January 29, 2007

"This duck has taken us all on an emotional rollercoaster."

Oh, for the love of Daffy! I hope it's only the British press -- in some incomprehensible British eccentricity -- that's covering the duck-in-the-refrigerator story:
"But once the surgeon started sewing her back up she stopped breathing again, this time for 15 seconds."

When a second thump failed to bring Perky round, veterinary surgeon David Hale tried manipulating the duck's beak, before using a needle to shock her into consciousness.

At one point the duck was given pure oxygen through a face mask, Ms May said.

"At that point the vet turned and said: 'I'm sorry, she's gone.'"

The room fell into shocked silence as those present took in the news, but then Perky raised her head and began flapping her wings.

The relief reduced everyone to tears, Ms May said, describing one of her colleagues as "extremely emotional" as she left the room.

"For the duck to have gone through all of this and then to die at that time was a real shock," Ms May said.
This is a duck shot by a hunter and put in the refrigerator, presumably, to be eaten soon enough. Manipulating the duck's beak? This should become an idiomatic expression along the lines of "pulling my leg."

We've talked about this story before, and as one commenter said, why is it at all surprising that a duck can live in a refrigerator? They live outside. The appalling thing is that the hunter put the duck in the refrigerator in a condition that was survivable. As Meade said: "what sort of slob duck hunter fails to field dress or breast out the game upon retrieval while it is still warm?"

31 comments:

Palladian said...

I have more sympathy for this duck than that stupid cat in the wall. Remember that? At least this duck was just out being ducky and got shot through no fault of its own. That cat got itself stuck!

Maybe they should let the cat in the wall eat the duck in the refrigerator.

MadisonMan said...

So -- the duck is in the fridge for two days, living and excreting. I hope it was on the bottom shelf. If it was on the top shelf, just above the jello salad that's going to the Church Potluck, well maybe I'll just skip that potluck.

Zeb Quinn said...

So -- the duck is in the fridge for two days, living and excreting.

Yikes! And me, ever since this story broke, I've just been trying to feature the sort of people who'd put a an uncleaned undressed dead animal straight from the wild into the kitchen refrigerator alongside the cheese, lunchmeat, and last night's leftovers, not even thinking about that.

Al Maviva said...

Manipulating the duck beak?

I prefer moving the mallard mouth, or probing the pecker.

Drew W said...

Although this Duck-Rises-Phoenix-Like-From-Near-Death story took place in Florida, I somehow can't shake the notion that the British are as fascinated by it as they are on events at the Big Brother house. Their affection for animals seems a bit, shall we say, extreme.

A few weeks ago, my cat had some difficulty with her digestive system (the less said about that the better), so I surfed lots of veterinary-care sites for ideas on how to deal with it. On one of many pet-care sites based in England, I read a query from a cat owner who was upset that her little kitty was killing birds in the garden. The site's host suggested that the owner tie a bell around the cat's neck, to warn the birds away. All I could think was, "Whose side are you on?" Last time I checked, cats -- even the compact, domestic variety -- are predators, and their desire to kill other animals is integral to what makes them cats in the first place. I had an image in my mind of some well-intentioned British vegan lecturing his tabby that modern society has moved beyond such aggressive behavior.

Sadly for my housebound cat, all she gets to eat is Science Diet Adult Cat Hairball Control Formula, but I respect her innate bloodlust. (And I offer her hearty congratulations when she stalks, torments and eviscerates any unfortunate waterbug that wanders into the house.) When the TV news recently ran a segment on the man whose wife saved him from a mountain lion attack, I just skritched her consolingly behind the ears and said, "I know, I know. It's all so anti-cat."

Mark the Pundit said...

It is not just the British media - CNN has a video story on their website as I type this.

Hey said...

On the belled cat: a very large fraction of the reason why people buy cats is to kill things. Mice, insects, birds, they're all animals that the cat will chase away if not kill, protecting the house. That's, um, why they joined up, just as dogs joined up for that kind of thing as well as helping with hunts. Ok well they joined up for effortless food and heat, and do the killing thing as their chores.

Those sharp teeth aren't built for munching bits of cornmeal kibble. The claws aren't for dicing salad. Idiotic sentimental people who forget who and what they are and what side they're on are everywhere.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

This isn't that uncommon. a number of years ago, returning from a goose hunting trip my father and his hunting buddy noticed they were getting more than the ususal amount of attention at the stoplights. As it turns out one of the Geese was only faking death so that he coud get a ride in one of those new fangled automobiles. Apparently for some time he'd been up and staring out the windows from the back of the truck. My dad's friend climbed into the back of the truck while my dad was driving and took on that goose mano a gooseo

You give a bird and inch and they try to take a mile.

Fatmouse said...

Drew,

The British do seem to have a thing for birds.

Anonymous said...

Remember the whales stuck under the Arctic ice from a few years ago? We also had a big to-do up here in the NW several years ago regarding a wayward young whale (Orca) that made the headlines for months and someone eventually spent a load of money hauling it by boat to where its pod was hanging out.

Considering all the perfectly horrendous things we inflict on the poor critters on a sadly regular basis, I don't mind us occasionally pulling for the underduck every now and then.

Mark the Pundit said...

And to add to the irony: Barbaro was euthanized today. Front page on everything from CNN to ESPN.

vbspurs said...

I hope it's only the British press -- in some incomprehensible British eccentricity -- that's covering the duck-in-the-refrigerator story:

Come on! We invented the News Of the Weird (and silly, and daffy).

How else would you explain The Hartlepool Monkey being elected mayor?

P.S.: Had to be Florida, huh?

Cheers,
Victoria

class-factotum said...

Before I could adopt a cat in Miami, one of the cat rescue ladies came to inspect my house. (Yes. I am not making this up.) She was horrified to learn that one of the reasons I was getting a cat was because I had rats. (Hey. You live in an older house by the water in Miami and there are going to be rats, OK? That's why you have to get a cat.)

"You are goink to make ze kitty chase ze rats?" she demanded in her German accent.

I shrugged. "I have to work for a living. Why shouldn't my cat?"

Anonymous said...

Over here we have muffin the mule.

It's a 'listen with mother' thing.

Motto - if you can't remember, then you weren't there.

(Oh and Victoria, when are you going to answer my e-mail? I really do want to get to grips with this whole italics question.)

vbspurs said...

(Oh and Victoria, when are you going to answer my e-mail? I really do want to get to grips with this whole italics question.)

Oh, Peter! I'm so sorry.

I'm not sure you know, but I rarely check my inbox. A horrible habit, just ask poor Ron.

Italics? You mean < e m > stuff here < / e m >?

That's how I do it anyway. Sorry again. :(

Cheers,
Victoria

Pogo said...

Re: "I have to work for a living. Why shouldn't my cat?"

Heh. I like that.

The local pound made us sign sumpin' that said we'd never ever look cross-eyed at the nice kitty, take off its front nails no matter how badly he scratched you or the new couch (because it's like pulling off its fingers!!!), or failing to feed it only only only UltraCatScienceFoodUnitPreventionShinyFur or something.

So I signed it, whatever it said (I didn't read it). But I looked at her and said, "We are talking about a cat here, right? You're not sending some kid home with me by mistake?

When she balked about our taking Mr. Mumford because of my 'poor word choice that I truly regret she misunderstood', I asked if she thought that the fact they did background checks and made you sign the Cat Magna Carta might have something to do with the fact that they had a hard time unloading cats on the public (ours was there for 3 years).

But what do I know?

The Drill SGT said...

Italics? You mean < e m > stuff here < / e m >?


I use <> on both sides with I and /I to start and end italics as well as B and /B for BOLD

MadisonMan said...

We have neighbors who adopted an older dog from a Rescue Society. They had the dog for a month+ on trial, at which point the Rescue Society could've deemed them unworthy. I'm convinced that Pet Rescue Folks have become a bit addled by their calling. It's just a pet.

LoafingOaf said...

It's not just the British. I heard this duck tale on local talk radio.

hey: Idiotic sentimental people who forget who and what they are and what side they're on are everywhere.

Someone tries to get ideas on how to keep a cat from killing birds in their garden and they are "idiotic"? Well, maybe they are, because cats can still kill when they have a bell on.

But they're not idiots for worrying about it. All these predator cats roaming around are unnautral intruductions to environments and have an impact on wildlife, in addition to being in conflict with bird-feeding neighbors.

The solution, unfortunately, is not to let a cat roam free. But then us dog people don't find it odd not to have our dogs running around the whole neighborhood. Also, cats usually live many years longer if they aren't roaming the neighborhood. I dunno...I'm not a cat person so it's not my problem.

But I've noticed in many threads around here over the past year that a few of you feel oddly upset any time you hear about people having soft feelings for animals. Why do some people feel it's their duty to go around policing others to make sure they remain heartless towards animals?

The claws aren't for dicing salad.

You should probably tell Americans about cat claws. It's Americans who still barbarically de-claw cats, a practice banned in England.

Anonymous said...

The British are deeply conflicted about the cat v. songbird situation. They know, via studies, that house cats kill tens of millions of songbirds annually.

They like cats. They like songbirds. So what's to be done?

The typical: Ignore the problem and hope it goes away.

Kirk Parker said...

"Also, cats usually live many years longer if they aren't roaming the neighborhood. I dunno...I'm not a cat person so it's not my problem."

Well, if you're up Ann's way, be sure to keep your cats from roaming. You really do want to keep them from meeting this guy.

(Oh great, after the Mountain Lion thread this is really gonna cement my reputation. But I do think it's good to point out that not every Wisconsin resident is a Madison Liberal™!)

WV: zxlhlhnh - the sound of a chilled duck taking its last breath.

Anonymous said...

Italics? You mean < e m > stuff here < / e m >?

I use <> on both sides with I and /I to start and end italics as well as B and /B for BOLD


Italics - cracked it! Cheers.

Hallelujah... "This is the dawning of the age of HMTL, the Age of HMTL"

This ignorance of mine regarding modern communication is entirely congruent with my refusal to read an author until he or she has been dead a good one hundred years, or at least a decade from last publication of a significant work.

Apart perhaps from Ian Rankin as I secretly yearn to be Rebus; oh and Salman Rushdie as one has certain libertarian principles to uphold in re fatwas; plus maybe Muriel Spark and Anthony Powell.

Just don't please anyone tell me John Don Passos died thirty-seven years ago - I've struggled and failed with his 'U.S.A.' too many times. Loved it for a while but could never complete.

Duck Soup anyone?

Anonymous said...

"At that point the vet turned and said: 'I'm sorry, she's gone.'"

The room fell into shocked silence as those present took in the news, but then Perky raised her head and began flapping her wings.

The relief reduced everyone to tears, Ms May said, describing one of her colleagues as "extremely emotional" as she left the room.


...I'm sorry, I've started so I can barely stop. [It's a Magnus Magnusson thing.]

No 'ER', no 'Holby City' and certainly no 'Emergency Ward 10' ever held such poignancy.

You are looking at a guy who once bought a photograph of a pig on a school trip to a farm because everyone else was choosing the one of the horse or the cow. I really didn't want to think that pig felt unwanted.

This is a man - a true Englishman - who sobbed on finding his old, stricken and dying cat had taken herself off to try and drown in the fishpond rather than live. Who would prefer to be hit by a bus rather than face the day when his lurcher will need to be sent to the Great Doggie Basket in the the sky.

Who... well, who also eats a shedload of animal meat everyday.

...posted by mutton-head under the wrong subject heading. Arthur something. Doh! It's a Woldean thing.

exhelodrvr said...

There was a Discovery Channel (?) special a couple of years ago about the problem Australia is having with feral cats, who have little in the way of natural enemies there, devastating the indigneous Australian species. Basically, they came with the settlers, moved inland with them following the mice/rats (who followed the wheat), and now are continent-wide, and causing a big problem with native species.

We have noticed that our two cats prefer getting food out of the cat food bag directly, rather than from the bowl. (i.e. ripping a hole in the bag). They must think it is more like hunting if they do it that way.

Harkonnendog said...

" All these predator cats roaming around are unnautral intruductions to environments and have an impact on wildlife, in addition to being in conflict with bird-feeding neighbors."

The cats have been around for as long as the humans have, right? I mean people didn't start keeping cats as pets 20 years ago.

I had a neighbor who dumped a bag of cat food on the ground once a week. His three cats would gorge and then hunt to tide them over 'till the next feeding. He figured cats should work for a living, same as him.

