by Tiger Lilly
She was a beautiful girl, turquoise feathers with a yellow cap (a very rare color for parakeets). My aunt found her after a huge storm in 2005, so I should have named her Gale. I didn’t. I was terrible with names back then, and we just ended up calling her Birdy-Wirdy (we also had a guinea pig named Piggy-Wiggy. We were a creative bunch).
She was six months old when I wheedled my parents into letting me take her in, as her owners were nowhere to be found. I trained her to be comfortable around me. She was a vicious thing, biting was one of her favourite pastimes. There was a point when I had twelve bite marks each on three of my fingers.
I loved her anyway.
She was vocal and wild, yet tender towards me, allowing me to scratch the sides of her face when she was tired. She showed me affection in ways that only a bird could- regurgitating her meals on occasion. Mostly she would simply kiss my face whenever I had her out. I would try and play piano for her every day, something that she (and her playmate, Chiquita, which we rescued a few years after taking in Birdy-Wirdy) greatly enjoyed.
A week or two ago, I noticed that her plumage on her belly near her vent was brown and picked-over. I didn’t really think much of it, as she was acting healthy and just fine. Chiquita had no signs of anything like Birdy-Wirdy had.
This morning, when I gave her water, she drank a bit and was sneezy and tired. I knew something was wrong, but I had to leave for work right away. I had hoped she would be fine until I got home.
She was cold in the corner of the cage when I returned. I spent a good half-hour cradling her and sobbing or playing the piano. Eventually, it dawned on me that I should look up her symptoms.
It turns out that they are symptoms of ovarian tumors and/or eggs that have gotten caught in the wrong area. Most people were recommending to take the sick bird to the vet and fix the diet.
Now, I wish that I had thought to look this up when I first saw the feathers, but what’s done is done.
Anyway. If you have a female parakeet and see anything like this, TAKE HER TO THE VET IMMEDIATELY. Don’t leave her be. Birdy-Wirdy was only 7, less than half the lifespan of a parakeet (15 years).
Good night, pretty bird. I love you. Fly high.