Friday, December 18, 2015

R. I. P. Yo-yo, Spoots, and Boswell

My last post was about the passing of a beloved pet bird. Unfortunately, so, too, is this one; even more unfortunately, today's post laments the sudden, tragic passing of three birds, all of whom were either very young or in the prime of life. Oochie, at least, was old, having reached the average life expectancy of cockatiels living in captivity. On November 10, 2014 -- about six months after Oochie's death -- our parakeet, Elbie Jaye, also died, likewise at a somewhat advanced age. I knew she was sick and probably dying one day around the third week of October, when she suddenly stopped singing and chirping, something which until then had been a virtually nonstop activity from around 8:00 a.m. every day until around midnight. I never learned what killed her, but much to our surprise, she put up a brave fight and hung on to life for three more weeks. She was buried in our backyard next to Oochie, along with her favorite toy, worn and battered from the constant pounding she had administered to it over the years. Elbie was a stray when she began living with us, so we do not know how old she was then, but we had her for just over ten years. Since captive parakeets usually live around 8-10 years, we were satisfied that Elbie had lived out her full life expectancy, and she was always and obviously a very happy and contented little bird. A healthy one, too, except at the very end. We gave her a good home and a good life, from which I can take comfort today.

Elbie was succeeded by another parakeet, a male whom we named Boswell, after the author of the famous Life of Samuel Johnson. Boswell is one of the three birds referred to here, where this story is continued. Since posting that photo and article on Flickr, I have purchased two new birds, about which more later. (Only one of them is living with us now; the other is still being weaned and will probably come home to us in about two weeks.) But all things considered, I would much rather have kept the three birds who are now so suddenly departed. Living creatures are not machine-tooled, interchangeable parts, and while one can certainly acquire a new pet, one does not truly replace a lost or departed one. I don't know if I will ever completely stop grieving for these birds, especially Spoots, who was the best pet I have ever had. 

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