Gerrard, Perricone & Poppies


It’s Wednesday again so time for a little update. How’s your week been? Mine? Well, I think you can probably guess… busy! Always busy. Even on those rare days when I think I’ll just hunker down for a day of pjs and TV something usually comes along and changes my plans. That is exactly what happened a week ago last Sunday when Gerrard came into my life.

Gerrard the pigeon began hanging around in our garden in the morning. Gradually he got closer and closer to the patio doors. I found it quite unusual to see a pigeon just sitting for hours so I went out to investigate a little further. I sat down next to him and he didn’t even flinch let alone fly away. What a little sweetheart. It was then that I wondered if he was injured. I took a closer look at one of his eyes, it seemed to be irritating him and he was scratching it with his sharp claws. By this time my son and daughter (back from uni for a flying visit) were sat with me and Gerrard. We all decided he seemed to be suffering and vulnerable seeing as he didn’t appear to be able to fly.

I began putting feelers out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to find out what I ought to do to care for a poorly pigeon out of veterinary surgery hours on a Sunday. I first phoned the RSPCA and they gave me the number of a nearby on-call vet but when I called them they told me they couldn’t see any more patients as they already had too many emergencies. Next, I tried Wildlife Aid. If they sound familiar it may be because they were the subject of TV’s Wildlife SOS. They are seriously amazing.

Just as I had finally prepared a well-ventilated cardboard box for transporting little Gerrard, I walked toward him and he flew a few feet off the ground!! My jaw dropped! I had sat vigil next to him for about an hour and a half as I tried to find the best course of action to help him and here he goes flying through the hedge into the neighbour’s garden! When I say neighbour, this is a neighbour I have never met before as they are in a private road which sort of backs onto a part of my garden. At first I thought, “maybe he’s OK… perhaps I should leave him alone and his family may find him” but then I remembered how he had been hobbling a tiny bit, scratching his eye and making a gagging/retching action every now and again. No, he wouldn’t be safe without help.

Off I went, in my car, to find this road and try to work out which house shares my garden’s hedge! Found it! Luckily, people were at home. A lovely lady answered the door and I said, with empty box in hand, “this is going to sound pretty odd but my pigeon is in your garden and I need to get him to a vets. May I collect him, please?”. Being a peaceful Sunday afternoon seemed to make it feel all the more intrusive of me. The fact it was a private little road, too, but she was very kind.

I haven’t ever had to catch a bird before and wasn’t really sure what to do but I managed it after a couple of attempts. I thanked the lady of the house and made my way back to the car with a boxful of Gerrard. If you’re wondering how I knew the bird was a ‘he’ and, furthermore, a ‘Gerrard’ the answer is I didn’t. When my children and I were sat with him I asked what we should call ‘it’ that could be a unisex name. My Chrissie said “Gerrard”. This amused me and so ‘it’ became ‘he’ and, ultimately ‘he’ became ‘Gerrard’.

After about half an hour in the car with Gerrard we arrived at Wildlife Aid. When I turned off the car everything was silent. “Gerrard..?”. Nothing. A peek into the box. No movement. I was so sad in case he hadn’t survived the journey.

I carried the box into the reception area where I was warmly greeted by a lady who had me explain the situation and then we both looked into the box. Yes! Gerrard was still with us! It was time for me to say goodbye to my new friend as he went off to the wildlife hospital.

The next day I phoned to check on Gerrard’s progress. Sadly, I was told that he had canker, which is a fungal infection that can be treated but only if caught early. It was too late for him and they had to put him to sleep. Even typing this is making me well up. A little embarrassing as I’m sat in a public cafe typing this. The kind person on the phone said I had saved him from a prolonged and horrible death by rescuing him. It may sound silly to some but I cried. Yes, over a pigeon. A living, feeling, suffering being in any guise will always touch the very heart of me.

Gerrard was only in my life a few hours but I almost felt like he had some sort of sense or knowing that he would be helped if he came to us. Again, it may sound daft but there are some things we just don’t know. I like to think he chose us to help.

I never did find out if Gerrard was male or female. I did ask, out of curiosity, and the woman on the phone said it was hard to tell and they weren’t sure. Whatever your gender, little friend, I’m so glad we could help you and that you’re no longer suffering. Rest in peace, Gerrard Huntley.

OK, time to compose myself enough to tell you that we are launching a Perricone Today’s Special Value at midnight tonight. I can’t reveal too much except to say that Perricone TSVs are always biggies! It’s a very scientifically advanced range devised by Dr Nick Perricone and a favourite of many of the top A list, red carpet glitterati. For many, the prices are a little out of reach but, with QVC and our tremendous buying power, we are able to bring unbeatable deals. People often stock up when the TSVs come along. I hope you can tune in at midnight when I’ll be joined by Karra Beck.

Looking ahead to Friday, one of my week’s highlights is presenting The Poppy Collection on QVC’s Style Channel live at 5pm. Not only is Kate Green a wonderful ambassador and employee of The Royal British Legion but she and her wife, Michelle, are becoming great friends of mine.

She shares the same sense of humour as I do. She is also extremely informative when explaining where all the money raised for The Legion goes. Please have a look back through my blogs to see more about Kate. You can browse this year’s collection here. Please do join us Friday as we’d love your support. You make a huge difference in not only remembering the fallen but helping the living. Thank you so much.

Have a great week and thanks again for reading.

Facebook: Catherine Huntley TV
Twitter: @TheHuntley
Instagram: @catherine_huntley

Love Catherine xx


  1. suz September 19, 2018 at 11:24 am -  Reply

    How lovely to hear that you cared so much and went to so much effort , I once sat with a small bird too who flew into our patio window and was dying so we sat and stroked it then carefully buried it in the garden , all animals deserve to be cared for.

  2. Carol T September 19, 2018 at 11:33 am -  Reply

    Well done for doing all you could for the pigeon.

  3. lisa jorgeson September 19, 2018 at 11:36 am -  Reply

    I think what you did was lovely. I am always rescuing animals so totally understand. It shows you have a heart and compassion. Well done for helping him and stopping him suffering.x

  4. SONIA Price September 19, 2018 at 12:49 pm -  Reply

    Thats so sad , i would of been exactly the same , i found a frog with broken legs once and took it to the vets, where they had to put it to sleep.They all deserve a chance.

  5. Lesley September 19, 2018 at 1:04 pm -  Reply

    I do exactly the same sort of thing with wildlife in my garden. I get so upset if I find that a bird has been killed by a cat. I love cats and have a rescue indoor cat myself but still don’t like to find evidence of their struggles. Nature I know but I hate the thoughts of it all. What you did for Gerrard was so kind and I would have done the same. I will make a note of the Wildlife Aid details in case I ever need their help for any little critter in distress. Will take a look at the Perricone offer. I know a lot of presenters use his stuff so must be good. Have a good show.

  6. May Gledhill September 19, 2018 at 1:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine

    There was nothing silly about you crying over Gerrard if only more people had as kind a heart as you have. You did all you could and thats what matters. My eldest daughter did a similar thing for a squirrel earlier this year and sadly the outcome was the same. Always do what you know is right in your heart.

    May x

  7. Susan September 19, 2018 at 5:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi catherine,
    Aw you are so kind helping Gerard. I think it’s lovely you called him Gerard Huntley! How sad he had to be put to sleep but that’s amazing you stopped his further suffering. If only we could do that with ourselves. You know what I mean. When you know people are ill and not going to get better. It always gets me when I see animals killed on the roads. Horrible.
    Hope your two are well and the house is well on for you too. You muchly deserve it! Tell Yankee Steven we’re asking after him too x

  8. Diane September 19, 2018 at 5:41 pm -  Reply

    Oh Catherine, you have me in tears. I have some “pet” wood pigeons who sit at my window every day waiting for food. I think what you done says a lot about what a kind person you are, with a big, big heart.

