Last summer, my cat, sassy and proud, gifts me with her “catch of the day” by dropping the shimmering green lump on the floor by my feet.
When I realize what it is, I shriek, “Oh my God Sassy, you have killed a hummingbird!”
Without hesitation and feeling a mixture of anger and sadness, I pick up the little bird and wrap her in a paper towel. I place her in her temporary tomb, the garbage. As I begin to walk away, it occurs to me I should give her a proper burial and decide to bury her outside instead.
When I take the paper towels from the garbage, the towels, starch white similar to hospital colors, begins to move! I gasp, “This bird is still ALIVE!”
I unwrap the little bird and examine her for any injuries. Her warm tiny body trembles in my palm. To my relief, she isn’t bloody or mangled, and neither of her wings are torn. (Maybe sassy cat isn’t such a bad kitty after all!)
I was hopeful that she would still be able to fly. With her snug in my hand, we go outside where there is a soft warm breeze. The flowers have blossomed and all the bright colors please my eyes. I place her on the patio table and encourage her to fly. She struggles to take flight. I wait. She struggles again, and I am convinced she has either broken her wing or bruised it.
The only thing I had that would contain her was a cardboard box; which I place her inside, close to the hummingbird feeder. It was almost laughable to see this huge glass hummingbird feeder next to this tiny little bird. Oh well! She begins sipping the sweet nectar and stops trembling. She realizes now that I am not going to eat her or hurt her, and I am hopeful.
To keep my carnivorious cat from having a midnight snack, I place her box inside my bathroom, behind a locked door. I stay for awhile and watch this little bitty bird inside this big box, feeding from the huge hummingbird feeder and feel her loss, her loneliness, and her fear.
Bright and early the next morning, I check on her, and thank the Lord, she is still alive!
I do not want her to be confined to solitude her entire recovery time nor do I want her to be consumed by my cat. I buy her a birdcage and place her cage in the kitchen where most of the activity is in my home. I name her Flower. Sweet, little Flower.
I lift her, perched on my finger, kiss the top of her head, and talk to her in my “whisper” voice. After a while, Flower begins to trust me. When she sees me she always seems to be happy! (Well, that “might” be a stretch of my imagination).
We take a daily trip to the patio table, where I place her on the table top and urge her to fly. She attempts to fly with a slight “wingle” (bird-talk for a wing-limp). “Well, not today.” I tell her, “But soon.”
One day I have a bright idea of placing a towel over her cage, thinking that would help keep her calm.
WRONG! She began to fuss profusely (a bird tantrum) and I quickly snatch the towel off her cage. She begins to calm.
Flower stays in my home for a week, along with my cat that keeps trying to get to her. Flower is nervous when Sassy is near. (Who could blame her?) I decide to give her to Bird Rehabilitists through our local Humane Society, for the remainder of her recovery. (It was a sad day).
Two weeks later, they called me and told me that very morning they found her flying around in her cage. When they saw that, they took her cage outside, with the door open. She would poke her head out of the cage door many times, but she wouldn’t leave — that is, until another hummingbird flew into her cage to drink from her feeder.
This summer, as I was sitting near my big window working on my computer, a little hummingbird came to my window and flew in place to watch me.
“Flower!” I say, “You are so welcome!”
I return to my computer, working on a piece sub-titled, “Death of the Adverb,”
I smile, “Some things are truly worth saving”.
Today’s Twist: DEATH OF THE ADVERB!!