In the old house when a bird flew inside you could chase the bird into a room with a broom. You could then close the door, open the windows and go have coffee. When your coffee was done the bird would have flown out one of the open windows.
This house has an open floor plan. Three of the rooms have 20′ ceilings. Most all of the windows are fixed. So the old plan wouldn’t work. The cardinal’s mate sat outside the window chatting with him. So he wasn’t about to leave the window willingly.
Sister suggested getting the cat a bigger ladder. Fred had already fallen off the ladder twice at this point, but when the bird flew to the lower plant shelf, Fred climbed up the ladder on to the shelf and decided it was time for a nap. Kazoo hid through the whole ordeal.
I was able to borrow a pool net from a neighbor and we caught the bird, tossed a dish towel in the net on top of the bird. She was able to bring the cardinal outside and let him go, apparently unharmed. No thanks to the cats.