Everything I said yesterday about not wanting a bird, or any responsibilities at all, I take back right now! I did a show in Orlando today--my worst to date, by the way. (Sweet N says, "If you make more than $0, it's a good show! You're only there to make contacts, anyway!")
While there I of course had to visit the Goffin babies! I held three darling little 8 week olds, they could hardly even walk yet. After I set each of them back down one in particular crawled over to the bars of the little bin/cage and, legs splayed, tried with all of her might to climb to the top to be held again!
I picked her up and cuddled her and held her and kissed her and I was soooooo falling in love with her that I set her back down and ran! No babies... not yet!
Oooh! New inspiration for my business! I want a baby soooooo badly!!! I am going to kiss her and cuddle her and name her Lilly and we will be the bestest of friends evar!
I am trying to update my business card holders. The options are:
1. Some with full pictures (when available), some with head shots
I think it looks more professional with just all head shots, but am afraid that some would have liked the full pictures, where available, better. Which would you order--head shot or full picture?
I feel you, Sophia
I feel you
Do they think that walls can hide you?
Even now I'm at your window
I am in the dark, beside you
I'll steal you, Sophia
You're gone and yet you're mine
I'm fine, Sophia
~Johanna, Sweeney Todd
When Sophia and I would play, I used to sing to her all kinds of silly songs, substituting her name for the one in the song. This was my favorite, and I'd sing I love you, Sophia....
Over a year, and still the grief is so great, as to be at times unbearable. This is what happens when you fall in love with another soul, human or not, and aren't prepared for their unexpected departure.
A year later, and still part of my soul is missing.
Yesterday N and I were at the beach. A seagull flew over to join us, and, never having paid much attention to them in the past, I was surprised that she was just Sophia's size. We tossed snacks to her. With each bite her confidence built, and she'd walk two steps closer.
She allowed us to feed the other little birds, too, without chasing them away, but when another sea gull came by, she ruthlessly chased it off. He returned several times, and with each subsequent chase she grew more slitty-eyed. It was absolutely adorable.
Then I tried working on some pictures for the store--the letter opener with Soph's pic needs to be updated. I was going to edit another of her pictures, but the heaviness of the grief was consuming. I cried myself to sleep last night, missing her, and am in tears again today.
Life needs to come with warnings. CAUTION: Do not get attached. Unexpected death will result in severe and long-lasting grief.
I don't think I could own (vs. foster, of course) another bird just because I could not bear the pain of another loss, not to speak of my love for Sophie.
Me, scritching Sadie's head
*Sadie runs back for cuddles*
Me: "You are ENTP. It's nice dating an ENTP!!!"
Him: "I'm not ENTP, and besides, the MBTI is silly."
Me: "Wanna bet? OK, here's the ENTP answer for 'Is the cup half empty or half full?' *Reading* 'ENTP -- Voila! .157 liters hydrogen hydroxide, prepared by micro gnomes ...'"
Him"That's not what I'd say. I'd say the cup is too big and make it smaller so it would be totally full"
Me: "Oh wait! They have a second list of answers!!" *Reading* 'ENTP - Hmm...it's...(Ingeniously constructs a hacksaw from two straws and a shoelace, cuts the glass in half)...Ah...Now it's completely full!'"
My vet messaged me on Facebook and said if I was looking to flock Sadie, she had a cockatoo someone'd given her that I might be able to work with. I picked him up on Saturday! His name is Willow and he is WILD! Does. Not. Like. To Be. Handled!
But he and Sadie are already in love :)
Dear Miss Sadie,
You are absolutely adorable when you toss things. Really, you are. You have three different styles of toss. The first--my favorite--is when you pick up the object in your foot and fling it over your head. Nice aim! We're getting pretty good at catch that way. The second, and totally cute, is your projectile missile launch. You snatch your object and, holding it in the side of your beak, toss your head back, sending it flying across the room. The third, and least effective, is the sort of under-the-wing-toss you attempt, when you lift your wing and either projectile launch or toss with your foot. Problem is, it doesn't go very far and usually gets caught in your feathers.