  9. Helen September 19, 2018 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Pigeons get such bad press but I love them. Yes, I completely believe that birds and animals can tell who will help them so thank you for being there for Gerrard. Currently Woodsie – a beautiful wood pigeon with a slightly dropped/saggy wing is visiting my garden, he/she can fly but not as easily as before so there’s always an extra helping of food for whenever they pop in:)

  10. Helen Dovidio September 19, 2018 at 10:30 pm -  Reply

    Your story of Gerrard may not have had the happy ending that you hoped for but your kindness to an injured creature warmed my heart.He obviously knew you would help him.You’re a girl after my own heart!We rescued an injured pigeon once too-sadly he didn’t survive either and he’s buried in our animal cemetery in our garden.At least he and Gerrard knew someone cared for them for a while.Thank you for being you!

  11. Gail September 20, 2018 at 9:49 am -  Reply

    Catherine you’re a lovely, lovely lady. I too had a little tear in my eye reading your story. You did whatever you could and that’s all any of us can do.

    Having rescued and nursed many, many various birds over the years I can tell you that ‘saving’ birds is probably one of the hardest jobs. The survival rate in my experience is pretty low, but try we do. Most wouldn’t bother because it’s only a ‘pigeon’, but I personally think pigeons are one of the most loving birds around. Like Diane I too have ‘pet’ wood pigeons. They always greet me when I go out in the garden and, if they are not about, I whistle and down they come. Their little heads move side to side when I speak to them and the pair I have are totally devoted to each other.

    Oh if only everyone was like you. I’ll finish as I started by saying, Catherine you’re a lovely lovely lady xx

  12. Diane September 20, 2018 at 11:36 am -  Reply

    You are so lovely Catherine l love to live in your world. The pigeon had met the kindest, gentlest and most caring person he could have found. He knew he was ill and that you would take him into your world and help him, which you did. I always love your shows and knew you were a caring loving kind person and your blog has just proved how right l was. You are a real diamond Catherine. Xxxx

  13. Deborah Robinson September 20, 2018 at 1:04 pm -  Reply

    We need more Catherine s in the world…Gerrard Huntley is lucky to have found you…your cats are so lucky having you as there mum,big hugs Debbie xXxX

  14. Diane September 20, 2018 at 5:01 pm -  Reply

    What a touching story Catherine, it’s so important to care for our wildlife even if it doesn’t turn out the way we hoped!
    A pigeon has made its nest in a conifer right in front of my bedroom window, it is used to us & not scared at all.
    We live in the countryside & are very lucky to have owls in our trees in the Garden that are very active during the day, I love hearing them call to each other.
    Gerrard was very lucky to have you comfort him, thank you for being so kind.

  15. pauline September 20, 2018 at 5:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine. I know how you feel, I also found a young Pigeon in my garden this summer He could not fly, when I picked him up, he had a bad wing, I took him to the vets, but he also had to be put to sleep, I like you was so upset, he was a dear little chap
    Pauline xx

  16. Sandy Hill September 20, 2018 at 11:30 pm -  Reply

    Aah no, poor Gerrard, so sad he could not be saved, God bless him.You did the right thing Catherine.My family and I are always helping waifs and strays.Hubby came across a poor hedgehog one day but he passed away before we could get help for him.Felt really sad about it. If there was more people like us, the world would be a better place for animals. Keep on being lovely Catherine, xxx

  17. Lynda lee September 21, 2018 at 7:19 am -  Reply

    What a lovely kind person you are. Shame there is not more people around li,e you, the world would be a better place. Thank you.

  18. Kim September 22, 2018 at 9:39 am -  Reply

    Hi, Catherine. There should be more people like you in the world. As an avid animal lover, THANKYOU, from the bottom of my heart, for helping little Gerrard. xx

  19. Steven September 24, 2018 at 9:48 pm -  Reply

    Love the name you gave the pigeon Catherine. I am a Rangers fan!

  20. Thordie Kristensen September 30, 2018 at 1:42 pm -  Reply

    A few weeks back I was due to meet up with a friend at the weekend, but our plans were changed by a pigeon rescue mission. Instead of shopping, we embarked on a 50 mile round trip to a wonderful rescue centre where the juvenile wood pigeon found sanctuary. I totally understand your sentiments about feeling blessed to have been able to help. It isn’t about differentiating what we think is big enough or worthy enough for our time and care…a juvenile wood pigeon deserves being taken care of, and that day we were happy to help.

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