Nova came to us on Halloween of 2009, about six months after we bought our first budgie, Luna. He came at a time when everyone in our home was depressed....I'd just been diagnosed with a crippling disease and had to stop working, my hubby was upset over all my health problems and his own job situation, and even Luna was despondent and lonely. We decided in order to help Luna we would get her a male companion for company....thus came our dear Nova.
Nova was the "X factor" in our family. He had such a big personality....he was fearless of humans, jumping on our camera and on our heads his first day here. Him and Luna took to each other like soul mates the second they were introduced....they touched beaks within 30 seconds and were inseparable forever after. There was in fact so much budgie love going on between them that everyone who came to our home said it was like living in a romance novel! Nova knitted our little family together and we were all so inspired by his spirit and playfulness....it took all of us out of our depression.
About a month ago Nova started looking ill....sleepy and fluffed up, barely active at all, lots of diarrhea and even a little vomiting. We immediately took him to the vet. They tested his droppings and gave him a full exam....the vet said his lungs sounded a tiny bit congested, and he was slightly underweight, but there was nothing they could find wrong with him. Nova was sent home without treatment. A funny side note: we took both Luna and Nova into the vet together so they'd be less afraid (they don't like to be separated), and whenever the vet would put Nova down Luna would rush up and kiss his beak.
Weeks passed and while Nova had a few hours of playing and looking happy, he was obviously not himself. He was tired and not very active, and seemed to want to get away from Luna as she was always begging him to feed her. Late yesterday afternoon he flew out of the cage and sat on the floor of our living room in the dark, while Luna remained in the cage. My hubby and I thought this was definitely a sign of bad things to come, as he has never done this kind of thing.
About 6 pm Nova had been back in his cage when he suddenly fell from a high perch, and we rushed over to him. He was struggling to walk on the cage floor with one wing slightly dragging, but he still managed to climb up the side bars and situate himself on the lowest perch. We lined the floor of the cage with soft towels so he wouldn't hurt himself if he fell again, put a heating pad under the grate, and put millet and water right by him. Luna was still staying away from him and she looked scared.
Just before 9 pm Nova suddenly plunged forward off his perch onto the cage floor again. My husband and I rushed over...he was gasping for air, unable to move, and looked so scared. We knelt by him and whispered sweet nothings to him, and were also able to reach in through the cage and gently pet his head (normally our birds don't like to be held in our hands, so we were afraid we'd alarm him if we picked him up completely). It took about 3-4 minutes of us whispering and petting him, and then his gasping began to slow. His eyes went from open to closed. I felt a small shudder in his body and then he was gone.
Luna doesn't seem to know what to make of this....we left his body in the cage for awhile and she did look at Nova closely, but I'm not sure she really understands what happened. She is alone in the cage this morning, calling incessantly for him. I worry about her so much....she's awfully young to be a widow.
Nova will be so terribly missed....honestly he was the coolest budgie EVER. Today we'll bury him under our tree in the backyard, with a little millet and one of Luna's flight feathers which she lost in her last molt. Someday they'll fly together again, and we'll all be reunited.
Please send blessings to heaven for our sweet Nova. In the attached picture, he is the beautiful dark blue bird.