A little note: it's funny, but a little rude, when you sit on your basket flinging and launching various objects (mostly bits of basket) at my face. I know it may seem entertaining to you--indeed, you prefer it to almost anything else if given the option--but it is just a touch on the cheeky side. Maybe we can get a basketball hoop and you can aim for that instead?
Hugs and kisses,
On days when I am home early, I get the distinct impression that ( if Sadie could talk...Collapse )
And it was soooo hard to do! My roommate helped me. By the time we were done, Sadie was *pissed.*
I put her back on her cage and sat in the lazy-boy nearby. She got one of her little block toys and flung it at me! She hit me on the cheek with it! ROFLMAO!
She spent the rest of yesterday glaring at me from on her cage, and nipping me if I came near. Little bugger!
Today she seems to have forgiven me. I got her some almonds, and she is enjoying riding around on my shoulder--something she couldn't do before with long nails!
Sadie has been so healing for me. I look forward to going home each day to see my adorable little girl.
She loves to eat everything, and doesn't shy away from anything. The funny thing is she sticks out her tongue WAY far--and she licks! Hilarious!
She also learned somewhere along the line to throw things over her head. When she gets a piece of food she doesn't like, she holds it in her foot, stares at it, and then flings it over her head, across the room. She also does this to play, with non-food items. I get home and there's various bits scattered all over the house. So funny!
She hates showers, although I give her one about 2-3x/week. She's still dirty from that awful cage.
I replaced her cage on Monday with a flight cage, like the first cage Sophia had. I bought all kinds of toys for inside of it, and, while I wouldn't say she loves it the way Sophia loved her big macaw cage, it definitely gives her more room to spread her wings and play.
It's a strange "connection" I have with Sadie. We are both damaged goods, and healing. Her nails are still long and sharp, so she can't go on my skin much. She's afraid of hands, and I'm afraid of nips, so we keep a healthy respect for each other.
She still cries when she wants something. (Sophia stopped crying, unless she was hurt--rare, at about 18 months old.)
My connection with Sophia was almost like my connection with my own soul. Sometimes I would awaken in the middle of the night, and be lying in bed. I'd start to think of Sophie, and then I'd hear her call out. It was eery. I didn't see Sophia as a "bird" or a pet, she was like part of myself, my daughter, a part of me. I had her from the time she was a small baby, and moulded every part of her environment to be as emotionally healthy as possible.
I was like Sophia's mommy. James once mentioned, when I was out of town for five days, how differently Sophia interacted with basically everyone else except me. She trusted me implicitly, with the unwaivering faith only an intelligent creature places in its guardian. We had an absolute bond, and were happiest when in the presence of each other. (I know that sounds strange.) When I was at school I missed her. When I had to go out of town, I hated it. I missed her. I tried to bring her with me everywhere I went--errands, the park, even work sometimes. I adored her. I started my small business b/c I wanted to work from home--to be with her. I missed not having her around me all day.
Sadie... at the end of the day, although I am coming to love her, and she makes me so very happy, is not a part of my soul. She does not implicitly trust me, and I don't implicitly trust her. We are companions, I think, in this thing called healing. Sadie has been hurt by people. She will always have a little wariness. Sophia had never known hurt, and trusted and loved everyone she met.
One strange difference between the two was that, despite Sophia's acceptance of people, she was always nervous about new objects. It'd be weeks of coaxing before I could get her on various new perches, etc.
Sadie, on the other hand, takes to anything new within a few hours. She is very well basket-trained, and also completely potty trained. (That is great!)
Ah well, that's how it goes. :)
From my trip to the zoo last Saturday!
She's sooooo sweet I just adore her!!
Last night Auntie M (random11 ) came over to meet her little god-fid. She brought an awesome new toy, but Sadie just absolutely took to her. She let M scritch under her wing, on her cheek...
She danced for Auntie M, spread her wings, showed her all her great moves... So sweet and hilarious! She gazed as only a 'too in love can, such soft eyes, trust, and love!
This morning my little Miss Sadie hopped off of her basket to come over for cuddles around 6:30am. Ohhh melt my heart! We cuddled for a good while, the perfect start to a day. :)
Sadie, after cuddles, kept looking for Auntie M, her new special friend. random11 will have to come visit again soon!
