Readathon

Bout of Books and… Birds?

Well, folks… let’s just start by saying that my participation in Bout of Books 11 has not been what I wanted it to be so far. In fact, I’ve hardly read anything which I know is fine. But, I thought I’d share the why behind it.

His name is Nugget.

On Sunday evening, one of my cats brought me a live bird and left it on the sun porch. When I found it he seemed to be in shock and I couldn’t tell if it was injured at all. So, I scooped it up and soothed it for a few minutes before inspecting it further. It seemed he couldn’t put any pressure on one of his little legs. Naturally, I splinted it with a toothpick and some hospital tape. I couldn’t determine an age of the bird based on appearances as he didn’t have much in the way of wings. He was mostly bare and I wasn’t sure if they hadn’t grown in yet (meaning he was pretty young) or if the cat had done that much damage. I opted to leave him in an open shoebox with food and water overnight to observe his progress the next day.

Well, the next morning when I approached he popped his little mouth right open wanting to be fed! This was, in fact, a baby bird! And now, he saw me as his mama. So, I fed him, of course and began calling him Nugget. 

It wasn’t long after that when my mom and I realized he was likely on his own entirely and there was no way I could just leave him outside to fend for himself. So, I brought him inside prepared some cat food and peeled grape bits for him to eat and tried to make sure he kept warm enough due to his lack of feathers. It didn’t take long for him to realize that I was very warm.

He even wanted me to hold him to the point where I was attempting to do things around the house one handed. Lisa joked that I needed a baby bird sling like so many new moms have for their newborn babies and thus, an idea was born. I had this little cupcake pouch she had sent me as a gift and while it was really cute, I wasn’t sure what I would actually do with it. It became a bird sling so I could keep him close to me, monitor how he was doing but also have my hands free to do things.

I made him a teeny little bed and cut up an old towel to put in the bottom of it. I put it in the microwave for a few seconds and let it warm up before place him in the bed and once he was in he went right to sleep!

I have to admit, it had been less than twenty-four hours since I had found Nugget and already I was thinking I could buy him a little cage to stay in while I was at work (and let him out to fly once he learned how, of course, when I got home). I wanted to get him a little bird house and take him to the pet store for proper food and a water bottle. 

Let’s face it. We were smitten with each other. He snuggled! The bird snuggled with me! Getting right up under my chin and falling asleep as if it were the most natural thing in the world. 

He even stayed snuggled up to me when I put a blanket over him to keep him warm and read before turning in for the evening. 

I tucked him into his little box and put him on my nightstand where I could hear him if he got hungry (baby birds eat every 10-20 minutes or so) and had his little dish of food prepped. I put an itty bitty cloth over him as a blanket. (Sounds crazy, I know but they have to keep warm when they don’t have all their feathers yet and he didn’t do much flapping around.) I kissed him on his little head and we both went to sleep. 

He never did chirp for food. Instead, I woke up a little after midnight hearing his feathers ruffle and got up to see what he needed. He seemed to be listing off to one side when he attempted to walk and he couldn’t stand upright. Something was wrong. I picked him up and he felt so cold to the touch that I made a mad dash for the kitchen, popped a towel in the microwave for a few seconds and wrapped him up. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong but I could tell he wasn’t doing well. He was gasping for breath. I held him close and tried to sooth him a little while continuing to warm him. His little eyes drifted closed several times. Then he trembled and the opened and he never closed them again. 

Little Nugget died in my hands a little over 48 hours together. I was an absolute mess. You would have thought he and I had been together for years the way I sat in my bed and cried. I can’t explain it but I felt really attached to the little guy. We had bonded. Hell, my boss had even given me permission to bring him to work and leave in the shipping/receiving room so I could make sure he got fed properly since I couldn’t very well leave him at home with so many cats. 

We don’t know what happened for sure but it seems likely that he had been pushed from the nest due to health problems. I don’t know if I could have done anything to change the outcome but I think about it often. Poor little Nugget. I’m trying to tell myself that he had a good last few days and that, had my cats not brought him in to me, he might not have lasted as long as he did. 

Anyway, this is why I’ve not really participated much in Bout of Books 11. 

So, in relation to Bout of Books 11– I’ve tossed my previous goals out the window. My goal for this week is now to get myself back on schedule with regular life things, blog posts and get back to reading at least an hour before bed. 

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7 thoughts on “Bout of Books and… Birds?

  1. Oh I’m so sorry. Just because it was only a couple of days doesn’t mean you weren’t attached. You did good making sure he was warm and fed and as comfortable as possible. We had this happen a couple of times with a cat bringing up a baby bird and have never been able to save them. At one point I talked to a very nice woman at one of the animal refuge places here and she told me that normally if a baby bird is on the ground there’s a reason. Most often the birds are removed one way or another from the next because there is something wrong and the likelihood of survival isn’t high and the mother bird isn’t going to waste resources on it anymore. Hope you’re feeling a little better.

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    1. Thanks, hon. I’m doing alright. I think I had just really gotten my hopes up that he was going to survive and be healthy. It was quite a shock since he had been doing so much better. But, it’s true– there’s usually a reason they’re pushed from the nest. :( So sad.

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  2. I am truly touched with your post and what you did for the little bird. At least he was cared for during those last hours. Gosh, I was crying after I read this. But you did good and I’m happy to learn that there are still a lot of good people in the world who would do good deeds like what you did…

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    1. Aww, thank you so much. I really can’t so no to anyone/anything in need. It’s my biggest weakness. My mom laughs at me because I don’t even kill bugs–I just put them outside.

      Little Nugget just touched my heart, I guess. I was so distraught when he didn’t make it. It’s hard to be okay with it but I know he did enjoy his last days. And, I know he was appreciative. He made that evident with all his little birdie snuggles.

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  3. So sad, but what a valiant effort you made on his behalf. When I was a kid, we tried to save a baby bird that fell from its nest and was abandoned, but it didn’t survive more than a couple of days. He might’ve had internal injuries you couldn’t see from his fall or from the cat, but at least he had a full day of love before he passed, so remember that when you are sad–you let him relax before his release.

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    1. Yeah, we decided that there may have been something happening internally that we couldn’t see. Poor little baby. I was already wondering just how I was going to teach him to fly and if I could get him a little bird house. :(

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