Friday, June 24, 2005

Louie, the Blue Parakeet

I open the screen door, and put my key in the lock, twisting and pushing the door knob, shutting the screen door behind me. I always look down when I enter, to make sure there aren't any cats performing the home version of Operation: Enduring Freedom. So it's not strange to look down and see carpet, first thing. Today I see a white plastic ring.

I think: What'd they break this time?

As I pick up the ring, I realize, this is from the birdcage. And, with growing horror, I look to where the birdcage usually sits, at the top of the tallest shelf in our apartment. Nothing.

My eyes shoot to the floor where the cage lies on its side. The water feeder, empty, seed scattered everywhere. No bird. No kitten.


Vash mews nearby. I imagine he's saying, "Don't look at me. I didn't do it."

In the distance I hear a chirp.

I scan the walls, the posters, looking for feathers, blood, viscera. I pick up the phone and call Jer.

"I can't find Louie."

It wasn't a surprise. The kitten has been increasingly inventive in her quest to liberate the bird. I've had to throw up more and more obstacles, but she keeps studying the situation, waiting for her chance to strike.

I walk into the bedroom and hear a scuffle. I turn the corner. On the other side of the bed, I see Chiana sitting next to the bird.

"I found him," I say into the phone. The next thing Jer hears is, "Chiana, no! Stop it!"

Chiana starts to circle Louie. She reaches out a paw to bat him. I grab Chiana and throw her into the bathroom, shutting the door firmly. I can't tell how badly the bird is hurt.

I hang up the phone. I gather the pieces of the birdcage, refill the water, and the seed and approach Louie. Louie doesn't look all that bad, but he isn't flying. I offer him my finger, he hops on. I place him in the cage and close him in the bedroom. He's alive at least. I leave the curtain open, so he can look outside.

The kitten races out of the bathroom when I open the door. Vash continues to cry in the hallway. I start up the vacuum and suck up the spilled birdseed. The vacuum makes horrible noises, but it does it a good job.

I guess that's what we get for housing the Circle of Life in a 2 bedroom apartment.

No comments: