Feathery Death

14 05 2010

As I was headed out to have Spouse’s prescription filled, I paused to look at myself in the mirror. I had just tossed on clothes and ran out of the house in an effort to get my mind on other things and so the chances of my hair being in ape’s nest mode were fairly high. I spent almost 10 minutes there scrutinizing my various flaws and picking at myself like a tweaker before I realized what I was doing, stopped, and checked around to make sure the lawn mowing dudes behind me didn’t catch me being psycho. You’ll be happy to know that there was nary an ape’s nest in sight. I did, however, have a wee scab on my nose and absolutely no recollection of how I obtained it. I am going to blame it on clown-ninjas creeping in and poking my nose while I slept.

Here I sit, trying to find my lost train of thought and I shifted a bit in my chair. This was enough to make TankCat, the overly nervous maine coon mix, flip the fuck out and scramble her bulk across the room. It was a damned funny sight to see too. She’s huge, fat, has all her claws and we have hardwood floors. It was like seeing a dust mop with legs in the throes of a seizure. I wish I had a photo of that. What I do have is this photo of her from about 6 months ago. She used to sit under my old monitor stand while I would game and if I dared to use my keyboard too close to her ass, she would reach out and claw me. She’s a bitch, but so stupid that I forgive her for most of it. This photo, however, is not one of her under the monitor stand. When I had Spouse arrange my computer and peripherals in such a way that she could no longer wedge her bulk under there to annoy me, she started doing this.

When my computer was moved upstairs, I got a new desk…one that she cannot squeeze her lardiness onto without oozing over the side and falling off. So she has now resorted to sprawling her bulk all over the top of the bookcase that is conveniently located between my desk and the window. Knocking over the phone and router with her ass in the process. It was happening so often that Spouse finally velcroed the router to the bookcase. The phone is still an almost daily casualty though.

One day, about a month or so ago, I had that window open and of course Tank had to come spread her fluff all over the bookcase in an effort to get closer to the window. She’s too large to actually perch in the sill as she has discovered on numerous occasions that attest that not all felines are graceful. So there we were, she & I – she enjoying the sun and a nice breeze, me probably trying to get Alistair to sleep in my tent in Dragon Age – when IT happened. The largest pigeon I have seen outside of Washington DC (Holy fuck. The pigeons and squirrels in DC are monstrous! I have never seen such ginormous creatures. This was over 20 years ago that I saw them, but I cannot imagine they have shrunk since. Mutants. I am sure of it. It’s probably part of some elaborate conspiracy that I cannot piece together right now, but I will…oh I will.) landed on the window screen. I jumped a bit, but TankCat backed off the bookcase so fast she fell off the half wall behind it onto the sofa. The pigeon was clearly neither frightened nor impressed and stayed right where it was, twisting and turning it’s reptilian little head and staring at me with it’s evil, beady eyes. Attempting to steal my soul.


Let me just take a moment here to mention how very much I hate birds. Oh and the feeling is mutual. When I was a child we would visit my mother’s family and we always stayed with her triplet sister and her family (yeah, my mom is a triplet, and to say that her family is loony is going far beyond an understatement, but this is fodder for other posts.). For some fucked up reason they had a cage in the living room with about a million finches in it. Okay, fine, FINE…birds are pets…lot’s of people love them…they aren’t little feathery sacks of pain and evil…blah blah blah. Anyway, they had them. Lots of them. And my cousins thought it was cute to let them out to fly around the house. I guess they did this quite often, even when guests were around. Now they didn’t always have them, I recall several birdless stays at their house quite clearly. On the first occasion that we visited after they bought the flying vermin, they released them. “See! Look how cute they are!” my cousin Jody gushed. I stood still, watching them flitter about, no real thoughts about the matter other than how useless they were. I couldn’t pet them really and they didn’t purr. How was this better than a cat? And just as my already waning attention was lost entirely, they attacked. It’s like they sensed my disdain and swore revenge. At least 4 or 5 of the little fuckers dive bombed me, pecking at my head. I ran around the room, flapping my hands and shrieking while my cousins begged me to stop. Said I was frightening the poor things. I think I was 9 or 10 at the time, so yeah…I am TOTALLY going to stop being scared shitless of a flock of fucking birds pecking at my skull. I actually do not recall how they managed to wrangle the beasts back into their cage, I think I have long since blocked it from memory.

This was Episode One.

