I walked to the parking lot behind my apartment the other morning, purse and bagel in hand. What do I see but a baby blue jay parked directly behind my car with an indignant look on his feathered face. The mother was freaking out, of course: swirling about, chirping profusely. The small tot was not fresh out of the egg, however. More around the "got kicked out of the nest" age. I decided it was in his best interest for me to move him away from where a careless driver could back over him, and then go on my merry way.
Fate would not have it as such. With my attention drawn upwards again to the bird's frantic mommy, I realized--with terror--that a cat with attention fixed on my new friend was perched on the garage roof.
Well I can't just leave this little guy here. That bastard will eat him! And don't feed me that circle of life bullshit; these cats get fed. So, I pondered where I could possibly put the helpless baby so that this ferocious feline couldn't get his jaws and paws on him. If this cat is on the garage roof where can't he be? At this point the villain turned the corner of the garage--I swear it couldn't have taken him but 2 seconds to make it down from the roof--and stopped short when he saw me. I make a move toward him to startle him off and, foolishly, thought he was gone.
I figured I may as well get a sense of how well this little guy could fly. So I moved toward him and he fluttered away. I bet he'll take flight by end of day, I thought to myself. But at that moment, the cat flew from behind the garage, snatched my new friend in his mouth, and took off!
Like hell you do. This is not going down on my watch. And so I dropped my purse and took off after them.
The baby was screaming and flapping his wings. My heart was sinking, but my adrenaline was pumping. I don't know how, but to my utter amazement I actually caught the cat! Bagel still in hand, I took him by the back of the neck and shook.
"DROP IT! LET IT GO!!!"
Jaws open, bird released. I tossed that asshole over the chain link fence for good measure. He landed on his feet, but he knows he lost this battle. I hope his little cat friends all witnessed this and harass him about it in the locker room later.
I scoop up the blue jay who is absolutely petrified, and fluttered about in my hands so violently that I dropped my bagel. How unlucky.
To my delight and surprise, there was no visible bodily harm to the bird, who was now calming in my hands. The thought came to me that the roof outside my second story window would be a perfect spot for him as no predators could gain access to it and he could take his sweet time in learning to fly, so I made my way back to my apartment.
But as I started up the steps, the bird's mouth opened, his eyes began to fade, and his little body was becoming rigid in my hands. I realized, whether of internal injuries or severe stress, he was dying. I had failed him. And in front of the doorway to my apartment, I began to cry.
I still needed to lay him to rest somewhere, and he deserved better than being devoured post-mortem or being tossed in a trash can. I decided to lay him outside my window for now, and return and bury him when I returned from work. With a heavy heart, I opened my window.
With the utmost care I placed this fragile creature, since passed, on the roof of my porch and stepped back with eyes welling up. And at the moment I did this, my friend popped up from where he laid and began hopping and chirping about! He was playing dead!!
Perhaps one of the most joyous moments of my life took place right then. Such satisfaction and pleasure taken in outwitting a cunning creature and sparing a gentle baby in need. I watched him bounce over to the end of the roof, where he called for his mother and waited patiently.
I took off for work that day, empowered and ecstatic.