I have just had my very own Failure To Launch moment!
Perhaps you remember the film? Its where Sarah Jessica Parker has a job that involves getting grown men to fall in love with her - so much so, that they decide the time has come to leave home and venture out on their own, in the process.
Now don't panic [I almost typed "Don't panic Mr Mannering" as for some reason Dad's Army sprang to mind], I am not talking about making my eldest leave home at the grand old age of 13.
What I am talking about is the pigeon. In fact what has happened since 4pm today has been so reminiscent of a scene from Dad's Army that has been strangely combined with an episode of Faulty Towers, that it is no wonder the apt phrase sprang immediately to mind.
You see, I had decided that today was the day! Today the pigeon would fly free! So after a quick examination, I released it into the garden. Where it proceeded to sit on the grass and regard me as if I was insane [it may have a point there, granted].
Unlike every other bird I have rescued and rehabilitated, this one did not want to leave! So I went indoors and watched it through the window.
It wasn't long before next door's cat had realised something unusual was afoot. Stealthily, it wound it's sleek, black, lithe body along the fence, watching the pigeon with beady eyes. The pigeon flapped its wings, fluttered and failed to fly off. It seemed that its flight feathers were not quite long enough.
Now normally I would have waited till they were equal in length to the ones on the other side but recently the bird seemed eager for the off, so I took it at its word, as it were. But clearly it could not gain momentum or enough height to scarper quick-smart.
Well what's a girl to do? I couldn't let the cat have Fluffy [yes, I know, stupid name for a bird] for its tea. I hadn't looked after it for nearly three months just to fatten it up for the cat...
So there I was, chasing the cat off and racing round the garden in my crocs playing catch the pigeon, whilst the dogs watched me from the conservatory, huge grins on their faces, wondering what the game was and why they couldn't join in...
I tore around the garden, heart thudding in my chest, talking to this bird and telling it that it would just need to stay a little longer, for it's own sake. Luckily it listened and believed me and was easily caught once more. If anything, it seemed relieved when I deposited it back in its cage!
So if you are reading this and wondering if I am completely crazy, I have to tell you that sometimes, in the very darkest hour of the night, I wonder that too!
Anyway, for now the pigeon is back in its cage...let's hope the next time brings success ! If not, I may well be signing its name under all of ours on the Christmas card list this year....