Reading the news these days — excuse me, consuming the news — requires a real strategy. It’s difficult, in a world flooded with links to more information than any human could possibly consume in a 24-hour day, to know which ones to click. Some reveal everything you need to know in the headline:
Do you really need to know anything more? I mean, y’know, sorry for the damage to the bright firmament of humanity, but…”home-built plane.” Yeah.
Sorry. I was interrupted. Something hit the kitchen window hard a little while ago. I thought it might have been one of the million sticks that seem to rain out of a mature oak over the course of a season, but when I went outside to take the trash to the curb a few minutes later, there was a robin lying on its back in the driveway, eyes closed but still breathing. I stood around waiting to see if it was planning to die, but soon the eyes opened, so I went back inside, put on some gloves (West Nile) and rolled it onto its sternum, where it remained upright on its own power. Went back inside and poured another cup of coffee, read some more web and just went back out. No robin, and a runny bird poo in the place where it had been sitting. Fingers crossed it made its recovery and exited under its own steam and not in a cat’s mouth. Sometimes all you need is to be reoriented. Sky up, ground down? Check. Man, do I have a headache. Good luck, robin.
I have a mixed bag with wildlife, but I try to do my part. My next-door neighbor in Fort Wayne was a veritable Dr. Doolittle, however. I once saw her catch a wild raccoon with her bare hands, free it from the plastic grocery bag it was hopelessly entangled in, and release it without getting so much as a scratch. After which a bluebird perched on her shoulder and whistled a happy tune. One of the previous two sentences is untrue, but both are equally unlikely to happen. I guess that sort of confidence in handling animals comes from growing up in the country, with a grandfather who neutered his own barn cats. He kept a special tool for those occasions — an old overcoat with one sleeve sewed shut. He’d catch the half-grown toms (no small feat in itself) and stuff them face-down into the sleeve, which presented him with the target area and only two legs to contend with. Swipe, cut, squeeze, snip and release. It was over in a minute.
Horses are gelded more or less the same way, or were, before veterinary anesthetics. “As long as they keep moving afterward, they’re fine,” a grizzled old farmhand once told me. The probably spend the recovery time searching for their lost gonads. And then they forget they ever had them, and become useful to the human race again.
Testosterone may well be the engine of civilization, but in animal/human interactions, it just screws things up. Although it certainly makes for some entertaining entries on Coozledad’s blog.
Four hours of sleep last night. It’s one of those mornings where I suspect I’m actually dying. Better grab a shower. But before that? Some bloggage:
Whew, Dick Cheney, not looking so great. I’m sure his black heart will gurgle on for some time after the host has died; in fact, I’m sure the new host is being prepared now. Why do you think the College Republicans even exist?
“Worst Canadian Thanksgiving ever” — Jon Stewart + Carl Paladino = entertainment. It’s funny to see the Republicans at this time of year. “Men in Speedos,” i.e., a tiny fraction of the gay community, carrying on at a gay pride parade is gross. Photo of woman doin’ it with a horse? Hey, I think I’ll forward this to all my friends! Because I’m in construction!
OIM: When bears attack! Something about this story smells. And it smells like chicken.
Shower, save me.