On my 9th birthday my grandparents gave my brother and I a pair of birds. Budgerigars. Budgies. My brother chose the dark blue bird and I fell in love with the light blue that I promptly named Blueberry.
Nine-year-old kids shouldn’t be allowed to name pets. I still have a cat wandering around called FLUFFNUTS thanks to when my daughter was nine. It should be noted that Fluffnuts is a girl.
I loved our birds so and I still remember the horror of coming into the kitchen one school morning only to find my brother’s bird dead on the bottom of the cage. The bird had no head. Blueberry was perched on his swing above his buddy’s carcass and if he knew what happened, he wasn’t telling. It’s one of my life’s biggest mysteries, to be honest. How did my brother’s bird lose its head?
Blueberry, however, managed to keep his head for many years after that fateful day. There may have been a rather unfortunate foot amputation along the way, but you’d have never known he only had one foot from the way he hopped about that cage. He was my one-footed wonder bird and when he finally expired more than a decade later, I was sorry to see him go.
But those pair of blue budgies started something. They began my lifelong love affair with all things feathered. I love birds. I used to sit for hours and watch my grandmother’s canary trill happily and I’ll never forget the day I brought home my very first pair of birds as an adult.
Abe and Lester, my lovebirds. How I loved those birds, even when they tried to bite off my finger. They played and squabbled and squawked so loudly that my husband would have to walk outside to talk on the phone or yell at them to shut up. But their noise, it kept me company as I grieved the death of my son. I loved those birds so.
My family? They were less fond of the birds. They didn’t appreciate their mess, their noise or their charm. While I love my husband and my kids fiercely, it may be my greatest disappointment to know that my avian appreciation has not been passed to the next generation.
Still, it didn’t matter. They were my babies. My flock. I doted on those birds. They rewarded me by dying. On my birthday. Simultaneously.
That was also the very last time I ever had cats in the house. And that’s all I am going to say about that.
But I’m in a cat-free zone now, my kids are older and mostly never home and the silence of the day claws at my heart and my sanity. Perhaps it’s time to add a few feathers to my nest, so to speak.
I’m still a bird newb so I’ve some research to do but one thing is for certain; I’ve got the perfect spot for a bird or two. All the better so I can spend my day tweeting alongside my new feathered friend.