(preview of the full story still being edited)
Before I go further, I need to confess that I am not sure if the chick is a Tim or a Timothy.
Tiny Tim had a bit of a stressful day today.
At first I overslept and the birds were already chirping outside when I realized that the chick is still inside; so I put him out very quickly. He was again fast asleep and I did not know if he was dead or alive. My concern was that Mary would notice that the cage was missing and abandon her chick.
I did not have to wait long for her to arrive with breakfast.
It was a very hot and windless today. The heat was just hanging in the air with no wind to fan it.
The poor chick’s, mostly plastic, mouse cage must have been sweltering hot. The deep plastic bakkie (bowl), which I rigged out to be his temporary nest, must have made everything ten times worst.
At one stage I thought he was going to die from heat. He was sitting on the side of the nest with his mouth open and his head hanging, panting.
I went for the syringe and squirted a bit of water down his neck, which stressed him to the extent that he did not make the right chick sounds when Mary approached with food so she left, thinking he was full.
I exchanged the plastic bakkie with a little utility basket about cup size but when he sat on the side of it, it collapsed. Mary was hesitant to get near the cage, so I removed the basket and put a shallow cat food bowl in the cage at which time Mary attacked my head but, although she attempted to enter the cage about 20 times afterward, she seemed to be scared to get near it.
After much observation, I realized that the cat food bowl is blue and perhaps it is a color she did not like, so I had to disturb the poor chick once again to remove all bowls and replaced it with a simple fluffy white carpet made from some woolly cloth.
The chick managed to jump out of my hand, during the re-furnishing of his cage, and landed on the cement floor then scurried under the fridge.
By the time I managed to get him out from under the fridge it was already 5pm.
I stuck him back in the cage and decided that I was his worst enemy and if Mary still does not feed him it will be back to pro-nutro tonight.
Mary tried to entice Tiny Tim to leave that unsafe place by flying towards the cage then out to the bushes at first. He tried to follow his mother, but he is still too weak to get to the top of the cage.
To our delight Mary decided to recommence feeding again, she seemed to be content with the new nest arrangement.
I covered the cage with a towel and put it in a quiet room for the night. I hope that I do not oversleep, like this morning, again.