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Barmy Blue's Bland Blog

Goodbye Little Nik

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When an entry is too long will I ever trim down my text? Take out pointless side stories? Use shorter words? Clearly not. This annoying rambling is my signature style at this point. If you think reading my stories is annoying then hearing them is worse. At least in text I can try to make a clear point.

And now to the conclusion of our pigeon tail. You see what I did there? Pigeons have tails.

When I got up I put Nik outside. It was safe in the cat box. It's designed to keep a cat in so it can keep one out. It's solid plastic with vents round the top and a wire door that locks shut (not the sort of cat carrier that any cat would like. It was the 90's) (in fact it's gotten tricky in it's old age and the door has gone stiff. You have to wriggle it open) so I felt confident leaving Nik outside for the day and occasionally checking on it from the window. Nik seemed perkier and it's eyes hadn't crusted up again (turns out that was probably because I'd cleaned them in the morning before I went to bed)
I checked my email. The vet said to contact the pigeon rescue I'd tried before. Did they just Google that? The animal rescue also wrote back asking if I could bring it in. I replied of course I could but it would be Thursday because mum had the day off or the evening when she got home. Evening wouldn't work with their opening times so it would have to be Thursday. Success. I just had to keep the bird alive until then.
I constructed my new pigeon box from a big storage box. I duct taped some branches as perches (that later proved to be a mistake as Nik slipped, the tape slipped, Nik got wedged in the corner and couldn't get out. I tried to help it up and found it stuck in the duct tape. This was the only time I KNOW it made a deliberate noise. It squeaked a bit. Getting Nik out was relatively easy but getting the duct tape off was not as easy and Nik lost one tail feather or it might have been a wing feather. The rest seemed okay.)
I ties some extra insect screen (I recently purchased an "innovative" product that sticks the screen to your window with magnets. Not enough magnets for my window and a heck ton of screen. It seems to work though but only because my window is sticky from the sellotape I didn't peel off last year). Being a clear plastic box it was lacking a coziness and now that I'd found a place to take Nik I didn't want it becoming tame. I spent the day not handling it unless I had to or speaking to it. So I went out and cut some twigs and ivy and taped them into the box. I also put in a bigger water bowl. I made another change to the food. This time a few seeds with swan/duck pellets, a little dry turkey dog food and dried meal worms crushed to a powder with some crushed peanuts (bird food ones, not human food ones) and I took some of this powdered monstrosity and mixed it with the baby food to make a paste and smeared it on some of the leaves and branches so Nik might peck it off if it felt so inclined. It didn't well not that I saw anyway.

Once I put Nik in the new box I didn't want to put it in the garden again. When I first put the cat box out a cat came by to investigate. I shooed it off. It came back. I shooed it off again. As far as I know it didn't come back. But if any animal did I didn't trust my insect net lid. I swapped boxes when I brought Nik in so I could walk the dog. I didn't feel comfortable leaving it outside, even in the cat box, when I wasn't home to check on it. But there was still daylight and I wanted Nik to get the benefits of fresh air so I took it out front and put it on the bin while I watered my plants. (I've harvested some cucumbers they're quite a dry breed compared to regular ones we buy but they're nice for pickling, I've had some peas and I'm growing a bigger variety of tomato but they're not ready yet). When I was done I brought Nik inside for good but I worried it would be used to human noise and forget it's a pigeon so I found a 10 hour video of pigeon noises and played it in the kitchen for a while. Nick didn't seem bothered and went to sleep. Sometimes it made a noise. I'm not sure if it was breathing infection (I say that ti be vague, I don't know what pigeon diseases there are) or some sort of snoring. It was cute though and it kept breathing. It was on a perch so I'd know if it died. It would be on the floor.
Nik's eyes crusted up again while they were shut. I left them because I didn't want to handle it/cause more damage before we could get it to the rescue.

Mum brought home a paper box from work. It was a great size and could fit Nik standing on it's little perch easily.

Thursday. A sweet yet bitter day.
Since we got the first email from the rescue I'd stopped calling it Nik. I called it the bird/the pigeon/it. I didn't want to be attached. I kept this up mostly. As I couldn't tell the sex of the pigeon It of Nik was preferable but since I named it after a man, Nikola Tesla, I kept wanting to say He and had to correct myself by saying It. I also had to remind myself a lot "It's not YOUR pigeon. What ever you do don't say MY pigeon".
Since Nik was blind again it was easy to transfer it to it's travel box. I'd poked a bunch of holes in it. I put Nik in on the first little perch I made. It's kind of a nice thought that we both went away with something from each other. Nik had the perch and I had the single feather.(is it okay for fledglings to lose feathers?).
We took Nik to the rescue. Turns out I should've called first. I explained I'd emailed. Apparently that doesn't mean anything but I said I'd gotten a reply about when I could come in and I'd answered (To be honest I didn't call because I didn't want to bother them too much and/or waste their time on the emergency number. What if an emergency happened. Don't call it an emergency number if you want people to use it when it's not an emergency. Maybe there was another contact number and I didn't notice). They asked what it was and what was wrong with it so I explained and they took the bird and that was that. We filed in some paperwork, left a donation and that was it. I trust that, even if these people aren't/don't have a vet to hand they surely have the tools to feed the bird like syringes and such. And if there's a problem they can get it put down so it won't suffer any more.
I started getting teary eyed on the way home. Not completely sure why. i just wanted to cry. It's not that I want the pigeon back but I did get used to it over those days. I think it was more relief. Now it's not my problem any more because I sure as hell didn't know what I was doing. I never should have picked the bird up. I can't say I'm glad I did but I can say it was a mostly nice and useful experience to have.

I don't know what became of Nik and I think it's fitting that I don't know. Punishment for meddling in things I had no business messing with. I don't want to bug the rescue by asking and if Nik died I'd rather not know for sure.

It's been just over a week now. I sprayed the boxes with disinfectant but I want to give them I good going over. I haven't done it yet. Sometimes I still feel a bit sad when I think about Nik. I had to keep referring to it as The Pigeon afterwards and still haven't played with the feather toys since either (I've seen the tuxedo stalker (cat. Did I mention he follows me during walkies?) a few times but he's more than happy with head rubs and catnip).

Would I pick up a pigeon (or any other animal) again?
I can't say I wouldn't, it depends on the situation, though I would put even more consideration into it than before.

Updated 07-31-2021 at 01:06 AM by Bluebiird



  1. Danik 2016's Avatar
    Itīs a very sad story, bluebiird! But you did all you could to help the bird.
  2. Danik 2016's Avatar
    Hi, bluebiird
    Donīt know whether you still read the comments. As Litnet activity is dwindling more and more, I hope you have your blog contributions also saved elsewhere. It might also be the time to thinking of publishing them as a book if possible or, if it isn't on a personal blog on Wordpress or similar.
  3. Bluebiird's Avatar
    Thanks that would make sense. There are years of memories here and it would suck to lose them
  4. Danik 2016's Avatar
    They are your memories but may be they are more than that Bluebiird. They may be representative of a sort of life. Anyway, that would be for an experienced editor to say.
  5. Bluebiird's Avatar
    I meant lose if this site went down or something. There are no backups
    Updated 09-18-2021 at 11:41 PM by Bluebiird
  6. Danik 2016's Avatar
    That, anyway!

    As you need a profession, why not try writing, Bluebiird? Itīs something you like doing, you do well and you can do at home. What you have still to discover is if you can earn money with it.
    Updated 09-16-2021 at 12:38 PM by Danik 2016