Three Little Birds
I've been staying away from TalkBudgies lately, because I didn't know what to say, really. It's hard to explain. I'd like to warn some people of what I'm about to say. I feel like I needed to explain them, to anyone, just to get the details out, but they might be a little shocking to some people.
Recently, my mother's cat died, and mine never came back. My mother was really distressed, so my brother decided to get her a new cat. We accepted the kitten of a family friend, who they had found down in Kentucky, attacked by a snake, and saved by that family friend's son.
She killed and ate all three of my babies. The first time was entirely my fault; being so used to having budgie-friendly cats, I suppose it slipped my mind to close their cage door before leaving the house with my family. There's really no excuse, though, and when we came home, Gilbird and Antonio came fluttering up to us. I was shocked -- why were they out? And then I realized Aussie wasn't with them, and I don't know, I checked the next room, and the cat was playing with my battered baby.
I thought she was dead, but when I chased the cat away, she looked up at me. She was stiff, but alive, and I gathered her up and quickly made her a little hospital room.
She didn't want to stay in her hospital room, though, and it absolutely broke my heart when she tried to drink water. I felt even worse when she tried to climb up on my shoulder, trying to drag herself up by my shirt. To save her the trouble, I placed her there, and she laid down, with what few of her feathers remained, fluffed. The cat had yanked out the feathers on her back and left her with one tail feather, and with bleeding sides and a broken foot. I tried to watch over her carefully, and let Gilbird accompany her in her little hospital bed.
After she died, I had planned to bury her, but the cat got to her before I did and tried to eat her body. My mother threw her away without my notice. I dug a hole and found her hospital bed empty.
When the cat killed my other two birds, I wasn't around. I was on vacation with my mother and sister. Because of the first ordeal, I had decided to keep the birds in my bedroom and not allow the cat anywhere near them. I left my bird's in my brother's care, and said, "Just leave them in this room."
Throughout my whole vacation, I was worried that he would forget to feed my fish and he would die. When we came home from the airport, my brother mentioned, "Oh, and, Lily killed the birds. Yeah, I left for work, and she knocked the cage down and killed them."
I didn't believe him, because he announced this so matter-of-factly, and my brother has a tendency to make cruel jokes like that. I went into the house hurriedly, and sure enough, my birds' cage was empty.
It was not where I had left it. It was in the living room, on top of the same dresser I had left it when Aussie died. The cage was broken and empty -- missing toys, even.
I had school the next day, but I couldn't sleep. I broke down several times at school, even though I knew I had to focus because we had missed a few days of school due to our vacation.
I hadn't wanted to miss school, let alone be gone for long, but my mother insisted. I wanted to be home by Sunday, but we came home Monday, and Sunday was when my birds died.
I wish I had been home, both of these times, to stop the cat. After Aussie died, I knew I couldn't be so irresponsible, and I tried. But then my birds died anyway. After Gilbird and Antonio died, I kept finding their feathers around, in places they had never been. It further upset me; piles of feathers in strange places (such as on the stairs leading to the basement) led me to believe that the cat had tortured them before they died, just as she had with Aussie. I feel horrible when I imagine how they must have felt. I had been gone for days already, and I can only think, "What if they were hoping I would come home and save them, in the nick of time, from the pain they were feeling?" And, oh, gosh, the terror they must have felt, being chased by claws and teeth. Gilbird could hardly fly, but Antonio was skilled. He could take off from a standstill. However, some time before I left, I had clipped his wings a little so he could fly, but not so far away from me any more. He couldn't get up to the same heights as before. If I hadn't clipped his wings, would he, at least, still be alive? I imagine what angry, distressed budgies sound like, and I imagine those sounds coming from my birds before they died. Aussie had seemingly given up when I found her. She wasn't making noise, really, and she laid stiff as the cat batted her body. I knew she was alive only when she looked at me. No one was there for them when my birds died, however. My brother came home, and my last two babies were dead and partially consumed. I would have liked to bury their bodies, again, but I wasn't home. I wasn't home any of those times, when my birds needed me.
This was a while ago, but not so long ago that I still can't help feeling upset. I received a new budgie as a Christmas present, but his skittish personality upsets me from time to time. I can't hold him, I can't touch him -- but at least he'll eat millet from me, as long as I don't move and don't startle him. I miss my birds who I used to spend all day with, playing and handling and feeding. I miss my birds' loud chatter and their excitement when we were eating (they wanted to eat with us), and I miss how sweet of a couple Gilbird and Aussie were. I miss Antonio's flying; he was the only one of my budgies who could sustain proper flight, and he would show off all the time.
My new bird's name is Frankie. He's very cute. I thought to myself, "Okay, maybe a new bird will relieve some of my grief." Perhaps if he had been sociable, he would have, but his avoidant personality causes me more grief. I told myself I wouldn't compare him to my past birds, since that would be unfair to him, but he reminds me of them anyway. Another warning: getting a new bird after your first has died may make you even more upset.
Thanks for listening, guys.