Monday, October 20, 2008

Flying Blind

A few days ago, I heard a commotion in the kitchen, and went to investigate. As expected, one of our cats had caught something and brought it in through the cat door to play with it in the house. There was a wild bird trembling on the windowsill, and one of my cats poised to jump up after it.

I shooed the cat away and reached gently for the bird. To my surprise, it did not even duck away as my hand approached. I picked the poor thing up and examined it more closely.

Although it didn't appear badly injured, its beak was clogged with mud and blood. Its left eye was covered in a droplet of blood, and its right eye was plastered shut with a mat of mud and feathers. Presumably, when the cat had pounced on it, the bird's face had been driven into the mud, leaving it completely blinded and helpless.

I scraped the mud off the beak so the bird could breath properly again. Then I tried to wipe the eyes clean with a damp paper towel, with not very much luck. I tried gently rinsing the eyes with water. Still no avail.

At this point, I was starting to wonder whether the eyes were glued shut because the eyeballs beneath the muck had been punctured. Not a pretty thought to imagine!

But I figured that a blind bird was doomed for sure, so I couldn't make matters worse by at least attempting to help. I finally got the blood cleaned out of the left eye, and was happy to see that the only injury there was a tiny rip in the lower eyelid. Nothing serious.

So then I started working on the right eye. It was absolutely glued shut and plastered over with something that I hoped wasn't goo from a pierced eyeball. One tiny piece at a time, I picked off the bits of feather/mud/hay that had formed a solid layer over the bird's eye, hoping I was not going to be looking into an empty, oozing socket when I was done.

Luckily, the bird stayed still, and I got all the gross stuff off its face. And there, underneath, was an uninjured eye!

Nothing else seemed to be wrong with the bird, except for a mild case of shock. So I put it outside (in a place where the cats could not possibly get to it) to recover in private. When I went back a little while later, it was gone, so I guess it recovered and flew away!


heather said...

Gaia you are a good woman!

Anonymous said...

You made a large deposit in the good karma bank that day. Bless you Nancy.