Okay, backstory here is that M rescued a couple of baby hummingbirds that had been abandoned and/or fell out of their nest. One was too weak to last long in our bird nursery and died in the first 24 hours. We were on day 3 with the other one – nicknamed Sweety Tweety.
Today M was driving our houseguests up the hill to run and be picked up for the next leg of their trip, and he was worried about Sweety Tweety going all day without food. I caved under the emotional duress and agreed to bring her with me to the office, where I could oversee her care and feeding today. I actually have nothing against birds and the baby birds are quite cute, but I vastly prefer seeing them in their natural habitat outside the windows in their nests with mom and/or dad flying in to oversee their care and feeding. For all his “no pets” policy, M is the one who continually rescues and brings home the orphans. We presently have 3 fluffbuckets in the family, and while I love and adore them now, if they required more from me than food and quick interaction in the morning and food and treats and slightly longer interaction (unless they are being anti-social) in the evenings, I would be demanding that we have a dog. But they were accustomed to being wild outdoor cats when we adopted them after our elderly neighbor went to assisted living and had no way to rehome them otherwise. Had we been unwilling to look after them, they would have been sent off to cat rescue somewhere.
Anyway, Sweety Tweety did not enjoy the car ride to the office. I gave her some nectar when we got here and went on about my day, which this morning meant being away from my office for most of the first hour. When I returned to give her the next meal, she was pressed against the bars with her wings fluttering and body more than halfway out of the cage. I did not know what to do with her to keep her contained, so I fed her and got a towel from my car to cover the cage. Again, away from my office for a short time … but left the door wide open. About 40 minutes later I return to my office, and Sweety Tweety has escaped! She’s not that old yet, and as of last night could not fly much or very far, and there is no humming bird flying around my office or anywhere else.
I have looked for her. I have listened for her tweeting. I have asked the staff to keep an ear open for tiny tweet sounds and an eye out for tiny, fluttering bird wings. Nothing. No one has seen or heard from her, and that cage is empty.
Yes, I am a failed baby bird caretaker, possibly even a baby bird killer in my negligence. I feel horrible about this. I separated an actual human being from her livelihood yesterday and I’m far more distressed about the loss of a tiny wild bird. Of course, the idea of decomposing bird corpse, no matter how tiny, somewhere in my office squicks me out as well.
This is why M and I do not have pets. Our life and lifestyle do not seem appropriate for caring for animals. Our exception – the fluffbuckets – are pretty self-sufficient and primarily feral (as providers of food and treats they seem to like us well enough most of the time) or who knows what might have happened, although to be fair, they would be living with some other family with members who are not allergic to cats.
Ugh. I have my training recap in progress, but I’m upset about Sweety Tweety. And M is running in the mountains and either ignoring my texts or has not yet received word that I lost his bird.