(gif from The Secret Life of Pets)
I was too freaked out in the moment to take a picture or video of what happened, but I’m sure I’ll never forget it because I never would’ve imagined it in the first place.
And it scared the hell out of me.
And then made me roll my eyes, let my heart beat calm down, and I made myself some sangria to take the edge off.
I was working in the yard during the crazy heat of the day. I was replacing two plants in the yard that needed it and managed to get that done, and brought the dogs back in with me. I passed by the bird cage when I saw it.
One parakeet was stuck.
In the millet holder, of all places.
I just saw this squished, color splashed body with feathers sticking out between the coils and I freaked. I mean, seriously, how the hell did it manage to move that snag clip at the top to get in there in the first place?
I don’t remember the brand, but that’s about what it looked like.
The first thing I did was unhook it and see if I could figure out how to get it out. At first, it wasn’t budging, and what was most ridiculous to me was it was still chewing on the last bit of millet spray that had been trapped with it. I mean, it wasn’t chirping or squealing in distress, didn’t even make a sound. Though it sure went for my finger (and bit hard a few times) when I pulled out that stripped millet sprig to see what I had to work with.
What made it tough was I couldn’t get it to back out again because it would mess up the wings and hurt it badly, but it would find a way to back up a bit, only to go forward quickly. It just looked at me with it’s face practically mashed into the bottom of the spring (where I’d hoped to maybe bend the wire out of the way and unravel the coil). But this is some thick gauge stuff, so I figured I’d better try some wire cutters. I was looking for the ones I bought specifically for that cattle fencing I had to work with in the garden, and hoped they’d be strong enough to handle this thicker wire.
Would’ve been easier if the bird hadn’t kept trying to rush to the part I was working on, the band spiral before it started getting smaller at the base. And would’ve been done quicker if the bird wasn’t intent on trying to rip a chunk out of my pinky finger. But that actually might’ve helped me out a bit–had it tried to go after the wire cutters, I might’ve accidentally clipped part of it’s beak off and REALLY hurt it.
I was trying so hard not to panic because I was convinced this bird was gonna die because it was so quiet, just flustered, irritatedly moving around to get out instead. So I had to use both my hands to cut the wire, which meant that when it snapped off, the millet holder basically dropped a few inches to the bottom, and the bird shot out of the just-made hole like a rocket.
I was convinced it would take time to come out, but nope, it was ready and out before I knew it. I removed the pieces of the holder (and the other metal one… probably need to take the plastic ones out soon if I can expect this to happen again), and the bird was going up to the top of the cage like nothing happened
I initially thought it’s wings were damaged because of all the moving around and it’s repeated attempts to back up and go forward in the holder. But I took a look, and it looked fine. Probably wouldn’t need too much preening.
So yeah, I was so worried and it was just looking around like “okay, well that’s done. Now what?” As if nothing had happened. As if I hadn’t been worried that this poor bird was trapped and going to die from injuries or a heart attack or something like that.
I had to laugh a bit in relief. I basically called it a day and got myself a drink and spent the next few hours doing small chores in the kitchen, checking on them all at the same time.
It just struck me how weird it was that there were no alarmed shrieks or anything, from it or the other birds around. Scared the hell out of me plenty.
At least the sangria felt like it was truly deserved after my crazy rescue attempts. Even now I’m trying not to just pass out, the day was that draining. But the birds have been calm the past few hours and are probably snoozing happily. I just can’t believe that I didn’t see any injury on that bird, or any hint that it was having trouble flying or walking. Strange, but I’ll take it at this point. Certainly the most awkward, full Sunday in ages.