3.03.2012

Welcome, RP! (Replacement Pet)

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Upon bidding farewell to our previous feathered companion, Ollie Farris, it was clear that an RP would be needed promptly. RP, as in Replacement Pet.
This time, instead of 20-plus birds in the birdie bin at PetSmart, there were only five. By process of elimination (too much like Ollie, too big, too old, too reserved, too much digging under the feathers…does that one have a skin infection or something?), we settled on this little blue girl. And it was decided she would be named “Wendy,” which sounds a little bit like the town we live in. It’s a stretch, but you can make it work. Also, she’s blue. Like the Wendy in Peter Pan, Wendy in the blue nightgown, Wendy who the Lost Boys called “Wendy Bird.” That’s a stretch, too. But whatever.
So, they gave her to us in a cardboard box with air-holes in it.
Which is all fine and good, until you realize when you get home that you’ve somehow got to get her from the cardboard box to the cage. Our living room/kitchen area has some crazy high ceilings, so I am still wondering why we attempted to make the birdie transfer in that room. Because in the midst of the transfer, Wendy escaped in a panic.
There she was, fluttering around up in the ceiling area, bouncing off the walls, hitting the windows. I was sure when I heard that first THUD that she was a total goner. Oh noooooo! Two birdie tragedies in a row. How were we ever going to manage this? My daughter wailed. My son covered his face. My husband and I looked at each other grimly.
But wait! She survived! Not too damaged, I hoped. She found a perch on the ceiling fan, which is about 20 feet up in the air. And there she sat. With absolutely no intention of moving.
My husband went down to the garage to get some instruments of some sort. He came up with a pool-skimming net, the flat blue kind with a long pole on it, and a child’s crab-hunting net. I could see the stress on his face.
He and I went up to the loft balcony that overlooks the living room, so that we were parallel with Wendy. Slowly, he extended the skimming net toward the ceiling fan and used it to gently knock one of the panels. Round and round Wendy went. Even then, she did not move. She just rode the carousel. So Cade knocked the ceiling fan a little harder the next time, enough to coax Wendy off. She fluttered around again. BOOM. THUD. Window. Wall. Each collision made my stomach drop.
Finally, she landed on the balcony near us, exhausted I’m sure. Using both nets, Cade was able to sandwich her in between them, and working together, we attempted to dump her into her cage. She escaped again, through an impossibly tiny slot in the cage roof. Ceiling fan. Round and round. Nets. Sandwiching. Lather, rinse, repeat.
When the circus concluded, we ended up with a sweet little bird in the cage, who I think has forgiven us and who has successfully passed her trial period that other birds have been known to fail. She is a long way from tame, but she sings, and for now, that’s enough to make everybody happy.

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