Sometimes, I wake up and see the deaf, white neighborhood cat sitting on my neighbor’s shed roof and staring at me as I sleep. I wonder if he’s trying to steal my soul. That’s because A) he probably is and B) I hate cats.
I’m a dog person. I love their affable, social natures. As for cats, well, I always suspect they’re plotting against me.
I recently had a change of heart about “White Noise” as we call him. But that opinion has changed again. It may change again again, but that would be a different post.
I met White Noise on the day I moved into the bungalow. He was sitting next to my car and started yelling at me. As a non-cat person, I was startled and unsure how to proceed. Would he try to scratch me? Bite me? WTF was his problem? He didn’t seem domesticated. As I walked around him to my car, he walked away, yelling loudly. My first impression was, “What a dick.”
With the amount of coyotes in our neighborhood, the odds of a deaf, white cat surviving for as long as he has means he’s a very gangster motherfucker. He’s like the cat equivalent of Cher, roaches and that Prada backpack I’ve had since the 90’s that even ISIS couldn’t destroy.
Lincoln wants to kill White Noise, but I know White Noise would make Lincoln his bitch without even breaking a sweat. I keep Linky close to me in White Noise’s presence. Still, he’s really left us alone until recently.
Oddly, when my neighbor who has cancer left town for a few months, White Noise started spending more time around the bungalow. I found him sleeping on the porch chair underneath my bedroom window. He sits in the path from the driveway to our door. He rests underneath my car. The ill neighbor’s energy is not good and with him gone,I wondered if White Noise likes our warmer energy or is even protecting us. I began to feel a kinship with White Noise. Despite my allergies, I even petted him. On the whole, I’m learning to coexist with all the critters.
On a Saturday evening walk, Lincoln stopped to smell what turned out to be a baby bird. He kept going, but I stopped. It was shivering and it’s wings existed, but they weren’t developed enough to use. It tried to flap its wings, but it couldn’t fly. I looked up and saw a sparrow’s nest in the branch above. It was 20 feet in the air and too high for me to get the baby to its home. As it squawked and shivered, I wondered, “Maybe someone else will help it.”
And then I thought, “No. It needs my help. I’m the kind of person who makes a difference.” I’ve been this baby bird, alone and scared without any idea of how I’d survive. People helped me. Baby bird wasn’t going to sink on my watch. I brought Lincoln home and then went back to the bird.
The Audubon Society Website said sometimes the mom bird comes back. It also said to contact a rescue. I started making some calls and I got connected to the North Central Animal Center in LA. I asked the officer about the best way to help.
“Would the mom bird come back?” I asked.
The officer said, “You can either leave it and let nature take it’s course…or you can bring it to us and let us help it.”
When you put it that way….I was going to the shelter.
I went home, grabbed my purse and a little clean food container. I didn’t want to touch the delicate bird so I used a big leaf to scoop it in. The bird struggled frantically. I wondered if I was making things worse by scaring the bird. But it seemed to be a sparrow and too large for it’s mom to carry up to the nest. With the coyotes, outdoor cats, skunks, possums and various other critters, I figured it didn’t have much of a chance.
I said, “All right little bird, you’re going to have an adventure in the Audi!”
I placed the container on the passenger seat and drove quickly but carefully. Baby bird was thrashing and scared. I was a nervous wreck not wanting to traumatize it.
“Sssshhhh, I know this is scary, but really I’m trying to help you! It’s going to be okay!” I said as I drove nervously. I felt like I was basically talking to myself a year earlier.
I reached the shelter 15 minutes later and breathed a sigh of relief. I went to the door and rang the bell. A woman emerged and looked annoyed when she saw the baby bird.
“We can’t helped the baby bird. You should have left it. Sometimes the mom comes back,” she said.
“The officer I spoke to told me to bring the bird because you guys would save it. I didn’t want to traumatize it, but I did anyway because of his assurance and the fact that he made it seem like it was definitely dead if I didn’t bring it here.”
“Well, you can leave it here but the bird rescues won’t come. It’s just a baby sparrow,” she said.
“So if I leave it with you, it will definitely die?” I asked.
“It has a better chance if you put it back where you found it,” she said.
I didn’t believe it had a better chance, especially because now it’s mom wouldn’t know it was hers. It was also tired now from thrashing. This adventure didn’t do the bird any good and now, I had little choice. I Googled baby bird care and it’s necessary to feed the little thing insects every two hours. It wasn’t realistic for me to think I could nurse this little guy into adulthood. A) I didn’t have insects and any potential pet or fishing stores were closed; B) I have a hard enough time keeping Lincoln and I in fighting form; and C) I needed to put my energy into moving my life forward.
I drove home with baby bird feeling very frustrated. I’d originally hoped to create a plan to help the bird. The plan was now thwarted. As a meditation teacher told me, “When you have a goal, it’s best to make an action flowchart. If one step fails, then you have another right action.”
In this case, I didn’t have a next right action other than go back to “Start.” I placed the baby bird back where I found it and it sat there frozen. By now, it was 9pm on Saturday and all of its bird friends were asleep. Baby bird was going to have to spend the night alone and I didn’t feel good about it.
I went inside to quickly check on Lincoln and to see if I had any paper or nesting supplies for the container. When I went back to check on baby bird, I saw White Noise right where I left the bird. When I got close, he left and all traces of baby bird were gone.
While I hoped its Mom came to get it in the minutes baby bird was on its own, I know it ended up in White Noise’s belly. Natural selection means not every baby bird is going to survive. I tried, but not every good intention is going to bring a good result. I guess even Hitler probably thought he had good intentions. Ultimately, I just hope it was quick for baby bird and at least it got to enjoy a little unorthodox adventure before its demise.
I returned home disheartened. I’d wanted to help this bird and my attempts at rescuing it fell far short. I wondered if things would’ve been different if I stayed out of it. But that ship had sailed. I had intervened and there was no changing it.
The next day, I looked up at the nest as I passed underneath and saw a squirrel in there with sparrows chirping at it. The squirrel was eating so even if baby bird had made it back to the nest, it wasn’t with us any longer. It seems that one way or another, that baby bird was destined to go to heaven.
I thought back to my journey and I know I wasn’t meant to stay down. People came to my aid to help me because I wasn’t a lost cause. Whatever my destiny may be, it will be. It’s the steps in between that are the mystery.
I saw White Noise that evening and he smiled at me as if to say, “Thank you for the dinner.” While I know he was doing just what nature ordered, I cursed the little White Devil. “You’re such a dick,” I said.
He walked away unfazed. He can’t hear me.