Our Wildlife Weekend
It was a weekend of wildlife, evidently.
On Saturday, I got up early and went down to the shelter where I volunteer, in order to take the training for fostering. Unfortunately, the woman who does the fostering training was off helping handle a pet hoarder and the training wasn’t available. However, I took the application form and filled it out and I’ll take it in tomorrow. Maybe there’ll be a special training for those interested in fostering – at least four people showed up for the fostering training! DS’s ex-bedroom isn’t really quite ready for babies, plus there’s some equipment I need to buy. But I sure hope to be fostering babies soon!
Oh, and there’s good news at the shelter. During the last week, about six of our older, more difficult to place cats got forever homes! That’s really a lot, during kitten season, and I’m so proud of them! It does mean I’ll definitely need to go in on Friday and take more pictures, since so many of the pictures up now are of cats that were adopted.
Anyway, when I got home from not being trained, DH met my car. Come into the back yard, he said. I have something to show you. There was a bird huddled up against the house. It was alive, but clearly injured. When he got close to it, it couldn’t walk well and also couldn’t fly. DH wanted to know what we should do about it.
Well, I dunno! So I asked my favorite wildlife expert friend, K. And she recommended Austin Wildlife Rescue. Good call! I clinked on their link on what to do with an injured adult bird, and it said to pick the bird up with gloves or a towel and put it in a box, then call them. I had to wait for DH to finish taking a nap, but then he found his gardening gloves and a small box, and we trapped it between us. (We perfected this way of catching wildlife by playing kitten rodeo with the grandbabies – a game at which Tempe in particular is very skilled.) So I called the wildlife rescue people, who were closed for receiving at that point. Oh. Well, they suggested keeping the bird in the box in a warm, dark place and offering it water. So we put a clean, empty cat food can with water into the box and put the box on top of DH’s car. (The garage is dark and anything not air conditioned around here is warm! And the garage is safe from both the neighborhood cats and the cats in the house.) So Sunday morning DH took the bird to the Wildlife Rescue people, who said that her leg and wing could probably be healed and she could be rehabilitated. So he left her there with some money and we both felt all virtuous and stuff.
DH said he thought the bird was a dove. I dinked around on the Net last night, looking at pictures, and I think I’ve identified her. I believe she is what they call a rock dove, which is evidently a polite way of saying pigeon. One place called them “feral” pigeons. I guess that means as opposed to homing pigeons or something. But that’s OK. I rather like pigeons. And I’m glad we could keep her safe from the neighborhood cats (whom I strongly suspect of putting in the need of help, to begin with).
This is the same weekend, a year later, that DS rescued the kittens at his convention in Dallas. Plus, DH thinks we have a salamander in the house. (He distinctly said salamander, not lizard.) However, no one but DH has seen this alleged salamander. Even Simba has not spotted it. DH has tried to catch it to take it back outside, but it keeps disappearing. Me, I’d be happy if it went back out the way it came in. Or disappeared in some other way.
Clearly, we’re good to wildlife around here, with some exceptions. Fleas are an exception. DH is attempting to kill all the fleas in DS’s old bathroom. It’s getting better, but evidently they’re not all gone yet. Cockroaches and ants, too, are not going to be treated gently in this house. They can do whatever they want outside, but coming in the house is a declaration of war and no quarter will be given. I have rules.
I did want to say something about the death of Steve Irwin, which is getting a lot of ink (pixels?) in the blogosphere. Sure, I’m sorry he’s dead. I feel sorry for his wife and children. I’m just surprised it’s taken this long.
One news show showed a clip today of an interview with him given after he nearly fed his infant son to a crocodile. He said something to the effect that he had complete control over the crocodile during that incident. Bullshit! That croc, and the other crocs and such that he worked with, are wild animals, folks. And a human who thinks he has complete control over a wild animal, ever, is asking for trouble. That’s the kind of hubris that got either Siegfried or Roy (I can’t remember which). And wildcats are at least pretty intelligent and are willing to be trained. Crocodiles (and stingrays and sharks) are not that intelligent and don’t train. Just as soon as you think you’ve got them under control – unless you’re using leather straps or chains or something – you’ve set yourself up for something unpleasant. I wish the media was talking about this some. We need to remember that wild animals should be treated with some respect and care. Even domesticated animals can hurt you (as Simba’s performance last week reminds us). One should never take the obedience or behavior of a non-domesticated animal for granted! So, I’m sorry for Mr. Irwin and for his family, but with the way he’s behaved for years, it was predictable that some sort of creature would kill him. It was just a matter of when and how. (Admittedly, this how was particularly unusual and odd, which I guess he’d like. I heard that only three deaths have been caused by stingrays in Australia in the last 100 years. And putting the stinger right through the heart? That’s pretty good aim.)