The Case of Patches and Miley

I began a post today, a post I’ve been writing for the last hour, that intended to make the world understand the absolute insanity I put up with.  It also attempted to purge and cathart, something I still drastically need.  But trash talking members of this family is something I have promised myself I wouldn’t do here.  I think for the most part I’ve been good at leaving it out.  Lately, however, I’ve had even more taken from me, seen just the worst behavior, lost a resource, and have been treated like a child.

I’m frustrated.  To say the least.  It followed me into my dreams.  It isn’t bad enough that days after encounters I walk around muttering made up conversations with these people?  Sometimes, those made up conversations are to get them to understand.  Sometimes it’s just to get them where they hurt.  But those two are the same.  The truth hurts.  I’m left trapped in a red bubble that eventually weakens and pops days later and then I can let go.  Then I can appreciate beautiful things again.

I’m trying to do that today, despite the realistic and traumatizing nightmare, (more like anxiety dream but, potato, potato, right?) I had this morning.  Despite the hours I sat here at this table when I could have been sleeping.  Despite knowing I’m right and justified and also powerless.

This is the dark side of caretaking.

But I’m trying to focus on the beautiful things.

So I will end today’s post with the story of Patches and Miley.

A few years ago my husband installed a bird feeder outside of Babu’s kitchen window.  She sits in one chair a large portion of the day and has one view of the world.  So we bring her birds.  This year, Adam got a bird seed variety with fruit, and it has attracted new birds.  He does his research.  We’ve had many cardinals and blue jays and Babu has been fascinated.

The other day Babu calls me into the kitchen.

“Is that a large animal on the thing out there?”

A squirrel.  Hanging from the screen of our window to the feeder.  I’m delighted.  She’s not pleased.  Granted, he is eating all of the food and gnawing apart the feeder, piece by piece.

So Adam gets a new feeder and installs it.  Babu sees it and says things like:

“It looks like a house!”

and:

“What a nice surprise!”

I make sure Adam knows of her reaction.  He forgets the fruit seed, however.  We still get sparrows, and mourning doves, my least favorite, HATE those birds, and these large beautifully patterned brown birds.  I believe they are woodpeckers but they don’t have that bright magenta spot at the back of their heads.  They like the suet that goes in the baskets on the side of the feeder.  Really cool feeder, very thoughtful.

Since its installation, I’ve noticed an increase in bird poop, even far from the feeder.  There is also splatters of fat with sometimes a seed sticking out of it plastered all over the side of the house anywhere near the feeder.  They are not neat animals.

But it’s worth it.  Sometimes they become aware of their surroundings and hang on the screen or sit on the sill of the kitchen window and check us out.  We must be the zoo to them.  Whenever Babu sees that she calls the bird a nosy Nell.  It brightens my day.

So early this sleepless morning I sat next to the kitchen window to write and the birds had long begun their feeding frenzy.  Well, right up the pole comes our squirrel friend to do his acrobatic food gathering.  He is a black squirrel with several light patches, one blatant one around his right eye.  (I confess, I fed him peanuts one day and we got to know each other real well.  I’m the reason he is here.  Oops!)

I decided he could eat for a while, then he had to go.  So after a while, a several returns to the feeder I opened the window and shewed him away.  And again,  and again.  And he wouldn’t even go far.  He stayed on the side walk right under the feeder looking at me.  I needed a loud noise.  I turned to youtube and cued up the perfect mix of sounds to keep him away, possibly for good.

So every time he came back up the pole I held my phone up to the window.

“I came in like a wreaking ballllll.”

So far it’s pretty effective.

Update:  It has been 24 hours since I wrote this post and I have not seen Patches since.  I have, however, had that song stuck in my head!

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