Sunday, June 17, 2012

Never a Dull Moment

A few years ago, one of my good friends told me that my life was like, "an episode of Desperate Housewives." I laughed, of course, but knew she was correct. Mind you, I hate the drama, and though I have spent a great deal of precious energy following my another friend's advice to just "ignore drama,"  it just always seems to find me.

I will avoid the more serious issues I've been having, as of late, with the interpersonal aspect of my life. Those issues are far too sensitive, deep, and frustrating to blog about today. Today I would much rather talk about the dramatic morning I've had, and the incredibly frightening, though harmless, encounter I had with the law last night.

Like I said, never a dull moment.

This morning, I awoke to the rabid squawking of our bird. He sometimes doubles as an alarmclock (not really, but if he is covered for too long in the morning he rings his bells and alerts us that he wants to wake up.) The chatter in the morning is usually soft, unless he hears other birds outside. Then we assume he is delusional and planning his own jailbreak.

Well, the first few times I heard his wings flap and squawk, I thought nothing of it. The second time I became concerned, but the third time I knew something was wrong. I did not jump right up, assuming it was something silly. The cat likes to jump on top of the cage and stare at him--scary until you realize she's more afraid of him than he is of her. He pecks at her, and her claws have no way of reaching him through the tiny bars.

Then I hear the wings flapping again--they've been stuck in the cage in the past, and knowing birds are all hemophiliacs, I start to panic. I quickly toss on whatever I can find and run down stairs to check on him. He's still covered from the night, so I carefully remove the draped blanket and find him pinned to the top of the cage.

Well, hooked.

Hooked like a fish.

It takes me a few minutes to process him hanging upside down from his beak--claws clinging to the top of the cage. What do I do? What the hell?

Apparently, birds' beaks are not entirely attached to their faces (a fact which we've known after long ago discovering the awkward armor-gap that would technically be considered his chin.) They remind me--or at least Olie's does--almost of a turtle's shell.

Well, for whatever reason and by whatever chance, his beak became hooked on the hanger of one of his bells this morning. I still don't know how, but it was quite difficult to understand, and even more difficult help.

Midst the jungle of toys, swings, and perches that decorate his cage, he was more than 3/4ths of the way inside, clinging not but an inch from the top of the cage, wings flapping, completely frazzled. This paired with the fact he hardly ever trusts a human hand made his rescue impossible.

Ok, THINK, I thought, and instantly call for my mother. After explaining about 3 times that the bird is stuck, I decide calling her into help was not my smartest choice, but as it is her bird, I don't get hostile. I get a glove instead, and hope that he can position himself into an escape. No such luck--he just freaks out more, flapping and clinging to the glove.

Failed attempt number one.

My mother then puts on the glove and tries grabbing him to unhook him--but with how far he is in the cage, the shortness of her arms, and the angle of the cage's opening, I wind up yelling that she's doing more harm than good. I try thinking of something else, but we just can't. Can I take apart the cage? Not without freaking himout more--it is too secure.

Bird 911? Do we load up the cage and bring him to the vet? What the hell do you do when your bird is hooked to his cage?? I call my sister, running upstairs to try to inform her of the situation--hoping a fresh mind will find a strategy to free him, meanwhile in the back of my mind, I think Wirecutters. Wirecutters! I will tear open the cage. Can I tear open the cage? Where will the bird live? Whatever, we can fix it after we get him out, because he isn't going to live if he is stuck to the cage.

I run to the tool cabinet and pull out a pair of pliers and flat head screwdriver. Not really sure what the hell I need that for, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Perhaps I could pry open the hook he's hooked on? But how without moving the bird? Mom yells that wirecutters are useless, but I don't see another option.

All I have is pliers and a screw driver, and eventually the knowledge that the bell is fairly cheap and consists of 3 main parts.

Ok, the lovely wikipedia informs me that there are more than 3 parts to a bell. 10 total, but screw that, this is my story, and there are only 3. Maybe 4--can't quite remember since I have destroyed the bell at this point, but whatever.

Ok, part 1, the "dress." That rests ontop of the cage for some reason--we sometimes put toys on top of his cage for him to play with, and this is apparently a VERY BAD decision--nothing like this has ever happened in our 3+ years of bird ownership.

The S-hook is not really part of the bell, but it is part of the problem. Both parts of the S-hook are inside the cage, and much smaller than in the picture I've provided.

The "tongue" as they call it, and whatever keeps the tongue from falling out--those are also atop the cage, obviously with the bell's dress.

With that in mind, and knowing that the bell is cheap, I grab the top part (alleged head) of the bell with the pliers and decide to start turning the dress. The metal is strong enough to resist, but with no other option, I keep twisting and turning--doing my best to keep from turning the bird as well. Eventually the bell falls apart, tongue falling into the cage, hook falling out of the bird's jaw, bird hanging upside-down only from his feet.

He quickly climbs down the cage and for the first time ever, accepts my outstretched finger. Unfortunately, we can see his wing is bleeding--again, a very serious problem for birds. But he is so shaken, we definitely cannot grab him just yet. We let him sit on our shoulder and do our best to inspect his disturbed feathers. Two spots are bleeding, but surprisingly dry and a bit crusty. This settles our anxiety for a while and we do our best to dust him with flour (as we have read acts as a clotting agent)

So with our battered, floured, bloody, frazzled bird, we try to figure out how long he has been stuck for. We surely would have heard him during the night--so hopefully this tragedy was recent. Hopefully I heard him soon enough. He spends the better part of the morning with us, but won't eat--not even noodles--his favorite treats.

About a half hour later he caves and tries a noodle. The blood still looks crusty, and is not dripping. Still, we grip him with the gloves and open a wing to further inspect the damage. Some wings a cracked but not bleeding. He seems ok, and he's since eaten and had something to drink. Now he sits perched on the back of the sofa, in his glory, listening to my sister pretend to play the guitar.

Fingers are crossed that is the end of this story!


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