Tuesday morning, I woke up at 4am with a scorching hotflash, courtesy of my killer ovary. I couldn’t get back to sleep once the flames of surgically induced menopause were finally quenched. Late nights and early mornings are the worst for me as I lay in bed alone, with racing thoughts about the recent demise of my marriage and feeling overwhelmed with grief and panic. After sobbing and screaming into my pillow for several minutes, I calmed and decided that, since sleep was not an option, I needed to do something productive to focus my mind.
I got up and stumbled to the bathroom, taking a seat on the toilet to do my business and contemplate my choices. I had decided that perhaps I needed to go write for an hour before getting ready for work – and then a small movement near the window caught my eye. When I glanced over, it took a moment to figure out what I was seeing (it probably didn’t help that I hadn’t put on my glasses yet – so I couldn’t see anything clearly anyway). It was a dark shape on the top of the window blinds – and it was moving!
Keeping my eye on the threat, I finished up and then stood and took a few steps closer – and when it came into focus – this is what I saw:
Seeing a bird in my bathroom wasn’t a total shock – believe it or not, I’ve seen them before.
You see, I have two indoor cats – who desperately want to be outdoor cats. It’s like they think they were stolen from their lion pride at birth and that I’m depriving them of living a happy life of stalking and killing. So, to make my cats happy and still keep them from getting eaten by a coyote and experiencing the circle of life in a way they never expected – I installed a cat door in the sliding door that leads from my bedroom to the upstairs deck. Each morning, as soon as I open my bedroom door, the cats bowl me over in their zeal to get to the deck and take up their positions, watching the many birds at my neighbor’s bird feeder on the fence we share.
Once or twice a summer, an unwise bird will think that the covered deck looks like a great place to hang out and get out of the hot sun. My cats live for these moments! At the speed of light, they will pounce on their unsuspecting target – and then, they promptly bring their prey inside – through my room and into my bathroom – because they have learned that if they can contain the bird, their chances of finishing the job is greatly increased. Usually, I would hear the commotion and interrupt my cats in the middle of chasing the bird around the bathroom – feathers flying and eyes bulging – and I would call Doc to rescue the bird and release it outside. However, once I got into my morning shower and just after I had soaped up, I saw something on the floor – I had to bend over to get close enough to see without my glasses – and then I realized it was a dead bird and that there was blood all over the shower floors! It was like my own up close and personal Psycho movie!
So, while I was surprised to see the bird in my bathroom that morning, especially since I knew he must have been there all night – and the fact that a bird was lurking in my bathroom watching me get ready for bed was a little creepy – I wasn’t alarmed. I crept towards him and crooned softly, letting him know I would take him back outside. His little sides heaved in terror as he looked around, trying to figure out how to escape. He attempted to take flight, but my cats must have bruised or broken his wing and he fluttered to the floor of the bathtub, where I was able to cover him with a hand towel and gently transport him to my front yard. I released him into the shrubbery in my garden – hoping it would give him enough shelter to recover in safety.
This morning, my son texts me: “I think he likes it here!”
I recognized that stained towel the bird is sitting on! It is INSIDE my house – currently in my front entryway, because I’m too damn lazy to actually throw it in the trash. I called my son:
Me: “It can’t be the same bird, can it? I put him in the front garden – he would have had to make his way to the backyard and back up to the deck so the cats could attack him AGAIN! Or sneak in the front door when someone came in or out. Either way, that would make him an exceptionally stupid bird!”
Son: “Well, he has a wonky wing – just like the first bird! But he can kind of fly – he’s currently sitting on up the plant ledge…among all of your…your…”
Me: “You know… knickknacks? Baubles? Bric-a-Brac? Incredibly tasteful decorative items?”
Son: “Oh yeah – that.”
Me: “I am definitely going to have to blog about all of this!”
Son (after a long pause where I’m sure he was rolling his eyes): “So, where is the ladder so I can catch him?”
I let my son know where to find the ladder and thanked him for his assistance in the bird catching department. After I hung up the phone, I realized that a picture of the bird among my incredibly tasteful decorative items would look lovely on the blog.
I texted him: “Take another picture of the bird perched up among the décor!”
Me: “What does : mean? Are those supposed to be EYES? Does that mean you’re LOOKING for him? We have a killer bird on the LOOSE in our house???”
My son then sent me this picture of the bird – now on the upper ledge of the two-story front window.
Son: “I’m going to murder this fucking bird!”
Me: “Get a hand towel and toss it over him if you can! It will trap him and then you can gather it up and put him outside.” (See, I know this shit, because I’m the expert bird catcher now!)
Several minutes later, my son texts me this picture:
Son: I am a merciful God!
I’m so very grateful for my hilarious children! They are one of the few things keeping me sane and reminding me that I am still loved during this crazy, horrible time.