Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Category: small furries (Page 2 of 12)

The Bird Lady

cape20white-eye20pewaAs the year closes in I want to write a little post, a story, that is also a slice of positivity and synchronicity amongst the gloom and news of another celebrity death.

This my story of the bird lady.

About three weeks ago I was still in bed, on my laptop, when Big Friendly came charging into the bedroom. “Jonesie has bird!” Jonesie, our in-and-out cat, who moved in from someone else’s house, is good at catching things and leaving their carcasses on the doorstep as gifts. Actually, considering how well fed he is (read fat) I am sure he steals the bodies from the less well nourished and more desperate street cats in our ‘hood. It is a pretty grim job for Big Friendly to clean up. We have thrown away at least four doormats. This time we both assumed Big Friendly would have to separate Jonesie from the body and throw it away, but then I heard, “It’s still alive!” Big Friendly closed me in the bedroom with all the dogs (2) and cats (3).

He managed to get the little thing into the courtyard and closed the door to stop any further animal investigation or murder. Now what? He kept going out to check and the little pigeon was alert and alive and he couldn’t see where, or if, it was hurt. I am not a bird person. Touching birds makes me feel really funny and uncomfortable, and injured birds really freak me out. I wouldn’t even go and look.

Now we were going to have to ask our neighbour to come and be brave enough to euthanise it, except he wasn’t around. We needed to go the vet anyway to get cat food (oh the irony) and at the vet we asked if we couldn’t bring the bird to be humanely (oh the irony) put down. And the receptionist said, “Here is the phone number of the bird lady. See if she can’t help.”

Brenton called the bird lady and went to drop off the bird to see if it was saveable. He took it, wrapped in a kikoi in the cat box (just to extend the irony a little further). He left it in a special bird-leaving-basket at the bird lady’s gate because she wasn’t home at the time, and followed up with her later. She said a bit of medicine and rest was all it needed. It would survive. The bird lady was a miraculous discovery.

A week or so later I started telling my close friend the story. He was shocked. Just a week before he had taken a baby Cape White Eye baby bird to the bird lady. He had pried the jaws of his cat open to release the teeny thing, and fed it (the wrong stuff that the internet had suggested) every hour, before finding out about the bird lady and taking it to her for saving. When he told the story to another mutual friend she too told her bird lady story; similar in cat assassin and rescue result.

Finally I discovered that another friend had contacted the bird lady for advice about finding a missing parakeet. Her advice was taken and Harvey was found, by my friend, with the help of the bird lady.

I am so grateful and moved that there is a bird lady. Just knowing she is out there, on a mission to help and save birds, makes my world a tiny bit better.

behind the tree

wintry-wood-epping-forest-e1356721602980I was watching this movie tonight. It was a movie by Laurie Anderson. It was called Heart of A Dog, and it is kind of about her dog Lolabelle, and it is about the death of her mother and her friend and America as well, and mostly it is about death because it is a movie dedicated to Lou Reed, who was Laurie’s long time big love who died.

The thing about this movie is it isn’t the usual kind, with a beginning, middle and end. It has strands of stories, and some even fizzle out and come back later, with different pictures, and even different words, and some stories have two endings, and others stop in the middle, or before they even get started. They are a philosophy story moment.

The other confusing thing about this movie is that everything in it is true, from a story point of view, but not necessarily from a true point of view. So, you spend time in your head saying, “that is incredible, but did it really happen? Really? In real life?” And you don’t really know. And it’s so important and not important at exactly the same time. “Is that really, really where she lives?” “Is that really, really where Lolabelle came from?” “Is there really a Goya painting that is just gold ‘stuff’ with a tiny dog head at the bottom?” “Did she really almost drown, and then save, her twin baby brothers?” And while you are asking yourself these questions you are also understanding that truth is a feeling, and sometimes it is the wrong question, and a thing doesn’t need to be true to be real, in story time, because everything is about meaning.

In one ‘scene’ there are these awesome bare trees, moving in the snow. Everything is black and white, with tons of swirling snow falling, and black branches waving in the wind and snow. I became interested in one tree, because if you looked at it long enough it seemed to have a personality different from the others somehow. It seemed to move a little less, in a slower time to the others. Picture this; Laurie Anderson’s amazing, lyrical voice, saying things about dogs and death, her haunting music, and trees in the snow. And I am sure there was a ghost there behind that tree. A ghost short enough to be a dog, on all fours, behind the tree. And if I were a ghost, any ghost, waiting to move on, or forever earthbound somehow, I would choose that tree to be behind while I waited, for the next thing.

In the movie she suggests we come back to this, or another, world as another life. If I could choose, in that time of waiting, I would choose to be a dog, behind a tree, or a tree, in front of a dog.

This movie broke my heart a lot. It’s a huge responsibility of a movie. I loved it and it made me cry. And I came home and spoke words to my dogs, forgiving them for not being artistic, like Lolabelle. I don’t need them to be anything other than receivers of our love. 6a00d8341c630a53ef0133f519c826970b-pi

This blog post is part of a tandem blog post. 7 writers have been inspired by the same topic, Behind the Tree. Go here to read the next one. Candice D’arcy

Goodbye to Hei Hei and other musings

There are some people that know the name and make of every kind of car. My 10 and 12 year old nephews are specialists, and can quote what the interiors of the Ferrari blah blah blah are made of. Some people sit in the middle, like me, and  know the make and even model of their own car, and completely over identify with anyone else who drives the same, and then there are those that lose their cars in the parking lot and only know what colour their own car is. Sometimes, they won’t even know the make.

