I've had a bit of a weird animal summer. Not quite as extreme as my weird animal week of long ago, but strange and wondrous nonetheless. There was the backyard bunny who lounged beside me one sunny afternoon in early June. He laid like a cat and gazed at me, not four feet away, completely at ease in a dust bowl he'd hollowed out under a bush. I was there first, hanging out in the grass, listening to the water fountain in the bird bath gurgle, when he hopped up, looked me over, shrugged his bunny shoulders and just flopped down. We hung out for about half an hour before I got up to go to work.
Then there were the flocks of robins who decided to play chicken with me on my walks in mid-July. I'd be sauntering along on the sidewalk or blacktop road and they'd zoom right past my belly, within touching distance, as if I was a car on the highway and this was their avian trial of courage. Over and over, day after day for several weeks, the robins swooped. They never swooped at me as a threat; it was always who can get the closest without the big human eating us.
And then, of course, the kitten, tossed out a car window like so much garbage. I was walking to work under my gigantic umbrella because it was raining, and saw an SUV type vehicle stop in the middle of the road half a block ahead of me, throw something out, then drive on. I thought it was a crumpled up lunch sack or something but it was a starved kitten. The vet said it was about three months old and weighed less than a pound. Using a syringe the vet gave me, I fed it every twenty minutes for weeks and force fed it water for half that time. It is now healthy and happy in its new home with its new and wonderful owners, a sleek and shiny silver tabby named Loki. The Norse god of mischief. Very appropriate.
Flocks of sparrows which don't fly away until they're practically under my feet, pigeons who dive bomb me, a dead Canadian goose on the path I take to work every day, and the young sparrow who decided my baby-talking was an invitation to "come on down" because he flew onto my head and sat for a while. I stood there, blinking, thinking, "Uh...little bird...I have to go to work. Please don't shit in my hair." It isn't the first time a random bird has flown onto my head but it hasn't happened for a good decade and a half. Thankfully, the little sparrow did not crap in my coif and I was able to go to work after he flew back up into the tree.
My mom called me from her nursing home two nights ago to tell me that a young kid I taught art classes to in high school had come to the home to sing and play his guitar for the clients there. When he found out who she was, he gave her his number to give me. I called to thank him for making my mom so happy and the first thing out of his mouth was, "Remember when we rescued that dog by the Williams' farm?"
Fundamental things stay the same.