My husband was headed out to work a couple of days ago when he made a startling find. "Honey," he yelled, "You have got to see this!" He stepped from our utility room into a small room that attaches the house to the garage and found himself face to face with a creature perched above a cabinet.
I knew it was a bird but, aside from that, I was at a loss. It was hard to make out its body shape; it was all puffed up. My husband translated the body language: "Watch out! I'm a BIG bird!" The weather has been nasty, and the bird was smart enough to find its way to shelter through our broken dog door.
A couple of weeks ago, it was the roof. That's still not fixed. The crazy wind continues to bring up more shingles. At least we have a tarp over the worst of the damage while we wait for a roofer.
BACK TO THE OTHER THING
Long story short on the bird, I was able to determine that it's a white dove/homing pigeon from Indiana. It's living in our mud room in a dog crate, dining on Finch food and fresh water. We still have to clean up all the poop it left everywhere before we persuaded it into the dog crate.
When the weather is good, we plan to let it go. These birds are supposed to find their way home on their own. We tracked down the owner from the band on the bird's leg, but no word from them, despite emails and phone calls. Because it's a banded homing bird, no vets or rescues will take it in.
Here's what this gorgeous creature looks like when it's not trying to scare us.
AND ANOTHER THING
So, yesterday at 6 am, Samantha, our Vizsla/hound mix, was raising Cain outside. Hubby went out in the nasty cold and wind to get her. She was covered in mud and tearing up the siding near our bathroom window. The nature of her bark and intensity of her purpose told us she was on the trail of a wild animal. What the?? How does an animal get up under the siding of the house?
Later in the day, I started hearing banging, scratching, and scraping under our bathtub! The initiated will know where this story is headed, and it ain't good. We called a wild animal capture service. The owner confirmed it: a momma raccoon looking for shelter to give birth. I really can't imagine how raccoons get into the places they find for shelter, and goodness knows what we'll have to do to get them out. The bathroom will probably be torn up this afternoon during the extraction effort.
I haven't even finished cleaning up the mud clods Samantha tracked in.
GET ME OUTTA HERE
Dirt and disrepair; noise and chaos; rain, wind, cold; and chores piling up so fast my head is spinning: that's my day. Couldn't I just be sipping tea on the warf in Santa Barbara . . . p-l-e-a-s-e?
OK, OK, I know what you're thinking. I'm still mighty thankful we have a roof over our heads and shelter for the animals we want to shelter. I wish everyone had as much. Some of us in this house are even pretty spoiled.
Oh, did I mention that Samantha tore out the screen door this morning in her eagerness to go raccoon chasing? She's also having an allergic skin reaction and needs a vet visit badly. The grass in the side yard is 8 inches tall now. You can almost see it grow. I think it's taunting me, daring me try mowing it. And dishes are growing mold in the sink. Now that I'm working, there's no time for all of this nonsense. I have more important things, like envelopes to stuff for $10 an hour, damn it.
Deep breath, in and out.