My friend Susan drove up behind me as I arrived at Deer Park, and I got excited because we were driving the same make and model. I pointed and waved. She thought I was just saying hi. I was like, look. She was, what?

IMG_4896Anyway, the reason I was meeting her was so I could say goodbye to Hei Hei, Susan’s 17 year old dog, who is literally on her last legs. I was how Susan came to have Hei Hei (a very long and amazing story involving seven Taiwanese rescues).

We sat under the trees, and Hei Hei sniffed and swam and waddled, and my two young dogs of the new generation gambolled and jumped and swam and rolled. And it was beautiful and the time is right and she leaves this planet after an amazing journey too huge to write down here.

Thank you Susan for giving me this afternoon, this marker, this passage, this moment. Thank you Hei Hei for being 100% amazing and special. I will never forget how you sang, and how Gally, your perfect white sister dog of my heart also sang.


It’s a Sunday evening and I’ve had a gin and tonic. Earlier we sat on the stoep and brushed four out of five animals (the fifth had been brushed earlier and was asleep on the bed). I cannot explain the calm happiness that filled me.

I went with my friend to choose a kitty from Lucky Lucy this morning and we lazed in the young cat enclosure. Because it was clear in my mind that I didn’t need to choose a kitty myself I could love them all, and I did. So many kitties, so much loving. What an amazing place, filled with love and light. Finally, my friend made up her mind, and chose the sweetest little boy to join her family. My heart was exploding. He was one I would have chosen if I could have.

My year is slowing down, allowing lovely space for the loving of animals.

Chassie is Back

Photo on 2015-10-15 at 6.34 AM #2Thank you each and every one of you who messaged, shared, called, came to look in gutters, gave advice, support and comfort. Chase is back home, and lying at my feet, after a dramatic search and rescue. My life and heart can return to normal.

For those of you interested, here is the long and boring detail of what happened. I now know that it can happen to anyone, with any type of cat, even a fat, 8 year old, layabout, Big Lubowski personality. Brenton went to call Chassie in (on Tuesday evening), as he does every evening at about 7. I had left 10 minutes before to go to the Alexander Bar to watch the CityVarsity 3rd year final work. I got home at about 9pm to find a frantic Big Friendly on the stoep and no sign of Chassie. At first we thought that he might have climbed up into the engine or bumper of my car and driven with me to the theatre. Our worst and most paranoid fear. The one we visualised endlessly, the whole of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

All the obvious things were done. Vets, animal shelters and groups were called, emailed, and face booked. Posters were put up and flyers made. Big Friendly did the rounds, looking for a body. At 5pm yesterday we took our flyers and started going door to door in the neighbourhood, and our neighbours were sweet, and concerned and attentive. Some people felt sure they had seen him. Our last stretch of the search took us to the street behind and parallel to our one (we share an alley between us). People there told us there were lots of cats in the area. I saw a few in an alleyway and kssed to them. They perked up alertly. And then we heard meowing from across the road. It was clearly Chassie’s voice. It took a while to identify that he was hiding in a gap between two sections of a roof, and he was terrified, but, clearly, recognised our voices. I waited with him and spoke to him while Big Friendly walked home to fetch our long step ladder and the cat box (genius idea) and then there we were, hoisting our ladder onto a stranger’s house and coaxing Chassie into the cat box.

He was dirty, ravenous and terribly needy. I hope he has learned his lesson. We tried to read him the riot act but he just started purring, and hasn’t stopped since.

I have a lot to be grateful for, starting with his return. But then there are friends, family, animal lovers, neighbours, organisations and total strangers who helped. Thank you. Chassie is home (and may never be allowed out again).

The He(art) of it all

This is a really hard post to write, but not because of its content or intention. I am writing it with an aching heart, because last night when I went to the theatre our cat Chassie went missing and hasn’t returned. I have conflated the two things and keep thinking that he climbed up into the inside engine part of my car and that I drove off with him and lost him on the way to the Alexander Bar. This is him.


He has a white ringed eye and a black one, making him look quizzical. And his markings give him a side parting. I cannot imagine life without him and I need everybody’s help in bringing him home.

But back to the theatre. I witnessed the CityVarsity 3rd year degree acting project last night and, honestly, I was so impressed. I was impressed that the students thought to invite me and I was super impressed with their self created texts, great concept work, and fantastic, slick and convincing performances. I thought the work was original, fresh, very brave. It was also funny, relevant, moving and powerful. I have been known to be harshly critical of student work, but Inez Robertson, Genna Blair, David Traub, Annemie Jordaan, Lobke Hein, Lizelle Bernado and Dan-Marie Viljoen you changed my mind about sloppy student work. Also, Sanjin Muftic, Jane Batzofin and Genna Gardini you can be very proud of your students.

I look forward to working with you young talents in the future.

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