Posted by: Hannah | 07/20/2012

Max, the return

Just a few days ago I wrote about my cat Max and his propensity for killing every creature within a half-kilometre radius of our house.

Yesterday he decided that slaughtering the innocent and bringing their still-warm corpses home for my delectation was too easy. Any cat can kill a mouse, he thought in his evil little brain. It’s fun, after all. So much fun that I think my humans should get to experience it, too! I WILL TEACH THEM TO KILL.

I was downstairs in the dayhome, shepherding the Toddler Brigade. Harry came running, eyes wide, stammering in his excitement.

“MOM!! A bird just flew in the house, flew around my head, and flew back out again!!!”

Now, this to me sounded suspicious. Birds don’t do things like that.

Me: “It just… flew in the house?”

H: “YES!”

Me: “And flew around your head?”

H: “YES! Round and round! Really fast!” (this was accompanied by frantic hand-flapping)

Me: “And then flew back out again?”

H: “YES!”

Me: “Are you certain it flew back out again? It is outside? There is no longer a panicked and disoriented bird upstairs in my house?”

H: “It went outside! IT WAS SO COOL!!” (more hand-flapping; also arm-waving)

Me: “Nature is weird. Go up and make sure the back door is closed, OK?”

An hour later, I went upstairs to get snack for the Brigade. And hey look! There’s a bird! A largish bird! It is sitting on the curtain rod in the living room! IT IS MOST ASSUREDLY NOT OUTSIDE WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.

Where was my darling son during this hour? Sitting in the living room, not five feet from the largish bird, reading a library book and totally not noticing said bird, at all. Not a future private investigator, this kid.

So, there I am, with six children in the house including one who just this week decided that she is afraid of bugs, blades of grass, and cat hair, and a largish bird. If Pixie sees this bird, she will lose her mind. She may go catatonic. In the words of Terry Pratchett, she will go completely Librarian-poo. I have to get the bird out.

Being a responsible adult and calm-in-a-crisis caregiver and parent, I did what any such person would do – I called my mommy.

Me: “OK Mom, there is a bird in my living room.”

Mom: “What kind of bird?”

Me: [dumbstruck] “What kind of bird? I don’t know. A dark brown one? Does it matter?”

Mom: “Tell me what kind of bird it is and I’ll look it up in my Spirit Guide book. There may be a message for Harry! It flew around his head!”

Me: [blinking rapidly, trying not to spook the bird] “OK, it’s a little smaller than a robin, very dark brown, looks like greyish feathers underneath. It’s WALKING ALONG THE CURTAIN ROD TELL ME HOW TO GET IT OUT.”

Mom: “Oh, right, sorry. Open all the doors, get a blanket, toss it over the bird. Or it may fly out by itself once there’s a door open. Ooh, or a butterfly net! Do you have a butterfly net?”

Me: “I… I actually do have a butterfly net. OK. I’ll try that.”

I opened the doors, grabbed Harry’s butterfly net, and started creeping toward the bird. As soon as I got close, it took off and flew neatly right out the back door.


Once naptime hit, I went back upstairs to do chores, as per usual. As I cleaned feathers and birdshit in not one, not two, but THREE rooms upstairs, the true story became abundantly clear.

Max, bless him, had brought home a live bird and released it in the house, presumably to give us an opportunity to experience the joy of bringing down a feathered friend ourselves. Panicked, the bird had flown around the kitchen / dining room / living room loop multiple times, shedding feathers and shitting like a mad thing the entire time, before finally reaching the relative safety of the curtain rod, where is sat for who knows how long, waiting patiently for an exit to open up.


My mom called back later, to tell me that from my description, she thought the bird was a grackle or maybe a starling. Either way, her book told her that such a bird flying around one’s head is supposed to indicate that the person in question has out-of-control emotions and needs to find creative ways to channel his or her excess energy. Which is, in the case of Harry, entirely true. I dutifully passed along the message because hey, who am I to judge. It seemed to work; apparently he was much more positive and cheerful at baseball practice last night. So there you go.



  1. The line about being a private investigator had me laughing to TEARS.
    This was hilarious.
    It’s not enough that you wipe bums for a living, you needs little bird crap to clean too eh?

  2. The line about calling your mommy may well have been the funniest thing I read all week 😀

    • Glad I could make you both laugh. It *is* funny. Now. Yesterday it was less so. 🙂

  3. Aieeeeeeeee. DAMMIT MAX. I find it funny that your mom wanted to look it up in her Spirit Guide book! Just tell me how to get the damn bird out of the house, MOM.

  4. That is such a funny story; If I didn’t know you (and your Mom), I would say It sounds too ridiculous to be true! Anyway, hopefully Max won’t make a habit of this (and hopefully you will never find one of your boys OR one of the daycare children cradling a dead rat because they think it’s “sleeping”)!

    • Oh UGH UGH UGH I’d forgotten all about that… ewwww… although Max *did* drop a dead squirrel right next to Baby G’s head one day, I was right there and got to it first.

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