Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bye, Bye Birdies

Bobo and Taha, our ex-cockatiels
I'm not an animal person. I wish I were.

Partly, I'm not good with noise, smell or mess. I joke at times that I'm borderline autistic in my senses -- to the point of discomfort, at that.

Also, I'm terrified of them being hurt or injured. I overempathize maybe. But I can't bear the thought of the suffering. And I have all I can handle to try to keep the humans I'm responsible for from suffering.

Suffice it to say, I don't make a good pet owner, and I know it.

Now, you should know, I grew up with pets. Cats and big dogs. As a little girl, I was definitely devoted to our first dog, Maverick. But, as I got older, I got less tolerant of the drool and the smell and the hair. I enjoyed an occasional cuddle with the kittens, but I couldn't clean up cat vomit without gagging. Or, scoop poop from the ground or their litter.

I am just not cut out for poop scooping.

And the good goes in hand with the bad.

People think I don't like animals. I do. I just love them more from afar.

I get how that truth doesn't seem reasonable.

At any rate, fast forward to my two beautiful boys who, by the time they are toddlers, want what every kid wants: a cat or a dog. Except, I'm not a good pet owner, and, anyway, Son Number One is allergic. Badly, badly allergic.

The parade of non-cat or dog animals begins.


hermit crabs (RIP);

bunny rabbits (oy vey, what was I thinking?!), and, then


And one supposedly hypoallergenic dog (Not!) in between.

I didn't even want a freaking dog and I wept for days when we had to give him back.

Sobbed, I tell you.

Some of you might remember the weeping.  

Son Two with Taha recently
At any rate, the birds lasted here for nearly six years. It was a good run. Honestly, I think and hope we were actually pretty good owners.

BUT, they never got the attention they seemed to crave, or I felt they truly deserved.

They would love nothing more than to be out on my shoulder all day -- and guess what, I'd let them be, except for the constant liquid poop thing. . .

Still, we gave them a decent amount of attention, as best we could.

But, the boys are getting bigger, and the older leaves for college next year.

And he is the person in our house who has always been best with the birds.

So, the other day, when a chance conversation came up with a friend  -- her partner was BADLY wanting a bird; she had owned one previously that had died, and her heart was craving another -- I felt maybe it was karmic, and I jumped on it.

Last night, with the boys' consent, we packed their cage and brought them to their new home.

So, today, the spot with the bird cage is empty, and Taha and Bobo are gone. I keep turning my head to the sound of phantom tweets.

And, yes, I have shed a few tears.

I can only imagine how it will be when the boys' bedrooms are empty. I mean, I never even minded their poop.

But, in the meantime, I am grateful. I know the birds have a wonderful -- better -- new home.

And, of course, life marches. And birds fly.

With love and gratitude to Carol and Carole.

- gae


  1. Oh Gae...Sometimes when a door closes, a window opens...which wouldn't be a good thing with birds so better you make the transition now than when the oldest boy heads off to adventures great and small. That they've gone to a good home is the critical thing...and of course you are missing them and feeling some/many pangs...but you're right to acknowledge they may have needed more than you can give. And they've gone together so that should be a comfort in and off itself.
    It's hard though...although it seems to be one of those periods where most things are...I hope they are happy in their new home. And I hope you will find comfort in your choice for them.

  2. Ten days ago, I might have told you to get over it. Today, I know how you feel about that empty space. You and your family did the right thing... which ain't always easy.

  3. Lovely post, Gae...Thanks for trusting us to take in your little winged friends....There isn't really vomit or poop involved, though, is there?? Just kidding -- we love vomit and poop!

  4. aw. No more birds chirping in the background of your videos? Or sitting on heads in pics? Completely understandable. I've never been a pet person myself. I'm actually surprised I've been able to keep my kids alive this long.