Chloe one of our rescue cats, unfortunately is a well-known mouser and has a bad habit of bringing any quarry home relatively unharmed. We are on a first name basis with the veterinary nurses at our local practise as we regularly drop off various wildlife; baby hedgehogs, fledglings and on one occasion a young weasel to recuperate and be released back into the wild.
One day last week, Chloe dropped a sparrow on my bedroom floor and I thought initially it had expired from the shock but locked her and the other cats outside anyway whilst I could further investigate. Upon closer inspection the little sparrow was obviously playing possum and scooted speedily around the room. I feared it might break its neck as it frantically beat its wings against the patio door in an effort to escape and unfortunately, it was just too fast for me. A chase ensued but I had to admit defeat and returned to my sick-bed leaving the small bird to settle down.
Several hours later, I could hear the frenzied beating of wings against the window again as the small bird tried to escape. As it was so exhausted, this time, miraculously, I was able to capture it. As I held that delicate little creature in my hands I could feel it’s wildly beating heart and sense its overwhelming homing instinct.
With one hand I threw open the window and opened the other when the little sparrow flew off without a backward glance. Not for a heartbeat had that precious soul given up although terrified and fatigued. I was humbled and the self-pity I had been wallowing in for a week dispersed when I realised that no wild animal ever wasted a second on self-pity and rejoiced every moment that it breathed life. The lesson that little sparrow had taught me that morning was that life was way too short and there were so many beautiful reasons to be happy but the best reason of all was flying home to his family.