Remember the bird nest in my climbing rose? This is my Juliet rose, which is one of the thornier roses around (to discourage any Romeos climbing it, you see. Hurr. Botanists are nerds.) and smart mama dove put her nest in the strongest fork which is well protected by criss-crossing canes out in front of it. Totally secure, even if it's directly over the window in my office where the kittens have stared at it for days.
"SOON." That's what they're thinking.
The egg hatched this week, and a big wind blew through yesterday morning for a few minutes, just long enough to knock the baby out of its nest while mama was getting some food. I learned this when Smidgen leaped at the window, her kitten nose pressed to the glass and her front legs splayed wide and high. Her tail was wagging, and she started meowing piteously. I looked out the window and what did I see? Baby bird alone - not with Mommy.
All day I watched it walk here and there under the plants (I have a nice, toothy agave that it smartly took shelter under - we have red tailed hawks here.) not sure if I should intervene.
Late in the afternoon, I heard mama dove cooing to it, and the baby tried to coo back. SAD FACE!! It was wobbling to and fro, the mama was cooing incessantly, and I decided enough was enough. I got #2 to grab the step ladder and hold it against the house near the nest. I put on my leather work gloves and tried to sneak up on the baby. You know what is near impossible? Sneaking up on a bird.
The baby spread its wings and flapped feebly, but just enough to help get a little lift and glide along the stone path. Damn it! I walked down there, calmly and slowly (all three cats are now standing with their arms over their heads at the window, willing it to open. Also, you know what is hilarious? Cat armpits.) We went back and forth with it flapping and going a few feet, me sloooooowly walking towards it, crouched down, did this in the cul-de-sac, the lawn, the flower bed, the sidewalk. The neighbors were now standing at the end of their walks watching the crazy lady squat-walking with leather gloves and yoga capris, all while barefoot because I'm classy.
Finally caught the baby, made a little cage with my hands so I wouldn't hurt it (oh, it was just the teeniest thing!) and got to the ladder, climbed it, and was about three feet short of the nest. DAMN IT. Well, maybe it could hop along the canes to the nest? Anything is better than being on the ground, because a neighbor has an outdoor cat that has taken over Darthanne's Night Stalking Duties. I reached in as far as I could (getting scratched to hell by the rose) and held it next to a thick rose cane that led right up to the nest.
The bird hopped off my hand and fell right back to the ground. GAAAAAAH!!! A quicker round of "catch the bird" followed, a work truck of landscapers is now sitting in the cul-de-sac watching me, and I got a bright idea.
"#2! Run up to your room (which is right over the nest) and open up your window. Keep the cats out, I'm coming in."
I caught the bird again, ran in through the garage and up the stairs with Sally Derg at my heels. "What is that? What is that, mama? I WANT TO SMELL IT WHAT IS IT AROOOOOOOO!" #2 shut Sally out of her bedroom, I leaned out the window with my kid on my heels because it is a long drop down, and it's a long drop into a thorny rose bush. Mama Dove looked up at me, panicked (because we have discovered her! She was so well hidden!) and I reached down. About a foot from the nest this time, nooo!
She built her nest well. I opened my hand and let the baby hop onto a cane right over the nest. SURELY it can hop down to the nest, right? It was so tuckered out it just stayed where I put it. We quickly backed out of the window, shut it, and ran outside to see what would happen. One of my neighbors gave me a thumbs up. The truck pulled away. And the baby stayed where it was. Hmm.
I went in, started dinner, ate, got the kids going on the dishes, and went outside to see what progress had been made in an hour and a half. Mama had gotten out of her nest and was snuggled next to the baby on its rose cane. AWWW. I left them alone for the night, and this morning, all is well: baby and mama were happily in their nest, and I'm assuming a flight lesson will be happening soon. One of the up and down variety, seeing as baby has gliding down pat.
Now the kitties are searching at every window, wondering where their Happy Meal went. Ha, suckers! If anything, the kids were relieved and now check the nest on their way to school and any other spare minute they have. Cute.
I get to spend the day with my sister dampersnspoons and we're going to check out cool thrift shops and eat and there will be laughing and joy. Hump Day, folks! The weekend is practically upon us.
If you need something hilarious and great to read, you should read Sam's recap of the movie Thor at Hey, Don't Judge Me. That's another movie I want to see, it's getting good reviews from friends.