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24 January 2012 @ 01:03 am
And again with the death and sorrow...  
I got home from NYC this evening about 6PM. Shortly after arrival, I looked downstairs at the birdies and they were all sitting in a row peaceably. Scott had been birdie sitting, so I knew they had been well fed and watered. I chatted with folks for a bit, then went downstairs to catch up on email.

I looked over a few minutes later and Derelei was distinctly Not Well. He was in the classic puffed-up, tail-down pose of a sick 'keet. I took him out and he was clearly weak and not grasping my finger. He still seemed alert, though, and ate millet when it was offered. Scott said he'd been his usual spunky self during the football game on Sunday. After about an hour with no improvement, I decided to take him to the emergency vet. They examined him and then said it looked like age-related organ failure, possibly with an opportunistic infection, but an infection was not likely to be the primary issue. They offered X-rays (that would only diagnose if he'd eaten a foreign object or had serious cancer), bloodwork (that could kill a little bird), or injectable fluids and antibiotics (that cost about $200 and also could kill him from the stress). They also recommended I leave him overnight in the inpatient pet hospital. However, none of these options would fix the most likely underlying problem - he's 10 years old in a species that usually lasts 6 or so in captivity - so I opted for taking him home to his friends.

He hung out on the top of the cage with Nechtan and Alba for a little while. I fed him millet and sugar water and water. He sat on a heating pad or in my sweater, dozing from about 8PM until 11:45PM. Then he had a sudden spurt of energy, crawling all over me and nuzzling in my hair, and then had a spasm. I cupped him in my hand and talked to him soothingly until, right at midnight, the little guy was gone.


Derelei in the infamous "Food or Freedom?" experiment and sharing a sweet moment with my other recently departed parakeet, Miss Tweet.

I'm not usually overly sentimental about pets. but he was my little buddy for the last decade. I got him in a time of my life when I really felt like I had it together and his little warbling voice seemed to be the capstone of my happiness, a little incessant song of cheer. But since then, when things were not always gone according to plan, his cheerful cheeps and silly antics have seen me through some lonely and very bad years. There's a lot I've not done right, but I was always a good birdie mommy. He was one of my little parakeet princes, and I'll miss him.
 
 
Current Mood: crushedcrushed
 
 
 
Evil Imperial Barbariancarrot_khan on January 24th, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for your little birdie loss.
DameJ: Grad Picturedamej on January 24th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry.
Albredaalbreda on January 24th, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry. Sweet little nothings add up to a lot over the years, don't they?

I'm glad he didn't pass while you were gone, and that you got some time to prepare, and a nice last nuzzle.
Hrothny: lantanastitchwhich on January 24th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
This.

I'm sorry.
eithni: sorroweithni on January 25th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)
This is true. He really didn't last long once I was through the door, so I sort of wonder whether he was waiting for me. :/
Phatchick: Zen Hugsladybrigid on January 24th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry to hear this. Sending zen hugs.
JuliFoxjulifox on January 24th, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
{{{{ Hugs }}}} So sorry.
Ulfhildryuri_shoujo on January 24th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
): *hugs*
JinglyMushroomjinglymushroom on January 24th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
I'm very sorry for the loss, Eithni. You have my sympathies and wishes for healing... :( I know I might not be a first choice and you're usually the one giving me the offer, but I hope you know I'm around to talk if you ever feel like it, too.
eithni: sorroweithni on January 25th, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
Thanks Masha. I figured you could empathize. I'll miss the little bugger, but I'm not too surprised - he was well past his expiration date and he had a long, happy life. It is a sadness, but not an unexpected one.
naughtyaelfnaughtyaelf on January 25th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
Many hugs
Derelei got to die safe and warm in the embrace of someone who loved him. He was a lucky guy to be part of your life.
eithni: sorroweithni on January 25th, 2012 01:50 am (UTC)
Re: Many hugs
Thanks. I just COULD NOT leave him there at the animal hospital. I knew he was likely to go soon and to leave him in a bright, hard place with cats and dogs and nothing familiar? Nuh-uh. No Doing. I feel sad at his loss, but I'm pretty sure I did the right thing.
naughtyaelfnaughtyaelf on January 25th, 2012 02:10 am (UTC)
Re: Many hugs
You totally did the right thing, and I hope, if the gods are kind to me beyond what I deserve, I get to go the same way: warm, well fed and snuggled up to someone who loves me. :3 Bonus for me if there are nice boobs involved!
Roxelanaroxelana on January 25th, 2012 02:46 am (UTC)
You have my sympathies - Mollie has been in that "don't feel like moving" swinging to "let me follow you everywhere" for about two weeks now. I'm prepared - I hope.
arebekaharebekah on January 25th, 2012 04:54 am (UTC)
He was good birdy and had many adventures for an indoor creature. My favorite memory is of his first trip downstairs from the attic and discovering both the recycling bin and then wood floors.

I'm so sorry for you loss and I'm glad you have good memories.
Genevievekathryndana on January 25th, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
So sorry to hear about this, it's always sad when you lose a long time pet. *Hugs*
corvusjoyouscorvusjoyous on January 25th, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
So sorry for your loss :(

I think you made the right call too.

My birdie (Zelda the Cockatiel) did the same thing - held on until I was there to see her again. With creatures where their "flock" defines their life, this seems pretty reasonable to believe.

Thanks for being a good birdie mommy.
EllieSamelliesam on January 25th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry.