the cat did. I chased the cat out and put the door down, then couldn't find the dang bird. I ran out the front door and, sure enough, the bird was on his back, cat atop, and struggling. I shooed away the cat, ran back inside to get a bucket to place over the bird and to put the garage door back up, by which time the bird had righted itself and been flipped a second time. I yelled at the cat and the bird, somehow, managed to get itself back into the garage! Down came the door and all was right with the world.
Well, almost. I still had an injured bird under my car. He was lying on his belly, sort of listing to one side, and I feared for his life, but, his head tracked as I moved around and that seemed a good sign.
I have a friend who volunteers with a bird rescue group in Ventura so I called her (thankfully, she was home – she's never home) and got the number of the good woman who runs the rescue group. Her idea was that I box up Mr. K and trek down to Ventura with the poor soul to deliver him into salvation. Nice thought... any other ideas? Yes, call John.
John is Santa Paula's animal control officer and gives that office a very good name. He is kind, caring, and gentle, and goes out of his way to help all critters great and small. He is also the reason I have two neutered and thoroughly feral cats to tend to every day. Almost exactly a year ago, John brought the traps for the cats and then picked them up and took them to the vet to get fixed before bringing them back to “the neighborhood where they are comfortable” and where, of course, he knew they would be fed and cared for. Yep, John's a saint, he is.
(John arrived as I finished typing that last sentence. He may be a saint but, punctual, he is not. Still the story must go on...)
I called John, who said he'd be here in 45 minutes so I figured I'd see him in about an hour and a half, and checked on Mr. K. He was still under the car but he was standing up! I got a few other things done and went to change the laundry, cracking the door just a bit in case Mr. K had moved to nearby. He had. There he was atop the aforementioned laundry basket, which I had placed on a chair by the door, putting the bird and I eye-to-eye with about a foot's distance between.
Here's where I admit to being just a teeny bit afraid of birds. I don't really like them in cages, either. I do love to hear them, to watch them fly, and I am in awe of their beauty and grace. I have a particular fondness for raptors as they go about their business. Just don't want one flying at my face, you know?
It occurs to me, at this point, that this would make a great blog entry. So, I figured I'd just do that while waiting for John...
By the time John arrived the bird had found its way to the space at the side of the dryer but, fortunately, not behind it. Perhaps it was warmer there since I'd been using it all day. It took some doing but Mr. K was safely extricated and placed in a towel-lined box for transport. John assures me that Pete, a volunteer at the raptor center who is also John's neighbor, is most qualified to care for Mr. K.
I am much relieved! Honestly, had it been one of the ubiquitous little house wrens, I probably would have let the cat have it. I couldn't do that with a Kestrel, though. I hope to hear how he does but probably will not so will just think good healthy birdy thoughts.
Oh, yes - you're probably wondering. Mr. K did, of course, poop on my clothes!