birdie closeup enh

He was five ounces of bravado, perched on my shoulder. He would have celebrated his 17th birthday (bird-day?) this year.

He loved humans, parties and wine. Red or white. Champagne, too. Wouldn’t touch hard liquor, though. He had his limits.

He hated crows. Tolerated cats with a hiss here and there if they got too close. Dodger always got too close.


Birdie and Dodger: "We don't eat our roommates, got it?"

Birdie and Dodger: “We don’t eat our roommates, got it?”

Birdie wasn't all that impressed with our first flock of chicks.

Birdie wasn’t all that impressed with our first flock of chicks.

He might have loved me best, but there were many close seconds. First and foremost, the CE. Phyllis. Our kids and grandkids. Pamela and Kirk, who endured years and years of Birdie’s antics, always with good humor. Chadd, Lauren, Bryson, Lori and Dan were very special friends. Dave and Karen. Grant and Julia. Andy and Alexandra – oh, how Birdie loved Andy! Birdie glommed on to Billy and Josh – I guess he liked men. Although he loved Katherine, too. Which might be a good time to bring up the fact that although Birdie was initially presented to us as a “he”, we were later apprised on good authority that Birdie may have been a she. No matter. Birdie was Birdie. Pint-sized imperiousness, running the entire household from his perch. The ultimate watchbird, peeping piercingly that a car was approaching well before the dogs ever pricked up their ears.

Chadd and Birdie, way back when.

Chadd and Birdie, way back when.

Birdie liked to join in every soiree. Here, with Josh and Sunday in the CE's library.

Birdie liked to join in every soiree. Here, with Josh and Sunday in the CE’s library.

I used to threaten Taylor and Daniel that I would bequeath Birdie to them if they didn't behave.

I used to threaten Taylor and Daniel that I would bequeath Birdie to them if they didn’t behave.

Birdie with a much younger Thomas.

Birdie with a much younger Thomas.

Birdie had so many close scrapes over the years. Our first dog, Peaches,  couldn’t resist capturing him in her jaws. Fortunately, she was a Golden Retriever, soft-mouthed, and Birdie lived to tell the tale. He escaped once from Granny’s house and was miraculously rescued by a UPS driver who encountered the bird waddling furiously and awkwardly across the street in front of his truck.  There were many Birdie tales to tell, including the time he inexplicably flew into our pool and I was thus required to leap in after him, fully clothed. Dripping wet, I rushed him to the vet, who pumped the water from  his little air sacs (cockatiels don’t have lungs) and didn’t even charge me for the emergency visit. (Dr. Sellers, Cat & Bird Clinic)

I took Birdie in to see Dr. Sellers not too long ago. He seemed to be slowing down a bit. Arthritis, she said. But also, as a yellow Lutino, he was past his expiration date. “They die by age 15,” she said, implying that we needed to be ready for him to go at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Yet he seemed to have caught a second wind of late. He was bossing us around just like in the old days. But something went wrong. I wasn’t there when he needed me and I will never forgive myself. Birdie met a tragic end just a few days after Christmas.

When I brought Birdie home back in 1998, I had not done my homework. I thought he would live two or three years, like a parakeet. Little did I know that he would become our companion of a decade and a half, peeping incessantly for Cheerios, a bath in the sink,  a shoulder ride, neck rub or a sip of wine.

How he loved his sink baths!

How he loved his sink baths!

He annoyed me to no end, and I miss him more than you can  imagine. I know the world is full of far greater tragedies, but the loss of a pet is a keen misery I wish we all could be spared. My heart literally aches, every single day.

Thank you to all who embraced Birdie as your friend, many of you who cared for him in our absence over the years. Small but mighty, he will long live on in our memories. Rest in peace, dear little bird.



About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in All Things Family, Animal/Vegetable/Mineral, Spoiled Pets and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Birdie.

  1. dizzyguy says:

    Hard to explain how such a small creature can leave behind such a large hole. He was truly an integral part of the family since the day he showed up. Held his own against mightier creatures too. Very sad to see the various empty spaces around the house where he once perched and held forth. But he did beat his expiration date and lived a full life while he was here. We were lucky to have him.

  2. pollo amigo says:

    So terribly sad! I enjoyed hearing his chirping reaction when he heard Steven’s car approach — before the car even got near the house. I remember you used to take him for car rides.

  3. Such a beautiful bird! Sorry for your loss, it’s always so hard…..

  4. Katherine says:

    As one who thinks of pets as family, there is no greater heartache than losing a member of the family. My heart goes out to you. (And as a fine-feathered-friend-lover, you know I really empathize with your loss.) Amazing what animals can teach us, what they can make us appreciate, and how they can open (and break) our hearts. Love you guys.

  5. Jessica says:

    So sorry to hear of this. My heart fell a little when I eagerly typed in your webpage and then saw the heading. Birdie was a character in all forms, and I will miss him. He had a great life though, to say the very least. I will miss giving him baths on your kitchen sink and the few times I was lucky enough to have him nuzzle me. xo

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