Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Week Eleven: A Bird in the Box

Pikachu, the Budgie

Well. I knew college was full of surprises, but I didn’t think that a budgie was one of them.  A budgie, you ask?  Well yes, I see.  It’s a type of small parakeet, frequently found in pet stores, that mostly comes in a variety of yellows, greens, and blues with white and black markings.  Possibly.  This one happened to be very yellow, and very cold.

Not that I blame it.  It was around 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

It was also very domesticated.  I know this, because it flew up on a friend.  Quite literally.  He called a halt to our LARP battle to reveal a small yellow bird laying on his chest, cuddling him quite fiercely.

Of course, all this happened while there was a small gaming convention occurring inside the University Center, a suddenly not so scant 100 feet away.  Luckily, a box was found, and the people running the convention were summoned to help figure out what to do.

Meanwhile, of course, a group of around 20 bystanders has gathered, and no one has any clue what to do.  My eyebrow feels a twitch coming on.  In quite firm agreement with the eyebrow, I suggest calling maintenance to get the poor bird inside until further plans are made.  They are, after all, the only ones available on weekends.

No one called.  No one knew the number, or knew how to look it up.  Instead, the people in charge and I  decided to make other plans.  I put my cloak over the box to aid in warming the small cold thing, and someone with a car volunteered, then asked for someone else with a GPS in their phone, and someone who knew…okay, I’m still not certain why he was there, but he proved important later.

Oh.  Don’t be stuck on the bit about the cloak.  LARP means Live Action Role Play, and I have great fun doing so in costume.  Plus, it was cold.  I needed the dratted thing to protect against the wind.  Well, now the budgie needed it more.

It took three tries to find an open vet, and after the second, we finally just searched for an emergency animal clinic.  This is around 5 pm by the way, on a Saturday.  Yes, the emergency clinics were the only ones open.  It’s a Saturday.  They need a break too.

We spoke to the vet at the clinic.  The vet examined the bird, gave us a breed, offered to take it over, but admitted the owners had little hope of finding it that way, and said that she couldn’t find any more information on the bird, because the band on is leg was of no use.   This apparently just shows it’s domesticated.

Drat.  Still, it wasn’t a bird specific clinic, and most vets don’t have an awful lot of avian visitors.  At least we knew it was in good health.  From there, now in a rather unfamiliar part of town, and with sunset rapidly approaching, we needed to find a pet supply place.

We found PetCo shortly after the sun disappeared and a cage and basic supplies were located.  The bird in the meantime, had acquired a name, and had his gender identified.  Pikachu, a male.  I did not name the Budgie.  But I liked it more than Pidgeotto and Zapados. I fiercely defended the name Pikachu.  It was two against two, but as the other two in the car couldn’t agree on a name, the united front won out.  For now, no doubt.

Well, what do you expect? He was small, yellow, and found during a gaming convention.   At one point, he flew inside even.  There’s more than one reason the box was needed.  With the supplies, we now had to return, temporarily.  Most of us had left a wide variety of our things there after all, and it was there that we met up with the temporary care provider.

That mysterious fourth person earlier?  He turned out to know someone who loved animals, and had family in the area that also loved animals, and needed to change the food and water daily for those animals, so could do the same for Pikachu.  This is important, as everyone but the driver had called at least two other people, and no one else found anyone else who could take a poor helpless bird in immediately.

However, it takes a bit of time to pull gamers away from a gaming convention, so, while everything was being set up, and the caretaker acquired, (and some of us ate dinner) the Budgie was snuck into the convention to hide in one of the empty back rooms, where he was allowed to wander around for a bit and stretch his wings outside the cramped box that he only barely fit in.

And don’t tell me we should have let him out earlier.  We let him out in the car, and that proved to be a poor idea, because he had to see out all the windows, and then he decided there was food on the mat of the driver’s side door.  Needless to say, we came to a very careful rolling stop in a parking lot.

The Budgie was put back in the box after this.  A PetCo he decided to fly off to another part of the store.  I am willing to bet this is not the first time this Budgie has gone missing.  He’s a runner.

Either way, he was soon back in the too small box on his way to his temporary accommodations, everything provided for until his still missing owner could be found.  As we believe it to be a student, most of us don’t have much hope.  He would have been an illegal pet on campus after all, and to claim it would be to invite trouble.

If the owner isn’t found, a bird lover has agreed to take him in on a more permanent basis, as it’s no good for a Budgie to be on his own like this, and I don’t think turtles in an aquarium count as companions.  I could be wrong. 

Or rather, permanent until this summer when, if the owner isn’t found, I will suddenly own a bird.

One Girl’s Byte: Do I now say I choose you Pikachu?

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