Friday, June 24, 2005

Dr DooWatski

"We'll just have one last look out in the garden" CJ said to the woman whose house we had almost finished viewing.

As we walked outside the back door I noticed a big black cat sat on the lawn

"Is this your cat?" I shouted.

"Oh yes, that's my lovely Sooty" she said as she peered round the kitchen door.

I resisted the temptation of anything more vulgar and instead just asked her why it was called Sooty.

She smiled as she ducked back into the kitchen, where no doubt she was explaining to me why a black cat was called Sooty courtesy of a few hand signals.

As we approached, lovely Sooty got a bit scared and shot off over the garden fence. It was immediately obvious why; in his wake lovely Sooty had left a bird, a very young bird, which on first inspection looked as if it had had it.

But as it lay on it's back I noticed it's claws twitching, then noticed it breathing sharply, then noticed it blinking. It was still alive.

I then became aware of the biggest commotion going off above me - I looked up and noticed what must have been its Mother squawking for all it was worth from the branch of a tree.

I picked the little bird up, checked it over and, but for a little wound on it's stomach where the cat must have caught it, it looked fine, if a little shocked.

I then wondered how I could get it back up to it's Mother, this thought didn't take too long - it was nigh on impossible, so I looked for a safe place to put it so it could get itself together.

I noticed that the house owner had a bird table at the end of the garden and walked over and placed it on that - it stumbled around on it for a few minutes but looked like it was going to fall off and I didn't want it to become a sitting duck in the cats lair, so picked it back up again.

"Does it want some water?" The house owner then said as she emerged from the house with a little dish of water and a syringe.

Before I could ask the obvious questions about the syringe and why a bird would want a drink of water, the bird took the initiative and decided that a toss up between death by cat or death by human was best pre-empted by a suicide attempt, and as the only viable, close option seemed to be drowning it proceeded to jump straight out of my hand into the dish of water.

Plucking it from the water I asked the woman if she'd got any ladders - I'd spotted a garage, the roof of which was at least closer to it's Mother than the ground was - I thought if I could get it somewhere safe then it's Mother may come down, calm it down and do something Motherly with it.

I climbed the ladders, checked that the roof was fairly flat and put the bird on it - I was glad to see that it was well enough to hop straight over in the direction of the overhanging branches - I was less glad to see the silhouette of lovely Sooty hiding behind the leaves that I'd just freed the bird to hop towards.

Lovely Sooty let out a hiss as the bird crashed through the branches almost into its jaws - the bird jumped back and just stood motionless.

I was dumbstruck, I had rescued the bird, twice, found somewhere safe for it to go then unwittingly served bird sandwich back to the very cat I'd saved it from - I was about to watch the bird get carved up, and could do nothing about it this time.

"This may seem an odd question - but have you got a pole or something that I could prod your cat with?" I asked the house owner the oddest question ever asked by someone viewing a house.

The woman complied and returned with a garden cane - luckily lovely Sooty was still shocked by my generosity and hadn't attacked it's gifthorse, which it no doubt regretted immediately as I prodded it with a cane and knocked it flying off the garage roof down through the branches the otherside. I then heard it run off when it hit the floor.

The bird turned it's head round and looked round - it was probably thinking the same as CJ and the house owner back on the ground.

"Well, I'm still undecided whether that's the luckiest or unluckiest bird alive" I said as I stepped down the ladders, before being ushered far, far away by CJ.