When my mom turned fifty a year older, my siblings and I had the genius idea to buy her a pair of love birds. I think, technically, I had the idea and convinced them to go along with it… but once you hear how this stroke of genius ended (possibly with an actual bird stroke), you’ll realize I’m not bragging. More like, taking the blame.
I did a little research (not a lot), and Andrea and I went where the pets go (Petco) and picked up a very cute pair of peach-faced loved birds. They were packaged in what was basically an unmarked Munchins box. The sales person pet specialist told us they’d chirp the whole way home. The didn’t move or make a peep. An anxiety riddled half hour passed. Then came the “how to move them from the munchkin box to the cage” debacle. Several anxiety riddle hours passed. Somehow, the transfer was completed.
Allegedly, the birds were from Madagascar, but they could’ve been from Medford, for all we knew. To this day, we have no idea if they were male or female or one of each, but we thought they were both males and named them Brewster and Harwich, for our favorite places on the Cape. We loved how surprised Mom was when she and Dad got home from her birthday dinner. She asked, “Are these really for me?” That was my favorite part. Of the entire lives of these birds.
Which… um… for Brewster was two months. Like many other birds across the country, Brewster sadly met his end on Thanksgiving. Mom and I took him to an animal hospital, where he was incubated in what looked like an aquarium. Apparently he had some disease (weird, our Petco Pal said those missing feathers were due to molting…) and needed to be euthanized.
I am not making any of this up.
So while the vets prepared a very small needle, my mom and I stood in the ICU, which was essentially a small room filled with various dying species, including a parrot whose feet had been bitten off by his cage mate and a dog experiencing kidney failure.
I don’t think I have ever experienced anything more awkward.
We worried that Harwich would be depressed without his questionably better half, but he seemed to thrive as an only birdchild for several years. He was an adventurous fellow, completing solo flights to the top of the Christmas tree and to the dark recesses behind the entertainment center. If I was the Bird Whisperer, I would imagine his favorite part of the day was when my parents uncovered and fed him and he got to stare out the window at the uncivilized birds in the yard.
Sadly, just days after this Thanksgiving, Harwich… flew to heaven (I figure if all dogs go to heaven, lovebirds probably do too). Bye, bye, birdie. Hello, hello, shopping for new pets for Mom and Dad. I’m kidding… I promise I will never do that again.
Also On Tap for Today:
- Puppy/human obedience class (must remember to not wear high heels)
- Pick up my final food items for Project Feed Me
- Remind my fellow Massachusetters to vote in tomorrow’s primary!
What was the most memorable gift you’ve given or received?