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Protest, politics, and should we steal the babies?

protest_30_june_4On Wednesday GC and I attended a demonstration outside the police station, to show our support for the democratic rights of freedom of assembly and free speech. Also: to show our concern about how Harper, McGuinty and the police mishandled the protest in Toronto.

Personally, I find it utterly contemptible that Toronto’s police chief lied to the media and citizens about the temporary law granting the police sweeping new powers during the protest, thereby effectively giving itself even more power than it legitimately had. And why didn’t Premier Dalton McGuinty step forward and correct the lie, when it was widely reported in the media?

protest_30_june_3The protest at the Ottawa police station was peaceful and orderly, and was observed by a handful of cops, including one on the roof with the video camera.


canadaday10 We stayed up late that night, formatting our Nanowrimo novels for publication – the offer of a free published copy of the book expired at midnight, Pacific Time. We’d been procrastinating since November about this, but we got our novels submitted at the very last minute.

The next day – Canada Day – we bused downtown for a bit but couldn’t seem to muster up much energy. We drifted over to the Jazz Festival, and then hung out at the magazine store on Elgin. We almost went to the Museum of Nature, but kept waffling and changing course. We had to get back to GC’s place before dark, because The Dog is petrified of fireworks, so we wanted to be holding his paw when they occurred. But I think he ended up sleeping through it; I know I did.

In other news: Our love-struck lovebirds, Billie and Lester, laid their fourth egg on Canada Day! The webcam is still broadcasting live during the days. There might still be another egg or two to come. We’re expecting the hatching to commence on or about the 14th of July.

We’re a little uncertain of our role in all this. Apparently we’re supposed to take the babies from the parents when the youngest is about 10 days old, and start hand-raising them ourselves. This involves setting up a heated brooder and hand-feeding them every four hours and talking to them and kissing their little bald heads. The reason for this is that they will be much tamer and more desirable as pets because they’ll have established early bonds with human beings.

But we keep thinking about how traumatic and devastating this would be for Billie and Lester. They’re so protective of the eggs already, and they haven’t even hatched yet. It just seems so wrong to steal their babies ten days after they hatch.

On the other hand, from what I understand, once the babies are about six weeks old, Billie and Lester won’t want them around anymore anyway. So we’d just be taking them a few weeks early. And they’ll be better pets because of it, which is important too, considering they’re going to spend the rest of their lives being someone’s pets.

What do you think? (If you’re reading this in a feed reader or email, you’ll need to come over to to vote.)

10 comments to Protest, politics, and should we steal the babies?

  • RE: the baby birds. Why not leave one consolation chic for the pair to raise?

    Also, this would be a great way of finding out if hand-rearing makes a big difference.

    How you doing with the front step conundrum?

    I have a hammer and nails and paint and who knows what else if you need help.

    Cheers, Shannon

  • I answered yes, but I think if you raise them in GC’s house you’ll cause more distress because they’ll KNOW they’re still close by. I’d also leave them one to raise themselves.

  • gc

    The part about hand-feeding them every 4 hours scares me a bit.

  • That’s an option, Shannon, though I’ve read that you should not leave just one or take just one – they need to nestle with other babies too. So maybe I could take two and leave two.

    Mudmama, yes it would make more sense to bring them to my house. (GC agrees.)

    Me too, GC. Me too.

  • grace

    I dunno, I had a kid who woke every hour and a half for her first three years; I think the other two arrived because we were awake anyway . . . kidding. Four hours is about how often people our age are up in the night anyway. Don’t however, mistake this as an offer.

    Kissing little bald heads sounds charming though. Happy snuggles.

  • IMO, socializing pets is necessary for everyone’s future happiness. If you were going to release them to the wild, socializing would be contraindicated, but it’s doubtful lovebirds and Ottowan climate are compatible!

    I wonder what the police are going to do with their video? Maybe spend time/money making a mug book of peaceful protesters?

  • Connie

    You can socialize the babies without taking them away from the parents. Hand feeding can be tricky and babies need to be weighed to be sure they’re getting enough to eat. If you decide to feed them make sure someone shows you how. Also check the price on the food, it’s not inexpensive!

  • Lisa in Toronto

    Thanks for going to the protest on our behalf!

  • sassy

    Harper must be very pleased with himself that others are taking poop for what happened in Toronto.

  • BB

    I’ve always held the people of Canada in somewhat higher esteem than the people here, an attitude assumed as the biproduct of growing up in an era when Canadians objected loudly to the Bush policies then being implemented.

    I would like to think that these kinds of attacks on civil liberties are confined to our side of the border, but I suppose no place is wholly free from it.

    You seem to come closer to the ideal than we, though.