‘Tweety’…

I wasn’t looking for a pet bird when ‘Tweety’ entered my life.  I’d owned four parakeets, over the years, and had enjoyed all of them, but I thought I was finished with the ‘bird phase’ of my life.  Little did I know…

The year was 2005, and I was still working at school, as a parapro, then volunteering at the local animal shelter during weekends and summers.  Everyone at school knew I was committed to finding homes for any animals who needed them–after all, I’d adopted over twenty of them during the past year alone!

I was in my classroom, working, when a co-worker stuck her head in the door and asked if I’d be interested in adopting a parakeet.  She said a pretty green and yellow bird had showed up at their house, under their carport.  She said the bird was relatively tame, so her husband had been able to capture it.  They had not been able to find its owner, and she wasn’t interested in keeping it, so she thought of me.  Without giving it a second thought, I agreed to take the bird.’Tweety’ came to me housed in a tiny pink mouse cage, which the teacher said I could have.

I quickly determined that it was a male bird, from the blue-colored area where its nostrils were located, just above its beak.  Judging from the ‘color bars’ still left on its head, the bird was still fairly young.  Probably under a year old.  I couldn’t keep a parakeet in a mouse cage, so I quickly found him a bird cage on eBay and ordered it. For some reason, I decided to call the bird, ‘Tweety’, but in later years,  I usually just called him ‘Tweeters’.

When I got the bird home,  he was wild as he could be, and flapped his wings every time I neared his cage.  It took weeks for him to calm down enough so I could feed and water him peacefully! I often wondered how in the world that teacher’s husband managed to lay his cap over that bird, in order to capture it!

I believe, Tweety’s previous owners had taught him to talk.  I could tell, because I once taught a parakeet how to talk.  They ‘talk’ in a certain pitch and tone, and you have to listen closely to decipher what they are saying, especially at first.  Listening to what parakeets are saying is often difficult because they do most of their talking when it’s noisy around them.

For some reason, Tweety liked my daughter, and did most of his ‘talking’ when she was around. We noticed, when she started talking, Tweety started ‘talking’, too, but we were never able to understand what he was saying.  If we got quiet and tried to listen, Tweety got quiet, as well.  (We did notice, recently, that Tweety had learned how to imitate the baby chicks who had been staying next-door, in the pool room!)

Tweety lived, in his cage, on top of my curio cabinet, which is located in a corner of the living room.  He seemed to like his ‘bird’s eye view’ of his surroundings, and I liked the way the decorative top edge of the curio cabinet caught all of the stray seeds and feathers, and kept them out of sight.  Birds are messy creatures!

I hung a two-sided mirror in Tweety’s cage, and he dearly loved it!  A little bell hung from the end of the mirror, too.  Tweety loved kissing and talking to his reflection in that mirror, and he loved ringing his bell!

The years passed, and I began to wonder how much longer Tweety was going to be with me. None of my other birds lived past the age of seven, and I was nearing the nine year mark with Tweety–not counting the time he’d spent with his previous owner!

A while back, I could tell that Tweety was slowing down.  He’d stopped using his cuttlebone to sharpen his beak, and didn’t ring his bell quite as often.  A couple of weeks ago, I noticed more changes, and I knew Tweety’s days were growing short.

Yesterday morning, when I got up, I immediately noticed Tweety wasn’t on his perch.  I looked in the bottom of his cage, and there he sat.  Tweety was alive, but I knew he wouldn’t be for much longer. Tweety quietly passed away a couple of hours later.

This morning the house is eerily quiet.  No sounds of Tweety hopping around in his cage, no sounds of his ringing bell.  Yesterday afternoon, Ed buried Tweety, along with ‘Ethan’, the dog, and ‘Della’, the baby chick, who died recently.  Our pet cemetery continues to grow.

It’s amazing how God’s creatures can enter our lives and become such a part of us!  I always begin to fret as my pets grow older (and I have a lot who are!).  It’s painful to have to say “good-bye”, but, in the end, I wouldn’t change a thing because of the joy they bring.

Rest in peace, dear ‘Tweeters’.  Perhaps we’ll meet again someday…

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Published in: on November 4, 2014 at 10:38 am  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ah heck. I’m so sorry your lost your sweet bird. I know how hard it is to lose one of our pets, even when we know it will happen, we’re never really prepared. RIP Tweeters!! Hugs to you!

  2. I had a parakeet that joined dogs and a black cat in my collection of childhood pets. “Pretty Boy was loving, social and a talker. We let him out of his cage when we were home and he would light on shoulders and heads of me and my parents.

    One day my dad forgot and went outside with PB perched on his head. PB flew and quickly disappeared. We searched, called and spread the word about our missing pet, but PB was gone.

  3. Lucky Tweety. to live with you all those years. Perhaps his previous owner let him fly about the house. That would explain why he was so wild when you put him in the cage, and also how he got lost in the first place. When he was a child, my ex-husband had a parakeet who was allowed to stay out of his cage. I forget the particulars, but he had a story about Thanksgiving guests getting grossed out when they saw parakeet footprints in the mashed potatoes

  4. It’s interesting how the end of the story greatly reflects our Baby bird’s last days. Although he hung around a lot longer than I expected him to. He really started acting off during the summer, but that last week he was alive I knew it wasn’t going to be long. He died the same way as Tweety. One morning we uncovered his cage and he was down at the bottom. I told the kids to say goodbye before they left for school because I was certain he wouldn’t be alive when they came home. He died before I came home to check on him at lunch time. He did let us all pet him that morning, something he hasn’t done since the kids were little.

  5. Aww, I’m sorry.

    One of my most vivid childhood memories was of my Grandma’s parakeet Petey.


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