I was sitting on the couch about to drink my coffee when I heard bird sounds from the direction of the family room (to which the catio is attached). At first I thought it was a forgotten cat toy recently rediscovered, but the sounds were too loud and varied. I stood up and saw Praline leaping at the wall and realized we had a visitor.
(There would be a picture here of an adorable little bird on the floor near the stairs if I’d thought of it, but my attention was focused on keeping the cats away from it.)
The poor little thing was crouched trembling on the floor, watched by several slightly confused cats. They knew this moving thing was interesting and worth catching (there’d been a similar experience with a small bat, which I don’t remember if I blogged), but had never actually had the opportunity to. Since the bird was petrified, I took a chance and picked it up in my left hand, where it huddled and shook and cheeped but was otherwise still, and yanked the (human-sized) door to the catio open. Vanilla was still out there, but she looked at me with wide eyes and skedaddled.
There’s a mesh door leading to the backyard from the catio, which I intended to go through to release the bird. However, it has latches on both sides, and unfortunately they were both latched at this time. As I discovered this, the bird struggled out of my hand and fluttered to the floor. Spouse had joined me by then and I asked him to go around and unlatch the door from the back. I then put a pillow in front of the cat door, because I’d forgotten that it locks from the inside rather than the side I was on.
After the door was unlatched I found the poor terrified bird and carried it out to the back and put it on a fence post.
It just sat there for a bit and at first I worried that it might be injured, but spouse pointed out that it was, well, terrified and catching its breath. He went back in to properly lock the cat door to the catio, because once the bird recovered, it promptly did this.
Yes. It flew directly to the one-inch mesh and popped through to land on the shelf. Argh. Well, at least we knew it could fly.
I went back into the catio and watched it for a bit. I wasn’t the only one.
It rested for a while. This gave me the opportunity to get a size comparison, though naturally the camera focused on the greenery in the background.
I stroked its soft little back one more time and it cheeped and squeezed through the mesh and flew around the corner of the house. Phew. I wonder if it’s learned anything from this.