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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Exciting animal story for today

(at least the animal found it exciting)

I was sitting here at the computer when Eva yelled down the stairs from the living room, "There's a bird trapped in here." Eva ran down as I ran up, because as a little girl she once got a bat trapped in her hair for a minute or two, and is very averse to that ever happening again.

The bird had come in the sliding door from the deck, which is at the end of the north wall of the living room. The rest of that wall is picture windows (this is an Atomic Age split-level ranch, and the amount of light coming into the living room was one of the reasons we bought the house), and the bird tried to get out again through a window. It was trapped in the window by Spencer, our rat terrier, who wanted to either play with the bird or eat it, either of which would have been seriously bad for the bird. Either way, Spencer was trying hard to get to the bird, and the bird was frantically flying around in the window, but afraid to move away from it, so it was trapped in the casement. The bird was further confused by the fact that another bird (perhaps its mate) was flying around just outside the same window, and the trapped bird clearly wanted to join it.

There's a baker's rack with plants and some display vases next to that window, and now there was also an excited terrier trying to get to the window, so I had to spend several minutes moving things out of the way while holding the dog off. Luckily, Jemma, the Lhasa Apso wasn't quite so excited about the bird, though she did circle around that part of the room, a few feet back from the window. Eventually the combination of my persuasion and Eva's calling the dogs from downstairs got them both to leave the living room. The bird by this point was too scared even to be fluttering around in the window; it had landed in the corner of the window and stayed there.

The bird didn't seem to be going anywhere, so I looked around the room for something to catch the bird in that wouldn't hurt it or let it hurt me. I grabbed a blue felt blanket off the couch, the security blanket that we put on Spencer at night (he likes to sleep curled up in the fetal position on the couch completely covered by the blanket). I carefully surrounded the bird with the blanket and very softly closed it up so that I had my hands around the bird's body and wings. The bird didn't move; I guess it was still pretty scared. Then I carried the blanket out on the deck, held it over the railing above the back yard, and shook the blanket gently so the bird could get out. It flew straight away from me as fast as it could, apparently undamaged.

Spencer doesn't seem to have noticed any new smells on his blanket, which I'm happy about. He can wind himself up quite enough even without the smell of prey to excite him.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

A couple of weeks of medical drama for Eva, then a week or so of medical drama for me, neatly wrapped up with a minor medical procedure (installation of some electrodes under my skin for pain relief similar to the TENS unit I'm currently using) that was supposed to happen yesterday (Friday), but didn't because the doctor's office forgot to let me know I needed to get a blood test and an EKG beforehand. I'll blog about all this in a little more detail later on, but it explains why I haven't had time to post anything here in a couple of weeks.

Also, it's been a bad week for the good guys. Requiescat in Pace:

Mez (Merril Pye) died Jan. 1, 2010 after fighting cancer for several years, but I (and the rest of the Making Light community where she posted for the last few years) only just found out today.

Jeanne Robinson, wife of Spider, died last week of cancer, surrounded by her family and friends.
Update:
George Scithers' ashes were interred at Arlington Cemetery last week. George was for decades a giant in science fiction fandom and in publishing. He was a major force in creating and maintaining the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society.