I took Miss Sadie to Ft. Myers with me this weekend. If she's gonna be well-rounded and healthy for another family, I want her to be a fair traveler.
And is she ever! She adores car rides! "I'll look at this.. and this... and this..." She dances to music like it's nobody's business, and bobs in response to windshield wipers!
She's quite the confident little miss! Not a lot phases her, she's so happy to be out and about!
She enjoyed meeting family, but I was pretty cautious with her. She's still flighted and there are all sorts of evils lurking in the house: dogs, fans, open doors. She mostly stayed in (or on) the cage in the back.
By Sunday afternoon she was pretty stressed. After 45 mins on the road, though, she was good as gold again. She loves driving! She dances, she watches all the cars, she gets extra cuddles from Mom... What's not to love about driving??
Gotta say, she keeps surprising me with how confident and balanced she is! Now to get those feathers to grow in...
Saturday was pretty great. Saturday night I called her daddy so she could talk to him on the phone. She just cried. :(
I gave her lots of cuddles. When it came time for bed, I put her on her cage. I couldn't get her in, and she doesn't really leave her cage, so didn't force the issue. I think she must have been playing with a bead because the next thing I heard was a plop, and then her little feat walking on the wood floor. I went to the top of the stairs to look down. She was walking in circles at the foot of the steps.
I called, "C'mon Sadie! C'mere!!!" She kept fluttering her wings, walking in circles, trying to figure out how to come up. Finally she jumped to the first step. "YAY!!! GOOD GIRL! C'MON SADIE!!!" And on to the second... and on and on. She was *so* proud when she got to me at the top!! :)
I have a little basket. She's pretty afraid of it, but I covered it with the sweater I'd been wearing all day (that she'd been standing on), and let her sleep on the basket next to me in bed.
Sunday, well, Sunday Sadie was *pissed.* She missed her daddy like it was nobody's business and she wanted everyone to know it. There was no holding her, no cuddles. She nipped quite a bit. Finally before bed I called her daddy again so she could talk to him. She listened and listened... and when he got off the phone, she started crying and calling for him. She flew off of her cage onto my shoulder to walk around looking for him.
I felt so bad... I let her sleep on the basket next to me again. Since she's a naked little chicken-girl I found a heating pad to put under the sweater so she could stay warm while perched there at night. She slept very well. So did I :)
I feel like making a bumper sticker that says, "Plucked is beautiful, too." My gorgeous little Sadie-girl...
For the first time in the past six months, I so looked forward to going home today to see my little buddy. :)
I got Sadie (formerly Chip) yesterday. She has a few particular rules before I get into more details.
1. Nothing needs to be done that cannot be done from Mommy's shoulder. This includes eating. If Mommy is desperate enough, she will hold the cup to me and I will eat from here.
2. I know I am missing feathers on my face. Don't ask.
3. I only like the yellow pellets, thankssomuch.
4. Do not clip my wings. Don't even think about filing my nails. Neither of these may be completed from Mommy's shoulder, therefore they are unnecessary.
5. I know I smell. Deal with it.
6. Please pet me all over. Scritch my head, under my wings, my neck, my tummy. I love you I love you I love you!!!
So, back to Sadie. Somebody truly loved this bird. She is eight years old. A year and a half ago the gentleman's wife of 25 years left him, taking the macaws, the mollucan, etc. She left Chip/Sadie with the man, who is in his 70s and legally blind. Sadie has not been out of her cage since then.
Her diet has been cake and sunflower seeds. When I went last Sunday to visit her, the water was a week old. Yesterday when I went, there was none. :(
And oh the smell. The smell. It's awful. I gave her a good shower last night, even using some organic shea butter soap. She's still dirty, and the smell won't go away... It's nauseating. :(
Good grief... he took the cover off of her cage to fold it up. No fewer than TWENTY COCKROACHES dropped from the blanket. I actually think they crawled on her, which is why she is so itchy and pulling out her feathers. She does not appear to be neurotic in the slightest. Her cage is completely rusted out. I'm surprised she doesn't have zinc poisoning!
