We have a pussy cat, Mia, who at the best of times is the sweetest thing alive. Sadly though, she does still have her natural animalistic tendencies and has been known to bring in the odd mouse or two.
The (early) morning of VE Day 2020, she decided to bring us an unusual and unwanted present – 2 baby birds (when I say baby, I mean they couldn’t have been more than a couple of days old). We were awoken at around 2am by her recognisable ‘meows’ that say “mum.. dad… I brought you a gift..”! We woke up and turned the lights on to see the horrifying sight of two tiny baby birds on the floor at the end of the bed. Before we managed to get out of bed, she grabbed one and ran outside, leaving the other in the middle of the upstairs landing. Still getting to grips with the fact that we were awake at this time, Alex and I wandered into the hallway, grabbed some tissue and picked up the nestling. After a brief conversation about what to do with it, I sneezed; it was at that point that the baby bird lifted its head and threw open its beak, letting us know it was well and truly alive.
After a bit of waking up and adjustment, we realised we needed to look after the nestling so we got an old shoebox, filled it with ripped up paper, a tea towel and hot water bottle, and popped the bird inside. Alex read online that they need constant feeding and they can eat wet cat food, so she grabbed some tweezers and got a small bowl of soggy cat biscuits. For the next 6 hours (whilst I continued to sleep), she stayed awake with the baby bird and fed it small bits of mushy biscuit with the tweezers.
In the morning, we phoned the local animal rescue centre who told us to bring the bird in, so we drove to Amesbury and dropped off our little nestling. As soon as the man working there scooped the little bird up in his hands, he threw his head back and opened his beak. The man said it was a very good sign that he was so hungry and it was great that it made it through the night! He did also say that with birds, the period of 24-48 hours after a cat bite is when they are at their most critical, so we were to phone back the next day to see if he made it.
Sadly, because COVID-19 has meant that people are unable to volunteer, the animal rescue is very understaffed and we never did find out what happened to our nestling. We’re staying optimistic that the little bird made it. Fingers crossed 🤞🏻