Emergency help with a Viking funeral for a small bird.
December 6, 2009 4:04 PM   Subscribe

I need to build a small bonfire in Oakland,Ca. Tonight. Something campfire sized at largest. Want to be both safe and within the law. Emergency mourning.

We're in the vicinity of the Parkway theater and bike mobile.

We just came home and discovered that our cats have killed the bird. We're not gonna throw her in the garbage, don't want to leave a mess for someone else to clean up.

Thanks in advance.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm so sorry about your bird.

Can you make it out to Ocean Beach and do a bonfire there?
posted by mollymayhem at 4:24 PM on December 6, 2009

Best answer: Well, it's legal to burn in the Bay Area tonight, but I can't speak to the legality of a fire in the backyard. Are you going to dig a pit or do you have a fire ring or?

posted by elsietheeel at 4:24 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you're wanting to do it at home, in your own yard, you can call your local fire department's non-emergency number and ask. Don't specify the bird situation, just say you're inquiring about having a recreational fire in your backyard. The keywords to use here are "recreational fire" because they are legal in most municipalities (hence the popularity of firepits, chimineas, etc.).

My condolences on your bird.
posted by amyms at 4:33 PM on December 6, 2009

Response by poster: By the way of details, we live in an apartment and as such, have no yard of our own.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 4:40 PM on December 6, 2009

Does your apartment complex have a common area where people are allowed to have fires or to grill outside? If so, maybe you could have the funeral pyre in a little hibatchi (apologies if that sounds morbid, just trying to think of something easy and convenient for you).
posted by amyms at 4:53 PM on December 6, 2009

Best answer: Yeah, if you don't own the property, you'd better go to a public-use grill area or beach and I'm sorry, but if you don't know you should; the smell of burning feathers will be harsh. Sorry about your bird.
posted by Red Loop at 5:02 PM on December 6, 2009

Although you may already have co-ordinated the Viking funeral, Tilden Park has multiple picnic sites with fire pits, and is accessible via public transportation on weekends and holidays. Alternatively, closer to your neck of the woods, there is Lake Temescal. However, Tilden is open till 10 PM, and I am not sure about Temescal.
posted by Wavelet at 6:48 PM on December 6, 2009

Response by poster: We put it off for tonight because of the weather. She's properly shrouded and kept for now. I think I have a line on a public grill that's in a little-used area. We can go in, do our thing, and clean up. We're old-school Burning Man, so we're going leave-no-trace on this.

Thanks for the suggestions, sympathies, and reminder about wind direction. Isolated place is best.

BTW, further examination has led us to conclude she died of a heart-attack (quite possibly do to cat-harrasment-induced stress) and the feathers we found everywhere were caused post mortem. There was no blood, no broken bones, and neither of the cats had lost an eye or a digit, so no mortal combat. Some comfort there.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:11 PM on December 6, 2009

Emeryville's Marina park has a large bonfire sized fire pit. It is on the eastern side of the park facing the marina (go all the way out, past Hong Kong East Ocean chinese restaurant and park in the last lot. It is across the road from the parking lot the east bay hills.

Probably going to be pretty cold there for at least a few days though.
posted by cftarnas at 9:18 PM on December 6, 2009

The Emeryville marina has fire pits on the northern end near the tip.
posted by salvia at 9:24 PM on December 6, 2009

Damn. My condolences. :(
posted by zarq at 4:14 PM on December 7, 2009

My condolences on the loss of your bird. Nthing the suggestion to find a public use firepit.

One thing you might consider: your bird's body may not...burn the way you think it will. I have horrible memories of trying to support a former boyfriend through the Viking funeral of his beloved pet rat. He was heartbroken at the loss of his pet and then I'm pretty sure he was scarred for good when the rat's body became a horrifyingly roasted corpse instead of a pile of ash that he could scatter.

It probably depends on the size of the bird and the size of the fire. You may need a much larger, hotter fire than you might have originally planned.

Again, I'm sorry for your loss. (And I realize that this comment is morbid as hell, but if I can spare anyone the sight of their pet reduced to a burnt-but-still-recognizable shell...)
posted by corey flood at 4:31 PM on December 7, 2009

Response by poster: Bucky is off to Valhalla.

Thank you all for your suggestions and support.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:29 PM on December 7, 2009

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