I looked up the stairs into the living room. More chaos. An upended table. Dirt all over the carpet. Window curtains down. Sofa cushions on the floor. Three cats on high alert.
“Who started this?” I demanded. No one looked at me. They didn’t look at each other, either.
“Who did this?” Not a muscle moved.
I followed the trail of damage into the dining room and found the focus of cat attention. Clinging to my lovely macramé Roman shade: a Starling. The biggest Starling in Lake County. With the big, brave cat leading the way the other three trailed behind me. The Starling flew straight through the pass through into the kitchen and landed on top of a cupboard.
I called the police. “There’s a Starling in my house, come get it out.” The Mentor police didn’t do that. I assured them I would not be hanging up. They gave me Fish and Wildlife’s number. No answer there, so I called back to the police, who told me it was after working hours. No kidding. I was in my kitchen at six pm, wanting out of my suit and three inch heels and into a pot of coffee and supper. Once again I was not hanging up until someone came for the Starling. They offered me the “after hours” number for Fish and Wildlife emergencies, but cautioned me a fish and wildlife emergency was defined as a rabid raccoon or a deer that ran into a car.
Still in my yellow silk suit and three inch heels, with three cats sitting at my feet, staring at a Starling that stared back, I called Fish and Wildlife emergency. A lovely lady. Her husband, the Ranger, was down at the Chagrin River, releasing Coho salmon. No idea when he would be back, but she would let him know.
I left the kitchen, but the cats didn’t, so I hustled them outside. Sweatpants and a raggedy T shirt were all I could manage. I wanted a cup of coffee, but the starling was right above the coffee maker. I wanted something to eat, too, but the starling was in my kitchen. I cleaned up the mess in the other two rooms and the hallway. That Starling did not budge for the vacuum, just glared at me whenever a new load went in the trash can. The cats kept slamming the garage door. They could open the screen door, but the interior door was shut and they were not pleased.
I sat on the couch. At eight o’clock I called the lovely wife again. Oh, yes, she’d radioed him and he knew. He was still releasing fish. I turned on the TV and pretended there was no Starling in my kitchen and my cats weren’t slamming the garage door.
At nine o’clock my TV shouted “I’m at that lady’s place. Over.” I ran to the front door, let the Ranger in and took him to the kitchen, babbling about the starling, the mess, the cats. He took off his jacket and swung a sleeve up at the Starling. The bird sailed to the ground. The Ranger dropped his jacket over the bird, scooped him up and went to the front door, which I opened for him. He opened his jacket and the Starling flew away.
The Ranger got back in his Fish and Wildlife car, picked up his radio and said “I’m leaving that lady’s place. Over.” I made a pot of coffee and went to bed. I had to get back up and let the cats in because they wouldn’t stop slamming the door.