Sunday, March 09, 2008

Good Nests Make Good Neighbors

I have a bird. It lives above the lamp under the eaves that extend over my back door. Last night it came into my house, which I did not appreciate.

My cat Lucy did not know what to do with our uninvited houseguest. Most of our guests sit on the sofa or in one of several chairs, but our bird sat on the shelf above our breakfast bar, on the vent in our utility room, on the valance in our family room. I propped the door open as a standing invitation for our guest to leave, but the exit proved more attractive to the cat than to the bird. In fact, I'd guess that the only thing keeping Lucy in the house was the bird taunting her from the valance.

Lacey, our other cat, was blissfully unaware of the whole crisis. Such is the advantage of living in perpetual fear of strangers, as Lacey does: you avoid a fair bit of unpleasantness. And ultimately the whole event was unpleasant. I got more and more stressed as the bird continued to evade me; I swung the broom more and more wildly and expressed my displeasure more and more loudly.

Finally, after countless seconds, the bird got the hint and flew back to her nest. I shut the door and composed myself. Life settled back down to normal.

This bird is not a pet. It's more like a neighbor, and it strikes me that I was not very neighborly to it. Neighbors who barge in uninvited aren't terribly neighborly either. So I am unapologetic regarding my behavior toward my bird. I am, however, open to suggestions of a more productive, less traumatizing way of relating to my neighbor.

3 comments:

Jenn said...

I like how we have both recently parodied lines from the same poem to create titles for our blogposts.

As for anything else useful to say . . . I got nuthin. But we did have a bird fly in here once, too. With much the same results.

Booker (A Carson) said...

We learned the hard way. You open ONE door, then cover all the windows and make it as dark as possible. The bird will head for the light. . .eventually. (If the bird is a starling, as ours was, and if it is in your kitchen, I highly recommend covering every food surface with sheets or garbage bags or something--they are prolific poopers.)

Christianne said...

it strikes me that this post and the one about your seattle experience are both about loving your neighbor, and the point-blank difficult truths you're coming to realize about yourself with regards to it. i appreciate your honesty so much. you go places with these questions that i don't usually let myself go.