So there I was, staggering around in my usual early morning fog, single firing brain cell fixed on the imminent prospect of tea, when I heard a rustling, followed by the unmistakeable patter of paws. Since unidentifiable noises interspersed with cat noises generally indicate that there is something going on that humans ought to be aware of, I turned around. Both cats were prowling around the woodstove, sniffing and peering in the front glass. And each time they did there was a rustle- no a fluttering of terrified wings. After considering for several minutes the chances of me getting myself around a cup of something hot and caffinated before the terrified bird did himself an injury, I sighed, and considered options for removing it. First and foremost was the need to deal with the cats, since I regarded the prospect of overexcited felines as decidedly not a benefit to this exercise. On further contemplation, it was quickly evident that any option that involved confining said overexcited felines away from the action was going to make enough noise that my sweetie was unlikely to sleep through it. Add to that the desire for moral and physical support, and I went to the bedroom and woke up my husband. "I need a hand here," I told him.
He awoke reluctantly and regarded me with instant suspicion . "With what?"
"There's a bird in the woodstove."
He made a face that suggested he'd rather bury his head under a pillow until I went away, but extricated himself from the bed, donned a bathrobe, and followed me out to the kitchen. "I have no idea how to get it out," he protested.
"That's okay," I told him. "Neither do I."
We both looked at the stove. Cookie had concluded that however interesting it was, he couldn't get to it in the stove, and had gone out to the sun porch. Biscuit, however, was still peering into the window of the stove and terrorizing the bird into paroxysms of fright. "First let's remove the cats," I suggested. I scooped up Biscuit and shut him, protesting, in the bedroom. Cookie was corralled on the porch and relocated to the bathroom. The noises of indignant cats pawing at the door, interspersed with occasional meows from Biscuit accompanied me back to the kitchen.
"I'd thought of using a large tin," I said, referring to one of the giant popcorn tins I usually use for yarn.
"How about a garbage bag?" Jonathan said.
"Sure." A garbage bag was light enough not to harm the bird and flexible enough to fit over the door of the stove. We opened doors, and readied our bag. We had neglected however to consider the bird's point of view. He clearly didn't think of the bag as something having space to fly into. He cowered in the back of the stove, staying well away from us.
We tried again, but the bird spotted his chance and swooped out of the stove, evaded the bag and headed straight to the closed windows in the living room, instead of out through the door. There he perched on the edge of the cat castle and gave us a wary look.
It was at that moment that Cookie managed to pry open the bathroom door and joined the fun. I snatched him up before he managed to sight his prey, and this time incarcerated him in the basement, which has a catproof latch on the outside.
My husband meanwhile tried to shoo the bird toward an outside access. The bird swooped back to the kitchen window- ignoring all three open doors. "You birdbrain!" Jonathan exclaimed, accurately enough.
There ensued a brief period wherein two barely clad humans chased the bird back and forth from window to window, just barely managing to cut him off from getting into the upstairs (which would be quite hard to get him out of), and finally, with much cursing and flapping of bathrobes, managed to chase him out the door.
Fortunately, it was still early enough that there was no one out on the street to appreciate this spectacle. My husband went back to bed. I got my tea. The bird lived to cheep another day. And the only disappointed ones were the cats, who prowled around the woodstove and kitchen after their release, complaining that they'd been left out.