The box is not empty. It’s filled with an injured pigeon we’re hoping to nurse back to health.

Che spotted a bird in the pool this morning. It was just floating seeming without life. He rushed out to fish it from the pool and found that it was still alive, just barely. The water couldn’t have been more than 8 degrees (centigrade).

We put it on some absorbent kitchen paper to get rid of the water, wrapped him in newspaper because in addition to being waterlogged he was also hypothermic, or the bird equivalent of that.

It eventually began to shiver, a good sign that its body was reacting. We tried the hairdryer on the warm setting until I thought of the bean bag which I use for muscle spasm.

This made a huge difference. We put it on this on the window sill which gets quite warm during the day. Eventually its shivering stopped and the gasping stopped gasping and its breaths, initially slow and spaced apart, became a bit faster and seemed to be normalising.

©2016 Regina Martins
©2016 Regina Martins

Its lolling head lifted and it started to try to stand up. All good signs. We put him it a box facing the sun where it could protect its head.

I was on a business call a couple of hours later when I heard a hiss and scratching on the box. Nermal the cat, since woken from his lazy winter slumber on the couch discovered…lunch! Or so he thought. He was duly banished to the outdoors.

The pigeon was by this time up and about and we allowed it outside hoping that it’d fly away. We didn’t see any blood or other injury. But it just stood on the grass. Every time I looked out of the window there it was, still standing looking up at the trees. This was awfully strange and google said that sometimes injured pigeons can take up to 3 days to recover.

I called Che from the garage where he was working and we chased this pigeon (who can run fast but can’t fly) until we caught it. In the process of catching it he tried to fly away over the pool and it got half-way across before coming to land in the frigid water once again! And we saw that its wing, though not broken, is injured.

Rinse and repeat the morning’s activities. It’s now ensconced in a box, with a bean bag I keep on warming up, with some food and water. Tomorrow, with more time, we’ll take a look at his wing, see how bad the injury is and decide what to do then.

In between working, this was the day’s adventure. I hope the pigeon recovers. Irrespective of what people say about them, it’s still a living creature and I can’t see one suffer in my backyard where I could do something about it.

So, the box is not empty, it is full of pigeon we are going to do our damnedest to nurse back to health.