Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Last Words of the Bird

A couple of weeks ago, I heard my sister Kerry call for my mom from the bathroom.  She had been showering with her cockatiel (as you do) and somehow the shampoo had fallen and splashed on his nose and face.  It didn't seem to be an emergency situation and Kerry was asking for advice on how to make sure the bird would trust her in the future.  In short, a typical night at the Wright Family Nuthouse.

I updated my Facebook

News that could only come from my family: Cody the 22 year old cockatiel was taking a shower with my sister and got shampoo in his eyes. Emergency vet being considered. Sister worries the bird will never trust her again. As the Wrights Turn will continue after the break.

Two hours later, I was at the emergency vet with Kerry and we were having the poor bird put to sleep.  He had been poisoned by Head and Shoulder shampoo, and that combined with his 21 years of life were just too much for the poor thing.

Sooooo, I felt really bad.  For one thing, our family has had this bird since he was a baby.  My sisters absolutely adored him.  Kerry had taught him how to say her name and his name.  She showered with him, took him on vacation, bought him treats, the whole shebang.  I was not a gigantic fan of Cody or of having birds for pets in general, but I knew my sisters both felt a very real sense of loss and I felt terrible for making fun of the situation on Facebook.

At the same time, there was some humor in the situation.  On the way home from the vet (thirty miles.  Not too many emergency avian vets apparently), Kerry was upset and was talking about how many times the veterinary staff came in and told us how much everything was going to cost.  At one point she said, "I can't even believe they were going to charge us to give the bird the last rites!"

Now, in case you did not grow up Catholic, the last rites is a sacrament that involves praying over the dying and anointing them with oil.  I didn't remember the subject of bringing a Catholic priest in after midnight to bless the cockatiel into heaven coming up at the vet.

"When did they say that?" I asked gently.

"You heard them!  They asked us if we wanted a postmortem!!!"

That would be more like an autopsy.  I do like the image of getting a priest out of bed to rub oil on a bird head, though.

So rest in peace, Cody the cockatiel.  I deleted that Facebook status about you, I promise.

1 comment:

  1. Uh wow. I wasn't expecting THAT.

    My sympathies to your family!