I’m like a bird

Today a bizarre thing happened. My cat was sitting on the window sill of my bedroom window when all of a sudden she reached out and nabbed a bird in mid flight. This is strange because she’s a house cat and doesn’t really display this predatory instinct very often, but of course, she is a cat and it’s just natural.

Anyway, the poor bird was chirping like crazy so I hopped out of bed attempting to save its life. I chased my cat downstairs and she managed to run faster than I’ve ever seen her go, with the unfortunate bird still chirping hysterically in her mouth. She headed straight for the space under my sink where she knew I wouldn’t be able to reach her. Then she did a strange thing: she left the bird there and trotted up back to bed.

I wasn’t sure if the bird was still alive. I hadn’t seen it but I was assuming it must be pretty small because my cat is tiny and she had carried it with ease. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t even nearly fit into the space and it wasn’t like I could gently coax a terrified bird out of there.

So I waited. Sure enough, I heard the flustered fluttering and chirping from underneath the space after some time. Except now, the bird had moved further away and escape was looking a lot less likely.

I was worried. I love animals and I feel an indescribable empathy for them. I really felt for this little bird. I imagined him to be terrified and lonely and it really didn’t help that there was a pair of small bird constantly chirping outside my window. I imagined they were his little bird family, tirelessly looking for their lost friend. I know this seems silly, but I wanted to make sure I could help him to fly out the door safely.

Hours later, as I sat at my kitchen table drinking coffee, I heard the self-conscious flutter of wings. I looked over to the corner of the room where there was a mop and bucket and there he was, eyeing my with a fear I had never thought a bird would be able to express. I was so happy I jumped up a little too energetically. I had to calm myself.

“Hey little dude. Hey. You did it! Now we just got to get you outside,” I said as gently and soothingly as I could. “Jack! Jack, he’s out! He’s out!” I called up to Jack, who had been just as concerned as I was.

I treaded towards the bird as softly as I could but he was startled and began flying around the room in a frenzy.

“No, no, calm! Calm! But look at you, you’re okay!” I was smiling, surprised that he wasn’t injured.

And then it happened. I suppose I should have seen it coming. He went straight for the sliding door and THUD, he banged into it with such a force that I knew straight away that his bid for freedom was over. His life was over.

“No! No!” I screeched, as I bent down to pick his tiny little body up. He was still alive, or just about. I watched him squirm and try to make a sound. I saw pain in his eyes and I watched the life drain from him. I know to some it was “just a bird” and one I didn’t know, but it really upset me.

When Jack came down, expecting to see me jubilant, he instead saw me in tears.

“Hey, hey. What’s wrong?” I pointed to the bird in my palm, and he shook his head. “Oh dear.”

I was a sobbing mess. I could register the confusion on Jack’s face, possibly thinking my reaction was a little OTT.

Yes, I was crying because there was a tiny dead bird in my hand. But there was more to it than that. This bird had survived an attack by a much larger and stronger predator. It has gotten lost in a veritable maze in complete darkness and had managed to find its way out. And then it got killed by a freakin’ door. As I held the tiny lifeless body in my palm, I felt such a strong connection with it. This might sound completely crazy, but I felt like the bird’s struggle was my struggle.

Think about it. You work really really hard. You overcome all the worst obstacles and you take all the crap life throws at you, and then just as you are about to make it, to fly free, a door closes in your face. That’s how I have been feeling lately. It happened to the bird and it has happened to me on more occasions than I care to remember.

There was a silence for some time. Jack, sensing there was more to my tears than the bird, asked me what was wrong. I looked up at him and sadly shook my head. “Life is cruel. That’s what’s wrong. He nearly made it but he didn’t. He saw outside but he didn’t get there.” There was a silence for some time, as I looked at the bird’s broken body. I handed it to Jack to take outside and composed myself.

I don’t really know why I shared this story with you all. It’s not uplifting or funny. On my part, it was probably a total over reaction to something that happens all the time. I guess it just got me thinking about how sometimes you get through the door, and sometimes you don’t. And it reminded me of the struggles I have gone through, as well as the struggles my loved ones have faced. It’s funny what can get you thinking.

35 thoughts on “I’m like a bird

  1. Anna says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that happened. Your story is a great analogy on life. It’s true. Many times we think things are looking up, and we crash. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Chatter Master says:

    I think it was a story worth telling. I’m sorry it was hard for you. But it sure did seem cruel didn’t it? That bird SAW its freedom and ….for a reason it will never understand it was taken. I see why that is upsetting. I hope you are doing better.

