Tag Archives: caesar

Walnuts and carrots

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I miss my bird friend.

  • Walnuts and carrots make me sad (her favorite foods)
  • When I see a cardboard tube or a sturdy cardboard box, I want to give them to her to chew into shreds
  • When  I have cut veggie leftovers, an apple core, or a heel of bread, I want to put them in her dishes and hear that excited call
  • I want to fill her water dish with fresh water and watch her cram her entire body in and bathe, one more time
  • I want to hear her say “Baby Bird” and “Oooohhhh” one more time
  • I want to feel her pokey feet and her soft feathers, and kiss her warm soft head, one more time
  • I want to hear her laughter, once more time
  • I even want her to fly around and chew on the kitchen cupboards, just once more

Poor thing. She went so quickly and took a piece of me with her.

My favorite post about Caesar.

Two birds

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Caesar

Caesar

My sweet Alexandrine Parakeet Caesar died tonight after a sudden illness. She was a beautiful parrot, often a pain in the ass, but I loved her so much these past 8 years.

She suddenly showed signs of extreme illness yesterday afternoon. Today, the vet found nothing wrong except for extreme anemia of an unknown origin. She was given fluids along with iron and B vitamins, and put on oxygen all day long.

This evening, I was driving to pick her up to bring her home for the night. Suddenly, on the side of the road I saw a struggling animal. It was a mallard duck who had just been hit by a car. He was upside down and his feet were waiving frantically as he struggled. I quickly turned around, thinking, “I’m driving straight to the vet anyway—a vet that often takes care of injured wildlife – and I will be there in 5 minutes.” I arrived, and immediately at my shoulder, was a small, gentle man who told me his name was Chico. He too, had come to help the bird, after seeing somebody hit it and then drive off. He said he lived nearby and that basically people suck because they treat animals like they are disposable—and that is why he and his wife have 10 dogs. As we bent over the bird, we quickly realized that he was already gone, his neck laid open with a deep gash. We talked for a little while. I thanked him and said there was hope if people like us would stop to help this bird. He wondered what to do. I said I could take the body on with me, but then he decided, no, he would bury it in his yard. I gave him the towel I had brought for Caesar, and he walked off with the body of that once graceful bird.

Late Night Snack

Late Night Snack

I arrived at the vet a few minutes later, thinking about Chico and that duck. I washed my hands of potential blood and germs, as I wouldn’t want to pass anything on to my already very sick bird. They told me Caesar had begun hiding in the back of the cage, burying her head, and she would crawl back there with all the strength she had left. I could tell from what the vet tech did say and didn’t say, that she thought she was dying. And I knew, because the vet, who I’ve known for years, had let me take her home—not insisting she stay on oxygen overnight. He said she hadn’t moved all day. I brought her home, set up her cat carrier with a warm bean bag and turned the space heater on in the bathroom again. I tried to bring her out to say goodbye, but she struggled, and went immediately back to the corner.

Then I went to the studio for a few hours. She died while I was driving home, shortly after my husband had last checked on her. I hope so much that she felt immediately free, that there is somewhere she can fly with other birds and scream and call to her heart’s content. I failed her badly in so many ways—I hope too, that she can forgive me.

Two birds, two deaths, one day. A reason to grieve, and a reason to hope.

Here’s to weekends at home

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In spite of the fact that my husband and I have been sick for a week (is this turning into bronchitis?!) and I’ve been feeling crappy off and on for a few weeks now, I just had a great weekend. Sometimes a quiet weekend at home is exactly what I need. No need to leave the house (except for the yard, or a walk around the neighborhood), and certainly no reason to drive anywhere.

Hubby and I did mostly our own thing, except for watching Rome together, an old series we’re working our way through on Netflix discs. I read most of Will Potter’s excellent Green is the New Red, which I’m going to finish after this post. I caught up on a bunch of vegan podcasts while doing stuff around the house. I henna’d my hair. I started some lentils sprouting in a jar, which is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. 

It was a slightly warm and sunny weekend, so I was able to take Pip, Isis, and the dogs out into the backyard to hang out a little. (Gordy and Nevermore were not very interested, but Gordy logged some good time on the porch. Caesar even came out to the porch for a bit.) I took Ruby for a walk, trimmed the dog’s nails, and brushed Bubba and gave him a bath, which hadn’t happened for a looong time. Due to his health issues, his coat has not been in the greatest shape lately, and he seems to always be shedding and shaggy—half a pug of fur is now in the back yard. This evening I even had a little time to research some news for the next show.

