Birds of a Feather

Remember my tale of the kamikaze bird that scared the bejeezus out of my ass while in North Carolina?  Can you imagine how crazy that would have been if the window had been open?  No?  I can – because it happened yesterday.

I was running late (as per usual) to meet Matt and Gwen for the quintessential Jersey night out – a shopping trip to Target and dinner at Chez Outback.  Somehow I’d completely lost track of the second half of the day.  I’m telling you, when I’ve got to give Simone fluids I lose all relation to the time space continuum.  When it goes smoothly it’s not too bad, but yesterday the seventh try was the charm.  Did I mention my easel now doubles as an IV pole?

So Gwen called to say they were just around the corner a mere moment after I realized I had applied mascara solely on my left eye and I was still wearing my “indoors only” britches.  In a tizzy, I scrambled around the apartment to find some appropriate denim and a mascara wand.  Simone lifted her head and stared blankly at the wall in support.  I briefly wondered where Lucy was hiding.

Mascara (and deodorant even!) fully applied, I headed to the bedroom to find my shoes.  There I caught a glimpse of Lucy.  She stood in the back hallway leading to our fire escape — or the Land o’ Litter as I like to call it.  It’s a long narrow space where we store the luggage, spare light bulbs, Rocco’s 472 Dewalt cases, and a whole mess of boxed-up pottery pieces.  At the end of this hall, shining down on our collection of litter boxes is the one window in the apartment that isn’t situated directly above a bus stop.  Coincidentally, it’s also our access to the fire escape and quite often my means of breaking and entering on those frequent occasions where I’ve locked my ass out of the house (cat optional).  I like to open this window on nice days so we can get some fresh air in the house without getting that creepy black bus exhaust dust on everything.

You’ve probably guessed by now that yesterday was an exquisite day.

You’ve probably also guessed said window was wide open.

Unless you’re foolish enough to believe we don’t need health care reform, you’ve probably also figured out that we’re to the bird part of this story.

I’ve mentioned that my other cat, Simone has gone blind, right?  Well, as you might imagine, a blind cat leads to some rather interesting surprises in the litter box area.  Most of the time, she finds the box and climbs in.  I just don’t think she realizes her ass is hanging out over the edge.  Then again, I think she just gets tired of trying to find the damn boxes.

She reminds me of Gwen with a shopping car in a parking lot.  She’ll start out strong, pushing the cart towards the metal corrals with the best intentions, but somewhere in there she loses momentum and decides that so long as she’s in the general vicinity, leaving the cart in the spot adjacent to the corrals is good enough.  I think Simone often feels the same way about her business.  You get the idea, right?  I can stop with this analogy?

Anyway, since Lucy was doing who knows what back in the Land o’ Litter, I thought I should take a quick peek to make sure all the carts were in the corral, if you will.  No sooner than I stepped through the beaded curtain, a flurry of feathers dove at my head and whizzed towards the window.  I screamed.  Lucy licked her lips.  Simone remained napping on the other side of the apartment.  The phone rang.

Cowering on the ground, I army crawled back into the bedroom and retrieved the phone.  “We’re downstairs!” Gwen sang.

“There’s a bird in my house.”

“What, like you’re roasting a chicken?”

“No, a bird….like a flying bird…in the back hall.  What the fuck do I do?!”

“There’s a bird in her apartment,” I heard Gwen repeat to Matt.

“Doesn’t she have cats?” I heard him respond.  “Problem solved.”

They were both far too calm in my opinion.

“One runs into the furniture all the time and the other is blind.  It’s a live bird, not an unfortunate infestation of kitty chow.”

“Wow, I can’t hear what she’s saying but that’s a pretty high pitch,” I heard him comment to Gwen.

“I’m gonna be a minute,” I huffed and hung up.

As Lucy ran from one end of the hall to the other in a spastic dance of stalking joy, I put on my battle gear.  Pulling the hood of my sweatshirt over my head, I steeled my nerves.  I screamed like a little bitch yet again when the loud hiss of the door buzzer filled the apartment.  Scared herself, Lucy took off towards the bedroom and bounced off the dresser.  Sweet, my hetero life partner was going to bail my ass out, yet again.  I hit the “door” button and let Gwen into the building.  Me and my nerves of steel did an internal high five.

Little Miss No-Nonsense-Nursing-Student strode in with great purpose and determination.  There was an Outback salad with Ranch in her future, and no trouble making bird was going to stand in her way.  “Do you have a broom?” she asked before the door swung shut behind her.

Gwen and her Broom
Gwen and her Broom

I haven’t seen such grace and agility since Lucha Va Voom.  Granted she lacked both the spandex and the face mask, but otherwise the whole thing looked pretty choreographed and well thought out.  I suspect she’s done this a time or two before.  Lucy and I huddled together in the doorway offering helpful comments and shrieking when appropriate.  “I’m going to run get the camera,” I said after a particularly frightening close encounter of the winged kind.

I returned in time to snap one measly photo.  Gwen had that poor bird back into the wild before I could refocus.  Damn.  Lucy looked pretty disappointed, too.  Then again, all was back to normal, no one had their eyes pecked out, and the only animal feces in my hallway belonged to my two furry hellions.  I figured I should focus on the positives.

“Get your shoes on,” Gwen calmly stated as she handed me the broom.  “I’m hungry.”

This is why I need to live closer to that girl.  She gets shit DONE and never worries about breaking a nail.

Thanks, Gwengie.  I owe you a margarita.