I opened the door just in time to see the boy grab the cat by the tail and scruff of the neck and give him a good toss. Before I could say anything about his mistreatment of the cat, it became clear that there was something small and helpless involved.
"I found something!"
"What is it?"
"I don't know, it looks weiwd."
It was a baby bird, a robin we're pretty sure, and it did indeed (especially to a five year old boy who had never seen a bird that young) look weird.
Just a sleepy little bird.
So we fed him. Little bits of earthworm that we chopped up with scissors. Every half hour to an hour... all day long. It was fun for the whole family, but then again, we were taking turns. After some internet research, I began to think I wasn't quite up to toting a bird around with me for the next three or four weeks. And how on earth would I teach it to fly?
Our vet put us in touch with a local wildlife rehabber who said she would be happy to take the fledgling. There was some protesting of course. The babes couldn't understand why it wouldn't be safe to keep a tiny bird in a home with two cats, or why we couldn't take it to the park for a whole day with seventy first graders, or to the pool next week. So, I got to be "bad mommy" for a minute, but we patched things up. With a little ice cream.