• Rae Gellel

Rae's Rescue Journal: Eight Things that Happened this Week

1) I went out to buy wax worms from a pet shop.

They’re a kind of moth larvae that are commonly sold as food for reptiles. I hate buying live food, but the baby birds I’m hand-rearing are reliant on them.

Anyway - on the way back home, I stopped at a corner shop to get a bottle of water, but at the counter, found myself suddenly short of change. Flustered, I started rummaging through my over-stuffed bag, taking the pots of wax worms out and stacking them on the counter absent-mindedly while I searched for a 20p coin.

I found one, looked up at the shop-keeper triumphantly – and realised that she was staring in abject horror at the pots of crawling, wiggling things on the counter. She took the 20p from me like it was infectious.

2) I have several special-needs cats that are not able to roam freely outside because their disabilities put them at risk. So I’m perhaps overly paranoid that one will escape, and frequently do a ‘head count’ throughout the day to reassure myself that they're all accounted for. During one such head count, I couldn’t find two of the cats; Fritz, who has a cleft palate, and Mylo, who has cerebellar hypoplasia (a neurological disorder). Twenty minutes later I had turned the house upside down, was sweating profusely and on the verge of full blown panic, when I had a bolt of inspiration.

I went into the garden and opened the chicken coop. There they both were, dozing peacefully in the straw. Fritz was laying on an egg.

3) Clare Elsey - who I recently interviewed – rescued a baby magpie that had been shoved out of the nest by it’s parents, and dropped it at my house to be hand-reared with other magpies. She didn’t have a box on her, so had it in her hands – and managed to show up at exactly the same time as a very, very bewildered Amazon delivery driver.

4) I’m currently hand rearing two fledgling crows, before they're sent to be released with a wildlife rescue. After a very long, tiring day with a 6AM start to feed the baby birds, I gave them a bowl of fruit. At least I thought I did – when I checked on them ten minutes later, there was no fruit anywhere in the cage. So I filled the bowl again. Checked an hour later, and again, no fruit. You’re exhausted, I thought, you forgot; so I filled the bowl again. And when I came back, you guessed it – no fruit.

So I searched the cage, and found this stash under a puppy pad. Reassuring to know that my mental breakdown is still a few weeks off.

5) While the cats were in the chicken coop, the chicken was here;

6) My friend Marta and I almost got into an altercation with a twelve-year-old boy who was chasing pigeons with a stick in Woolwich. After we told him, through gritted teeth, to knock it off, he kept hovering with his stick, waiting.

We decided we couldn’t leave while the kid was there, so ended up sitting for about forty minutes in a kind of Mexican-stand-off with this twelve-year-old/probable future serial killer.

7) I managed to get the magpie mentioned above to gape (open his mouth for food, like he would for his parents) using this penguin puppet;

8) Also, I got this text message;