Sunday, June 03, 2007

The long, long journey home.

Our home was inspected by the Exotic Bird Rescue volunteer on Friday, and the volunteer said she was embarrassed to be inspecting us as our house was so clean and that approval was a given. We decided to take immediate action and drive down that night to Eugene, so we could fetch Sasha the next morning and be back by afternoon. I had already purchased her travel/quarantine cage, so we'd be ready to go as soon as we were given the good word.

The drive to Eugene was hellacious as we got shunted off the freeway in Portland due to poor signage and couldn't get back on due to a wretched festival that had clogged the streets with drunken idiots and blocked the freeway on ramps. We drove around downtown for almost forty minutes until we just gave up, got on northbound I-5 again and got off and on in a less congested area.

We made it to Springfield, where we were staying, at around 11:30 and checked into the Motel 6 in which I had reserved a room the second the inspector told us we had passed. It was cheap, and never, ever again will I let that be the deciding factor for a lodging choice. The pillows were tiny and flat and stank of cigarette smoke, the mattress was wretchedly uncomfortable and poky with aggressive springs and the towels had been soaked in bleach flogged against stones long enough to give them just the right texture to flay the flesh from our bones.

We got up with the wake up call and were more exhausted than when we had gone to sleep. We raced through breakfast and got to the coordinator's house at around 10:40. Sasha was out and waiting for us, and we wrote our check and ran. Christian held Sasha as he sat in the back seat until we reached the freeway, and he then put her in her cage to keep her safe.

She was so quiet and content sitting with him that it seemed a shame to put her in the cage, but it's simply not safe to have a loose pet in the car on the freeway. She took to her cage with a equanimity that was utterly unexpected and allowed us to feed and scratch her through the doors. For a bird purported to have cage aggression issues, she was remarkably placid. She hardly uttered a peep the entire ride back, and had no trouble stepping right up onto her beloved's finger to carry her in the house when we arrived home at around 4:30. We took the snakes upstairs to bask in the heat and set Sasha's cage up on the desk at the foot of the bed.

It's far too small for a bird her size to live in permanently, but it's just her quarantine cage for a month, and then she'll be moved to the large cage in the living room, next to the muffinhead.

She has been so silent as to almost be eerie. We've taken her in and out of her cage and outside and into the shower and all over and we're waiting for that damn shoe to fall from the sky. She's been too good. It just can't last. Our hearts are lost, though, so it won't matter if she decides that our fingers are all she wants to eat.

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