As I write this, Finnegan is calling for her bonded sister Ernie, who took her last breath this morning. Ernie was always the sweeter, tamer one of the pair, she let me ruffle her head feathers, and I could snuggle her into my bathrobe pocket for a few minutes in the mornings before breakfast. She also kept Finnegan in line, being the first one to go back into the cage when flight time was over and being a calming anchor to Finn's feistiness.
She became ill about two weeks ago and lost movement in her left leg. Our vet thought she either had a soft tissue injury, had an unfertilized egg that she would eventually lay, or she had a kidney tumor. After the meds (calcium, pain reliever, and antibiotic) failed to work and she continued to not be able to use the foot, we realized the tumor was taking hold. The past couple of weeks, I've let her have meal and flight times with Finn, and sleep in the same cage. The rest of the time she was in a little hospital/aquarium. She seemed close to death every day and then would come alive when I brought her to see Finn. The two of them would fly around in sync and call to each other and I thought I could somehow keep Ernie going.
This morning, I found her on the bottom of the cage, still warm. I took her out and held her until she took her last breath, which came with a last burst of energy and stretch of her wings. She was taking her final flight.
Here's a link to my favorite video of my dear Ernie, at the moment I realized she could carry a tune YouTube
Goodbye my sweet Ernie, you were greatly loved and you will be missed.