I then went years without any avian contact, maybe 10 or so. Then, I was working at a local discount store and had made friends with this fabulous guy that worked with me. I gave him a ride home one day and he invited me in. (If you are thinking that this almost sounds like the start of one of those penthouse stories, you would be very, very mistaken. He was as gay as a summer festival.) The moment I walked in the door, I saw IT. Twin beacons of shining hatred glowering at me from inside the brass cage displayed prominently in the front room,  bright feathers quivering with barely checked rage, scaly talons clutching it’s perch…just sitting there like rainbowed death. He had a macaw. “Oh! Let me show you Snugglepumpkins*!” my friend said. Wary, but thinking I was probably safe and having long since decided that maybe the unfortunate finch event was a fluke, I walked over. My friend opened the cage and offered Snugglepumpkins a bit of fruit. It delicately plucked the tidbit from his hand and commenced to beaking it. My friend talked me into holding it, so I stretched out my hand to let it perch. Okay, so far so good I was thinking, this wasn’t so bad. I can do this. I stood there for maybe 30 seconds, holding this creature when it cocked it’s head at me, reared back and took a bite out of my lip. MY LIP! I yanked my head back when I saw it coming for me but I was too late. I shook it off my hand and ran to  the bathroom to wash the blood and bird germs off my lip, my friend yelling behind me that I had scared his precious demon. Yeah, my horrible shrieks of pain had scared it so bad it couldn’t devour the chunk of my lip it’s filthy beak had snared. Poor, poor satan-bird. Let’s all have a moment a silence for the trauma it endured under my brief care. Yeah, fuck that bird with a rusty screwdriver.

This was Episode Two

Another 5 blissfull years passed for me, sans bird. I was content in my birdlessness. Things were going along fine and life was a deliciously featherless cavalcade of work, dope, alcohol and video games. Heaven. Then it all had to come to a screeching, crashing halt. The universe had decided that my lack of feathery encounters was not quite Chippewa. Indeed, the universe in all it’s whorish majesty had decided that my happy, bird-free existence needed to get porked with a dirty meat cleaver. Enter the ubiquitous friend of a friend. One night, after a particularly rousing night of alcohol, illegal substances and dancing at a local gay bar, my roomates & I were invited to the home of a roomate’s friend and his boyfriend. (I am going to mention here that at the time I lived with three gay men and one straight guy, not my boyfriend…toss in an alcoholic Cougar and you have the makings for an awesome NBC sitcom.) Stumbling and bleary eyed we arrived at their humble abode hoping to listen to some music and partake of more illegal substances. When I walked in I heard before I saw, THEM. In the corner where the kitchen flowed into the living room, a wire cage full of hell’s minions. Parakeets. I do not recall how many they had and really it matters not. One would have been too many. And like all bird owners, the happy couple were all too eager to show off their little demonlings to us all. FoF (friend of friend) walked over to open the cage when I yelled “STOP!”. I successfully convinced him to not let the beasts out to fly, citing that we were all too drunk and were about to smoke some things so maybe the birds should stay put. He was very persistent, however, that we should all watch how they reacted to being sprayed with water from a spray bottle. “Oh they just LOVE it! Here, you try.” he said as he handed me the bottle. Yeah, I was happy as shit that I was going to get to water-pistol some birds and not have them, you know, peck me to death. But something weird happened as I approached the cage. Every single bird hopped over to a corner perch and huddled there in a shivering, feathery lump. Interesting. I sprayed once, twice, three times. You would have thought I’d spattered them with acid. Flesh eating, feather burning acid. They exploded from the corner of the cage like a birdsplosion, chirping shrilly and trying to get as far from me as possible. I felt so bad for them. So terrible. Yeah, right. I laughed like Cruella Deville eating a dalmation hogie. REVENGE! Sweet, sweet revenge. FoF took the bottle away from me and said “Wow. That is so weird! I have never seen them react to someone that way.” Even today when I think about that, I chuckle evilly to myself.

This was the utterly delightful retribution for Episodes One and Two.


So where was I? Ah yes. Pigeon from hell lands on my computer room window. TankCat lumbered back up to the half-wall after landing ass over teakettle on the sofa. Carefully she edged her way onto the top of the bookcase, a paw at a time. Cautiously she craned her neck around, looking that damned rat with wings in the eye. It moved it’s head slightly and she shot a foot in the air. I, of course, was practically peeing the carpet with hysterical laughter, which finally forced the pigeon to fly off to other birdly pursuits. Probably crapping all over my car. Not convinced that the pigeon was really gone, TankCat creeped – as much as a nearly 13 pound cat can creep – over to the window and the sill. I guess she had forgotten that she can’t fit on the sill or she misjudged where it was because she was so fixated on where that damn pigeon had gone that she slipped trying to walk onto the sill and ended up hanging by her front paws off of the sill, back feet scrambling like crazy to get a foot hold. I think this was the point I hunched my laughing ass to the toilet so I wouldn’t piss myself.

That made for a great afternoon and yeah it was funny as hell, but I know that pigeon was just a warning. The avian version of a severed horse’s head found in my bed. They are coming for me. I won’t know when and I won’t know where, but they are watching me. And when death comes, it will come on wings of fury.

*totally not it’s name.




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