  3. dweezer19 says:

    Hey Janey I don’t find it funny or odd at all. I take most of my cues from nature. Right now I am trying to figure out shy these crows keep pecking at my window panes and flinging themselves at my glass doors then sit and wait as though they are expecting me to open up and invite them in. I have of course but they only flutter away. I feel your pain. I would have wept bitterly myself. You did your best but it was ultimately the bird who determined its path. Perhaps that is the message. Sometimes we have to allow others to help us if we want to succeed. Much love.
    Right now I am trying to understand why, having just landed in my favorite country in the world, am living in a beautifully simple house surrounded by nature and can write, draw and enjoy life, that I took a fall going down a single tile step and fairly well broke my expensive zoom lens-the joy of my life- and nearly broke my knee and wrist. Thank God, seriously, I think I just sprained the wrist. The lens will be mourned by all……

    • janeybgood says:

      As usual, you give such clarity to the situation 🙂 I actually don’t take help from people and I think that is my problem.

      Sorry to hear about your camera 😦 These things do often happen at the worst time and you have to question why. I’m glad you weren’t injured and I’m sure you will be snapping away in no time 😀

  4. drew delaney says:

    This is such a sad story. I can fully relate to you as it would have upset me as well. There are lessons we learn in our sadness and by watching nature and its ups and downs. It happens in everyday life. The weak are threatened and predators are everywhere. Thankfully, your cat didn’t rip the bird apart or you would have felt even worse. He had two strikes against him. One, the cat, and two, in the confines of a house. Hope you’re better now.

    • janeybgood says:

      Thank you 🙂 Another commenter also said that we do learn so much from nature. It is tough for these delicate creatures and I think that’s what upset me so much, I felt like I was the little guy’s only hope. Thank you for reading.

  5. eileen049 says:

    Aww, sweetie. Sorry about the bird. Having cats my whole life i’ve been there more than once. But I appreciate the analogy to our life struggles. Very well written.

      • eileen049 says:

        You’re right they really can’t help it. 🙂 By the way, I thought of you this past Saturday – My husband and I went to a concert in a cave (yep). It was really fun. The band was a group called Scythian and they have Irish influences to their music. They are coming to Ireland in October for their 10th anniversary. If they are playing near you, you should check them out. (They are easy on the eyes as well as being GREAT musicians) Here is their website: http://www.scythianmusic.com

        Take Care

  6. weight2lose2013 says:

    Janey, your story brought tears to my eyes. You’re a good person. Its a measure of a special soul.

  7. Trent Lewin says:

    Ah Janey that’s so sad… I know that feeling of being cornered and alone and overwhelmed with obstacles, and because of that I feel for this poor little bird. I think you have a lot of empathy, and I’m glad that you do, because empathy is a great thing. It makes up all the good that is in us, I think. I’ll say a word for your friend.

    • janeybgood says:

      Exactly Trent. In fact, empathy is a trait that I wish more people had. It would certainly make the world a much more peaceful place. Thanks for reading.

  8. The Hashtag Generation says:

    I’m so sorry that you had to go through that, but I think your reaction was completely understandable. Your heart-wrenching (but very well written) retelling of the event made me choke up a little myself! Thanks for sharing your story, and thanks for being such a compassionate human being. I feel like we don’t see that often enough anymore – people just being nice to one another and to animals, too.

    • janeybgood says:

      Thank you. Sometimes the compassion I feel is overwhelming and I wish that I cared less but you’re right, it’s ultimately a very good quality. Thank you for reading and for such a kind comment 🙂

  9. motherhendiaries says:

    Awwww Janey… This is a sad week for birds, isn’t it? 😕 Dweezer hit the nail on the head…. Sometimes in life we need to accept the help offered. I would add to that the thought that panicking when faced with adversity – while understandable – is bound to end badly. Stop… Think… BREATHE… Accept help. Still, I loved this story and you told it well, my talented friend. MH

    • janeybgood says:

      Very true MH. If only the little guy had calmed down a little and trusted me, but of course he didn’t. It has taught me that keeping a cool head is key though. Thank you for reading 🙂

    • janeybgood says:

      It sounds like I’ve made a few people cry, which of course wasn’t the intention but it shows what compassionate and caring people we all are, which has definitely cheered me up 🙂

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