Karen Rivers

just like the dead bird sings.

Karen Rivers

I was sitting on my couch -- it occurs to me that I spend a large percentage of my life sitting on my couch (working or reading or, you know, just sitting) -- when there was a huge bang and I thought it was an earthquake.   I'm scared of earthquakes so I jumped up and screamed and The Bun said, "What's wrong?" And I said, "NOTHING!"  And he said, sensibly, "So why did you scream?"  And I said, "There was a bang!"  And then he screamed because he's afraid of bangs.  

Even as I was explaining to him that there was nothing to be afraid of, I realized that the bang was obviously a bird hitting the dining room window and even as I realized that and began running to the window to see, a cat jumped on the dead bird and stuffed its head into his mouth.   So I shouted at the cat, as you do, and then I waved a broom at it in a way that I like to think was "menacing".  I do not have a cat and yet four cats live in my backyard waiting to prey on any bird that flies into my window.

I have a problem with these cats.

The other day, I opened my garage door and a fat white cat strolled casually out and stretched in the driveway and looked at me as if to say, "What took you so long?"

This was also not my cat.

When I mentioned to the owner about the cat, she laughed and said, "Oh, he's deaf!" as though that explained everything or even something.  

I still have no idea what it explains, but I smiled and nodded.   I do not want her cat in my garage or in my yard eating the heads of suicidal birds but I'm too polite to point this out.

Anyway, the bird was not a tiny little delicate bird, it was a huge, fat robin who -- when he hit the window -- regurgitated the contents of his stomach all over the wall and floor.  Apparently, he'd been eating berries.   But The Bun saw the spatter and then immediately started screaming about blood and I had to comfort him because he faints when there is blood.   I stuck my finger in the goo to prove it was berry, not blood and then spent the rest of the day worrying about bird flu.

The bird was very limp, I was sure it was dead, but also not sure.  I wanted it to be alive and to fly away so I didn't have to worry about how it always seems like a bad omen when a bird dies and also for The Bun's sake and really, I just wanted the bird to live.  

I poked it with a stick and its eyes were open, so I thought it might be stunned.   But I knew if I left it there, the cat that isn't mine would come back and eat its head, even if it wasn't dead.   So I put it helpfully in a box and put the box high up.  

But then we had to go and have an echocardiogram done of The Bun's heart, because of the fainting, which you and I both know is just a faint-at-the-sight-of-blood-excitability but the doctors wanted to check and make sure.  (And, for the record, his heart is "structurally perfect" -- A+ -- so we know he's just a fainter like me and not a fainter with a cardiac problem.)

So as a result of having to go right away, I put the bird high up and then forgot about it and when we got home, the bird had maybe come back to life and struggled to get out of the box, knocking the box ten feet to the ground below and this time, for sure, the bird was dead.

I don't know what to do with a dead bird.  Everyone says I should bury it.   It's still in the box.

Did I kill it?  I like to think it was already dead and one of the four cats who are not mine knocked it down.  

I've forgotten why I started this post.   Surely I was going to make some sort of clever parallel to something, or maybe I just wanted to complain about the neighbour's cats.

Then I thought I'd post a related song and I found this on YouTube and while the song has a certain haunting quality that I like, what really struck me was how entirely baked the lead singer is and still able to sing and not forget the words and/or simply just wander off the stage in search of Doritos.   I just finished a book about a person who is so entirely baked he loses touch with reality so I somehow thought by posting the video that I could bring this post around, full circle, to the end.