We soon got our first group of week-old baby birds, who had to have a goopy mixture of cat food (the irony) and Gerber’s beef baby food syringed into their ever-gaping gullets every 30 minutes from sunup to sunset. Later they got worms (yuck) and assorted fruits and veggies. They’d stand on each others’ heads trying to beat their siblings out for food and sometimes even hoard it in the corner just so the other guys couldn't have it. I kept asking myself, “where have I seen this behavior before? Oh, yes – the kids!”
Per regulations, a room in our home (absent a garage, Henry’s room since he was away at college) became a (posted!) Department of Fish and Game Satellite Facility requiring a yearly inspection of the facilities. As I told the inspector, the room had been previously occupied by wildlife for some 20 years, although not always with the level of cleanliness that it now boasted.
As an interesting side note, I always knew that my grandmother (who died before I was born) earned a Ph.D. in zoology in 1910. What I learned from a relative during my volunteer tenure was that her specialty had been ornithology, and particularly, song birds.
Olof and I were well into our second six-month baby bird season when my career as a savior of sparrows came to a precipitous end. Someone at work complained about my birds (my boss?) and the administration nixed animals in the workplace. But I have fond memories of that time.
As for my sea lion, I was amazed and delighted to get a call from Sea World several hours after they’d retrieved my moribund pinni-pup, reporting that he had indeed made it, and was responding well to treatment. So keep this number handy, folks. And people who want to write to me and say this is just the cycle of nature and I should have left him there to die, save yourself the trouble. It made my whole week.