My cat's bowl is always full- he kills for fun or because he likes fresh meat better, I guess. I don't really like waking up at 2 in the morning 'cause my cat's cracking some poor rat's skull like a taco, though. But how can you force a cat not to hunt? That's what they do.

Their bodies and brains are designed for two things- hunting and mating. I already had our vet cut his nads off... I'm not going to deny him his other primary function.

Jeff said...

My cat still has her teeth and claws and has been known to use them both. She isnt allowed outside, so she has to watch the birds and other animals thru the window. I remember a few years adopting a 3 or 4 month female cat that was with a male cat from the same litter. They wanted them adopted together. I didnt want a male cat, but my neighbors did, so we each adopted one. My neighbor got a phone call the next day from some crazy woman at the store that just ranted about us "breaking up the family" I assume she knows what that male and female cat would be doing to each other in just a few more months. Some people put human feelings, emotions and logic into animals. My cat is fairly affectionate, but someone once told me the reason your cat licks your face in the morning isnt to get you up out of bed, but rather to see if your still breathing so it knows if its ok to start eating you.

Anonymous said...

Really like the site. I am a barrister over in England and have added a link on The Barrister Blog at http://timkevan.blogspot.com. There is quite a legal blogging community over here as you will see from my blog roll. Reciprocal link always appreciated, though no worries if not.

Keep in touch. Best wishes, Tim Kevan

miked0268 said...

"But I've noticed in many threads around here over the past year that a few of you feel oddly upset any time you hear about people having soft feelings for animals. Why do some people feel it's their duty to go around policing others to make sure they remain heartless towards animals? "

Oh, *nonsense*. If you're going to have a cat live in your house, then you should show some loyalty towards it. Putting a bell on the poor thing to deliberately screw up his hunting is mean.

I've always had at least one cat, and I really like them. Maybe it's silly to worry about it, definitely it's none of my business, but I've always been very irritated by people who put a bell on their cat and especially those who scold the cat for bringing home his little trophies. The cat brings you a nice disembowelled mouse, he's trying to show he's making a contribution and expects you to be impressed, and you get angry at it? What a cheap betrayal.

Perhaps it is a legitimate issue in Australia, but in practically the entire rest of the world cats have been around for millions of years and are by no means an "unnatural introduction". Any bird or rodent species that is going to go extinct from predation by house cats didn't have much of a shot to begin with.

If you have a cat and watch it a bit, you'll notice also that they catch more bugs than anything else. A cat will happily chow down on bugs all day. As far as I'm concerned, that is a real service for which we should be grateful to them.

If you want a fluffy sweet cuddly inoffensive pet, get a &*^%$ bunny rabbit. Cats are killers, and it's not right to try and turn them into something else.

*Hrrmph*

hdhouse said...

Frankly I hope his wife makes him clean up the bottom of the freezer with his tongue (and if you have seen Christmas Story, you know what will happen) and then give him his choice:

1. scalding water to break the freeze or
2. grab him by the balls and pull him loose.

class-factotum said...

The rats disappeared and my cats (I ended up with two because the cat rescue ladies wouldn't break up the family -- roll eyes here) promptly started working on the gecko population in my house, which was fine with me, except I wish they would have eaten the entire body and not left little gecko heads and tails all over the place. Fortunately, I am nearsighted, so unless I was wearing my glasses, I didn't see the parts until I did my weekly housecleaning.

I let the cats out of the house despite the contract I had signed ("You can't possibly want to let cats outdoors!"), whereupon they began to take care of my neighbor's mouse problem.

They were quite good little hunters and only failed to do the job when I was out of town and my neighbor's teenage son would overfeed them. I kept telling him to give them only 1/4 cup of food -- that they needed to be a little bit hungry - but I would come home to find food piled in the bowl and fat, lazy cats sleeping next to it. When I would ask Rudolf if he had fed them more than the allotted amount, he would say yes, but that they had cried. "They are liars," I told him. "Don't believe a word they say."

vbspurs said...


Keep in touch. Best wishes, Tim Kevan


What part of England are you from, Tim? I'm from Oxon.

Thanks for linking to your site. I was going to blog about lawyers from around the world, who blog, but didn't know how prevalent the phenomenon was.

WV: ahhhdhhsz! Good grief.

Cheers,
Victoria