So, I picked her up. The old gentleman just sobbed. I felt so, so sorry for him. He said, "Goodbye, Chip! I'm so sorry!" And I know he was. He said he'd had birds his whole life. He has a cockatiel and a parakeet left (both in good feather).
On the drive home I let her out of the travel cage I brought. She darted out and raced to my shoulder. "This is my spot, thankssomuch." I showed her some new toys I'd gotten. She was fearful at first, but after a few moments played with all of them as I offered them. She is very trusting--not afraid of hands, not too afraid of new things. This is how I know she had an excellent upbringing. She reminds me of Sophia in her trust for others.
Oh, she also absent-mindedly lifts her foot when I walk by--like Sophia. "Mom's here. She'll pick me up."
We got home and showered first thing. She didn't know what to make of the shower, and initially hated the water. I tried to get her into it by singing and dancing... no such luck. By then, though, she was pretty wet. I dabbed a little soap on her wings--that's when she settled down. It seemed very soothing to her. Then we got out, and I towel-dried her without any problem at all. I turned on the blow drier, not a big fan. I put it on the ground facing her direction and after a while she stood in the wind because it was nice and warm :)
Then it was bedtime. Not a peep from her, not a sound. All night, no problems. N was over, and I thought for sure when she heard us up this morning she'd start screaming. Nope!! Not a screamer, not a biter, just a lover, this one.
I'm so happy to have her. My little plucked chicken-girl :)
( More Pictures of Little SadieCollapse )
On my way to pick up my new girl!!! *squee!*
My dearest Sophia,
There are no words to describe my pain because it is not really here yet. My heart is like a tiny hut, the vast ocean knocking on the door, I am waiting to be swept away with grief.
I loved you like my own child. You were the light of my life, and you died of a broken heart. There is an unspeakable emptiness, a physical one, because you are not on my shoulder.
When my grandfather died, when Petey died, I felt their presence almost immediately in my own soul. It was as though through their transcendence into immortality, their physical presence became an immediate spiritual one—and I still feel it now.
Sophie, this is not so with you. I do not want to know that you have died. I do not want to believe I shall never see your pure eyes, experience your wings spread across my chest, feel the feathers of your sweet head under my chin. Sophie, I adored you, and I always will. I love you with all of my heart and I am so very, very sorry.
I do not know why God is ripping apart from me all whom I hold dear. My world has fallen apart and I do not know why.
But I loved you and am so sorry. I hope you can forgive me. I’m not sure I will ever be able to forgive myself.
Sophie doesn't seem to understand what is going on. Yesterday Petey was at the bottom of his home for several hours, and she was next to me as I held him last evening, crying. She was all "omg I'm so special and sweet and I loooove you mommy!" last night, her usual adorable self.
When I put her to bed last night, she yelled a few times. I came to check on her, and the first time I came in, instead of being asleep on her cage or on Petey's cage, she was hanging monkey-style with by one foot from the blinds, looking out to the patio, expectantly. I came back a half hour later to check on her, and she was hanging upside down, watching out the window, waiting.
Tonight I have kept her with me all night. I finally put her to bed around 10:00 pm. When I went in to check on her again at 11:00pm she was perched atop the curtain rod, sleeping... and still waiting. I woke her up again and brought her out with me.
Right now she is on my monitor, preening. Her eyes have always been so expressive. I have never seen her so sad. :( She is usually so soulfully full of life and exuberance, combined with a touch of mischief. Tonight her eyes are deep, and seem filled with confusion and sadness. She keeps running over to me, pressing her head against my cheek, her eyes half open, as if drawing comfort from me. I gave her two feedings of moist, warm food (very comforting).
My Dearest Petey,
My heart is broken tonight as I sit here without you. When I came home this evening I found your lifeless body at the bottom of your home. I ran over to you, hoping against hope, that your spirit had not left the shell of your body. But it had, as told by the stiffness in that shell I had come to so love.
You were my angel-boy, a seraph who had come into my life for the briefest of visits. This morning you didn't look like you were feeling well. I promised to call the vet if you still didn't look too perky tonight, never suspecting that you could slip away so quickly. I had a board meeting--I absolutely could not miss it. I should have called J to ask him to take you to the vet. I am so sorry my love. I will never forgive myself.
