Sunday, February 25, 2007

aching muscles

Well... going to bed early, taking Leponex very early, phone call from t-doc, alarm and two reminders on phone all failed to get me up and awake at 06h30. Not a total disaster, because I did leap up at 07h30, made coffee, fed the cats, slung all the birdies into baskets feeding as I went, put food out for stay-at-homes, and leaped into the swimming pool instead of having a bath. That confused hell out of the dogs... mommy washing her hair in somewhat chilly water while cursing fluently. Out the pool, into denims and rehab tee-shirt, birds in car as I delivered food to aviary birds, coffee as I ran back and forward past it, a gulp at a time. Probably a new record for me : wake up to closing gate in only twenty three minutes. So only about 15 minutes late - although it will probably result in a few more speeding fines. Last month I distinguished myself by getting 7 separate fines (these devious little cameras that they hide on the side of the road, and move every day or so. So by the time you find there was one there, it's gone elsewhere, and you can't go beat it to smithereens. Although, I have to confess that the same intersection got me three times in four days, twice going south, and then one going north.). None of them are really really fast - it's all things like doing 119 in a 100 km/h zone, or 91 in an 80 km/h zone. But they have recently increased the fines substantially, as well as lowering the limits for which they can haul you to court without the option of paying the fine. So I really need to work on leaving to go places with enough time so that I don't have to speed. Haha. With my current abysmal failing at doing anything when it should be done, I seem to permanently disorganised and late for things. Guess if there is nothing you want to do, and nowhere you want to go.....

So apart from working my way from one end of the clinic to the other, and then going back to the beginning because it was already time for the next feed, at least one of the other good volunteers came in unexpectedly. She is a 4th year vet student, so we could just divide the clinic in half and just do our bits without either of us having to check on the other. And it also means having someone to hold the birds when medicating. Especially the Gymnogene (African Harrier Hawk), which is a raptor about 24 inches long - and has lots of sharp, pointy bits that need to be restrained while a gastric tube is inserted and food and meds are tubed. It can be done singlehandedly, but much easier with someone to hold the bird. None of the afternoon shift turned up, so there will be crap about that next week, but luckily the morning shift were very generous with time, and prepared all the afternoon feeds for the cases that are in outside aviaries. That helped enormously.

Worst bit : finding a dead Barn Owl in one of the outside aviaries when I did a round to check on all the cases. I hate it when owls die. And Barnies have such sweet, lovable little faces. I don't think anyone at the centre doesn't have a really soft spot for them.

Best part : getting a call for a large lizardy thing that needed catching and relocation from a suburban garden. Info - a metre long, up a tree, very angry. No idea of what exactly it was. Our indigenous monitors and iguanas are normally very aggressive. They can take a finger off with a bite, and have been known to break ribs and fingers with a lash of the tail. No-one else willing and able to take the call. Most of the calls like this one are done by either Bosslady or me, and there are about another 4 people who could do it, but no-one around today. So I went to catch the beastie, armed with gloves, nets, large dustbin to transport him in, and my fingers crossed that I wouldn't screw it up and lose him. It was also the first time I had been able to sit for longer than a minute all day (time was 12h50). With lots of help from the home owners who'd called us, I eventually netted and binned one very unhappy Green Iguana - after I'd been balancing on a 4m ladder and sawing off branches so that I could get my net around to where he was sitting. Needless to say, all this was done with sweat dripping and adrenalin pumping.

Longest part : trying to be friendly and polite to everyone, when all I wanted to do was just run for home and cry.

What I would like most right now : someone to hold and love and who would be very generous and massage my neck and shoulders into some semblance of pain-free movement. Wishful thinking...

And I'd better move my fat butt into the bed and get some sleep before another shift in the morning.

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