March 05, 2006

Thinking about how easy it was to pick up and hold that little bird reminded me of some other instances with picking up animals. With small animals, I have a tendency to scoop them up into my arms, and think later. Sometimes that works out OK, and sometimes it doesn't.

A couple of years ago, I was jogging along a path on the Rowlett Creek Preserve. These paths are mostly meant for off-road bicyclists, but if you're careful to watch out, you can also walk or run on the trails. I was jogging along one time when I saw a rabbit by the path. I expected it to take off and run away, but it didn't. I went by it, with it sitting literally inches from the path. So I walked back to it and bent down and scooped it up. Only after I picked it up, held it to my chest and started petting it did I think about how crazy that was. It could have scratched me and bitten me. This wasn't somebody's pet, it was a plain brown bunny like you see out in the wild. I didn't notice any injuries, it wasn't listless like it was sick or dying. But I assumed it had to be, or why else would it let me hold it? I carried that thing, petting it for about 15-20 minutes as I walked along the trail. Even a sick or dying animal will struggle and fight some, I thought, but this one didn't. As I neared the parking lot, I realized I couldn't take it home with me, so I turned around to take it back to where I found it. When I set the bunny down, he hopped away like there wasn't a thing in the world wrong with him.

The animals I mostly try to hold, are of course cats. Sometimes with good results, like the time my daughter and her girlfriend were struggling with a crazy kitten that wanted to escape them in fear. I took the cat from the little girl and it was suddenly calm. The girls called me the cat whisperer.

But I can recall a couple more instances when that didn't work out so well for me. One was when I went outside several years ago and discovered that kittens had been born in our boat. Kittens are cute, so I was thrilled. I reached down inside the boat and grabbed one to pull it out. It took several bloody seconds for my hands to receive the "Let GO!" message that my brain was trying to send them.

Another incident not only didn't turn out well, but I'd actually been warned beforehand. It was a beautiful sunny day, I was visiting my brother. He lived north of Houston on some heavily wooded acreage. The cat he fed was lying on the picnic table, enjoying a nap in the sun. Notice I called her the "cat he fed" not "his cat". Because even though this cat would come up to the house to eat every night, it was a little on the wild side. I sat down at the table and petted the cat and she was purring like mad. My brother walked by me on his way into the house and said, "Don't pick up that cat." I said OK then continued to pet the cat. Even got my hairbrush out of the car and brushed it. The cat was enjoying this very much. She would purr, rub up against me, and just want more. I finally couldn't stand it any more, I had to pick her up. I really wasn't trying to be defiant. I wasn't going to try to prove to my brother it could be done. It was different than that. It was just an uncontrollable urge. I had to hold that cat. So I picked her up, and once again proved that none of my body parts listen to my brain when it really matters. Several seconds later as I ran into my brother again on my way into the house, he looked at me and immediately said, "You picked up the cat, didn't you?" I'm not sure what gave me away, the stunned look on my face, or the bloody gashes on my chest, arm, and shoulder.

p.s. My little quail friend never showed back up. I'm going to go on believing that he found his way home and lived happily ever after.


Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

You really do have a way with animals. You'll give 'em love, or blood, whichever they want.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Meow said...

You are not alone ... I cannot resist picking up an cuddling any cat I see, often with the same results you experienced !!! I have some interesting scars from cat scratches !!!
It's a shame your little quail didn't come back, but I'm sure that it found it's way back home, too.
Have a great week, take care, Meow

5:26 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

My son has that same instinct to touch animals he doesn't know. He got bitten by a dog when he was little, and luckily it was tied up, or I think my son would have really been hurt badly. Even after that scare, he still is inclined to go up to stray dogs.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Hale McKay said...

Are you a latent veternarian?

7:03 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hivy,I haven't read back for the previous post YET, but it seems you should have learned about the danger of SOME animals.

12:25 AM  
Blogger No_Newz said...

I for one am glad Dick Cheney doesn't live near you. And I also will buy into the he lived happily ever after. :)
I love how you claim no defiancy meant toward your brother. I can't resist picking them up either. I was imagining you as Snow White when I read the part about the bunny. Guess I'm half goober too. :D
Lois Lane

9:14 AM  
Blogger poopie said...

Bwahhhhhhhhahaha! The cat whisperer ;)

11:52 AM  
Blogger Da Gal said...

Oh Ivy - it's okay that we have to learn some lessons over and over - especially when they involve cute little furry things.

And I would have done it or at least tried to just to defy my brother - just the kind of girl I am.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

I'm glad the bunny story ended well. I was worried there for a minute. I'm a big bunny fan.

3:08 PM  

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