As I held you close to my chest this morning, kissing your precious little forehead, and keeping you against my heart, I thought of how happy you have become here. I thought, with a touch of humility, of how very much you trust me, how you seem to love me too. Last month you learned to fly from the top of the patio shed. You were so very proud when you took that first leap off of the scary-high spot. You landed on my hand, bursting with joy, and you spread your wings and bobbed. I kissed you and hugged you, so very proud, too. (Then you climbed back up and we did this ten more times!)
Last week we started practicing how to wave. I felt a touch of humility then, too, as you let me touch your wing, and, saying "Wave!" you would lift it ever so slightly. Then you dived into my chest for kisses and cuddles. Yes, my little love, it took courage, and I was so humbled to have earned such trust. All this week we practiced "Jump!" with a wave when you landed--and you did so well.
Thank you for your trust, for your love, for your cuddles. I remember when we first brought you home I couldn't hold you for ten seconds! And now you rode around my shoulder, observing all I do, an extension of my heart.
I know your spirit is free in that endless sky, where you fly unhindered by fear or the scars of abuse. I know we will meet again soon, and look forward to seeing your beautiful eyes and kissing your sweet forehead.
PS--please keep an eye on your little sister, Soph. I'm not sure I'd survive losing both of you.
Athie, just as I pressed "Submit," flew into the house. He landed on the sofa, Petey in high pursuit. He flew off again, rounding the livingroom, and then found me racing to intervene. He landed on my shoulder and exclaimed, "OH MY LORD!!"
I replied, laughing, "Hi Athie!"
He said, "Whew!" and then made a victory Woowooowooo!
Now I remember why I wish I could work from home! I never stop laughing with these guys!!
(And yes, Petey is in time out...)
Athie can fly. He's very proud of this fact. And, at two years old, he has landing down to a science. (Finally!)
This morning I put all of my Mob Squad Three on the patio--and placed Athie on his customary Perch Where Petey Can't Get Him. Feeling pretty confident he flew over to a hanging planter. Petey ran over to climb up the patio swing and jump on the planter. Athie, startled, flew in the open door and landed next to me. He looked up at me and said, "GEEZE!"
LOLOL!!!! Like, "Can't a guy get a break?!"
I've been teaching Petey to fly on command in the house, it is his singular favorite activity. I'll point to the atom (a large hanging perch) and say, "Jump!!" and he will flap inexperiencedly (think doggy-paddling) to the playstand. Then he will bob and spread his wings, so very proud and happy.
Two nights ago I was in the parrot room. Petey was flying from the atom, to my hand, to Athie's cage, to me, to the atom... sooo adorable and so happy. Sophia was sitting on my shoulder watching the whole ordeal.
Brilliantly I thought I'd voice train him to fly, without hand signals, to various places--the atom, his cage, Sophie's cage, Athie's cage... I pointed to his cage, which was a bit further away, and said, "Jump!" He wouldn't do it. "Jump!" He looked at me, confused. "Jump to your cage!" Nope, he wasn't going to do it. So we continued jumping from the atom to Athie's cage. I tried a few more times, unsuccessfully, to convince him to jumpt to his cage, but he wouldn't.
My back was turned to Petey's cage, and all of a sudden Sophie jumped there. I didn't pay much attention, but she suddenly squawked. Petey and I turned around to look at her. She was gesturing that she wanted to jump to me. I held out my hand, and said, "Jump!" She flew onto my hand and then hopped back onto my shoulder to watch.
Petey observed her fly to his cage and then back to me, and when I told him again, "Jump!" and gestured to his cage, he looked up at Sophie on my shoulder, back to his cage, and then flew!
Sophie wanted to demonstrate to Petey how to fly to the far cage--that it was safe--and completing her task, she resumed her position on my shoulder, watching him play the jump game. :)
I love my bugaboo girl!
This morning I wanted to try to get a picture of Sophia lying on her back, in my hands--black background, black shirt. All you'd see was hands and bird.
Sophia wasn't terribly cooperative, so I finally gave up. Here's one of my "outtakes" -- she kept jumping up for kisses and cuddles instead (which I was only too happy to oblige!)!