Poor Pip, the pain med that the doctor gave her for the extraction seriously cracks her out. Fairly immediately, her eyes glaze over and she loses coordination. In fact, we’ve had to keep an extra eye on her. This ordinarily very agile cat is having problems judging the leap to the cat tree, etc. And she somehow banged herself up in the night—she has a divot of fur out next to each eye (worse near her right eye). It could be that she had a tussle with one of the other cats, but I don’t think so. So tonight we’ll make sure to confine her to the bedroom. I’d almost rather not give her the pain med if its going to mess her up like that, but then I don’t know how bad the extraction might be hurting and she can’t tell me. Yesterday she did seem to be uncomfortable eating, so it probably does hurt—a lot. At least I know she loves going outside and was able to do that for her.

Both days I began to feel tired after about 4 hours, so it was great to have nothing that had to get done. Hopefully it was enough rest to kick this and be able to start my work week feeling good.

Things to know about your companion Pterodactyl (parrot)

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Caesar

Caesar

Things to know about your companion Pterodactyl parrot:

  1. You will name her a manly name, because the pet store said she was a he. Two years later, it will become obvious that A. He is a she because she is a ringneck and male ringnecks develop, well, a dark black ring of feathers around the neck and there is no ring in sight, and B. She has not developed much of an English vocabulary, which the males are known for. You will continue to call her by her manly name, because it would be weird to change her name now.
  2. When she is a youngster, she will bite your fingers, a lot. This is like taking a wedge-shaped chunk out of your finger with a can opener. You will be mad, and afraid, but you will get over it, because she’s just a baby.
  3. You will let her fly around a lot because it is “natural,” but then end up giving in and getting her wings trimmed because, among other bad behaviors, she chews on the kitchen cabinets and occasionally flies erratically into heads.
  4. You will tear your hair out because a couple of times a year, she goes through a thing where she screams a blood curdling scream many times a day, especially when you’re in your home office on a conference call. She’ll also develop this hissing habit which will drive your hubby crazy and threaten your marriage.
  5. You’ll think this behavior is only affecting your household and sanity, until one summer day you take a walk and hear her screeching from four blocks away.
  6. Even with her wings trimmed, if you let her out for 5 minutes and then get distracted, she will climb up the curtains, over the curtain rod, and onto the top of the refrigeration to chew the kitchen cabinets.
  7. If you give her a tin can to play with, she will stick her head in it and think she is hiding. Also, she will talk with her head in the can, which will make you giggle because it echoes. You will think to yourself, that must be really loud in there, and, does she think it’s funny?
  8. You will know that she thinks some things are funny, because she will often laugh at appropriate (and inappropriate) moments.
  9. If you give her a cardboard box or paper bag, she will be thrilled, and hide in it until she destroys it, but also become very protective of it and try to bite you if you need her to come out.
  10. You will give her every parrot enrichment toy known to man, but she will prefer destroying things (wood, paper) to anything you can come up with.
  11. She will develop an obsession with the kitchen pantry. If you open it up and forget she is out of her cage, she will turn into a raving banshee lunatic and dive into the pantry and then “defend” it and refuse to come out. This is another reason you get her wings trimmed. Once her wings are trimmed, you will mistakenly think you can relax and open the pantry when she is happily playing on top of her cage. Until the evening when you go to dish up the cat and dog food and your foot is suddenly attacked by said banshee. See #2. You will forgive her, though, because she is obviously insane.
  12. You will learn to snuggle and make kissy noises with a parrot, all while keeping one eye open. It constantly occurs to you while you’re smooching the back of her neck and affectionately ruffling her feathers, that you’re kissing a dinosaur, and that it would take approximately 5 seconds for her to send your face into plastic surgery.
  13. If she wants to let herself out of her cage, she can. She just doesn’t bother most of the time. Consider the octopuses who exit their cages at night to snack off the neighboring fish or lobster tanks, only to return to the tank before morning.
  14. You will never learn to outsmart her, because she is as smart as you.
  15. You will realize that you’ve utterly failed this magnificent creature by denying her any sense of natural environment or birdly companionship.
  16. You will try to amend for this for the next 60 years.