Last night I went over and spent the evening with Christyne because she just found out her cat has terminal cancer. She is, as I write this, at the vet and putting Amber to sleep. I picked up piece of cake for her at the German bakery and spent the evening with her, drinking cocktails as the two of us kept the funereal air at bay the only way we know how: being silly. We quickly got into a nice hazy place while chatting up a storm. The nice evening of gaiety we’d successfully cultivated was interrupted when her downstairs neighbor told her she’d discovered a baby bird on her front step. I’m not sure why the neighbor then went back inside and stayed inside, but we scrambled around the porch trying to catch the little fluttery thing, and then we found ourself the guardians of this tiny, helpless little bird. Of all the fates this bird could have ended up in, some worse and some better, it ended up with two lightly marinated women who sat there for a while trying to look up “Game Warden” on Google. We had very few options, since neither of us could drive. We found nothing on the internet, and the bubbly atmosphere at Christyne’s had flatlined. We put the bird in a shoebox with a towel, and somberly sat eating cake together and puzzling over the fate of this tiny little bird. I then took it home with me and put a heated beanie bag that I use for cramps into the shoebox, and hoped it would make it through the night. I got up this morning and it has gone to the bathroom 3 times, and was just as lively as it had been the evening before. Another piece of luck for the bird was that I was off work for the day and meeting Janae for coffee just a block away from her former place of employment: an animal hospital. And one of her former co-workers just happens to rehabilitate birds.
I couldn’t help but wonder on the way down PCH today what this is like for this tiny little bird. It’s only been on the planet for a few weeks or so, and now it’s in a dark shoebox that someone stuck holes in after he was already in the box because she forgot to do it first. The entire bird world is enough to contend with when you’re a baby sparrow, and now it’s sitting in dark box in a Toyota Corolla, driving down PCH. I mean, it doesn’t even know that the world is round, and that we’re on the edge of a continent. It just knows mommy, maybe siblings, and worms or whatever they eat. And that this big noisy creature with coffee breath keeps opening the top of this dark box and talking baby talk and marveling at the fact that it pooped, and chased it when it got out and fluttered across the living room, cornering it and sticking it back in the dark scary box.
He or she is now in the very capable hands of Javier, the baby bird rehabilitator in Costa Mesa.