Happy Birthday, Luna
Be careful what you wish for…you just might get it. Peace River Wildlife Center recently celebrated our 34th anniversary and the 3rd birthday of Luna, our loveable little leucistic (albino) screech owl. Sharing the adorable cupcakes baked by a couple of PRWC’s wonderful volunteers, Luna requested that people coming to the Center to celebrate his birthday, bring eggs for his friends in lieu of gifts for himself. That was probably for the best, since he is partial to dead mice. Many people would prefer not to carry dead mice around. And I have it on good authority that the grocers at Publix look at you funny when you ask where the dead mice aisle is.
Luna was admitted to PRWC as a three-week old fledgling in the third week of April of 2013. We assigned him a birthday of April 1st. He was Mother Nature’s April fool’s joke, but the joke is on her because he is happy, healthy and well-loved here at PRWC. A little too well-loved maybe. We go through at least two dozen eggs a day— feeding cooked eggs, a great protein source, to many of our patients and residents. During baby bird season (gearing up right now, as we speak) we can go through twice that amount. So when the eggs started streaming in for Luna’s birthday, we were thrilled.
To say that we have a bit of a storage problem is like saying the Titanic had a bit of an iceberg problem. We received over 100 dozen eggs in the week surrounding Luna’s party. And while we are extremely grateful for the donations, we are also pretty darned sick of eggs right now. The eggs that we are unable to use before they expire have to be cracked into plastic containers, the yolks broken, and frozen until we need them. We had plenty of extra volunteers on hand to help with these tasks the day of the party, but we ran out of containers. And room in our on-site freezers.
Our stalwart volunteers cracked the remaining eggs into baggies and the plan was for me to take them to an off-site storage facility where we have a couple more freezers into which I could stow them. (The eggs, not the volunteers. People get funny when you try to “stow” them.) Now I have never been the kind of person who demands only brand name merchandise. I didn’t wear Izod polos as a child. I have never tried on a pair of Jimmy Choos. My purse is not D&G (Dulce&Galbanna), but KCD (Kmart Clearance Department.) But I do have a serious bone to pick with the generic ziplock baggie people who apparently did not get the memo that some people would prefer the tops of their product not pop open randomly. And I also now have the remnants of a couple dozen raw eggs soaked into the carpet of my car. That’s going to smell really good in a few days.
When I finally got the bagged eggs to the storage building, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to stack them into the freezer as planned. The slippery little devils would not lie flat or sit up on end. And the tops of the bags kept popping open. A quick trip to my favourite designer boutique, Walmart, was in order. I needed more plastic storage containers and I needed them tout de suite. That’s French for “yesterday.” (I apparently neither wear nor speak French.)
As I got closer to the store, I saw a sheriff’s deputy pulled over to the side of the road. His lights were flashing, but there wasn’t another car there. Uh oh. I peered around the front of his vehicle and saw he had pulled up to a lump on the shoulder of the road, protecting it from further injury. I swerved in just as my phone started to ring. It was the dispatcher reporting the incident. I told her I was on scene, but she kept giving me more information. I guess the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is just not used to transporter technology. Another sandhill crane had been hit by a car on deadly Jones Loop Road. She was bundled into the back of my car and taken to PRWC were she unfortunately passed away due to the spinal trauma she had suffered.
Having taken care of that emergency, I was back on Mission Crack Up. Whether that refers to the eggs or my sanity, only time will tell. I finally got the eggs transferred to containers and stashed in the freezers. I cleaned my car as best I could. With an hour or so before sunset, it was finally time to grab a bite of breakfast and relax. So how did you spend your day off?
by – Robin Jenkins, DVM