Lilly is gone

She's had a couple of rough months. One day her husband was yelling for me to come look, she was in trouble. When I finally came to their home and asked what the problem was, I saw her hanging by her foot from her perch with her head almost touching the bottom of her cage.

Huh? What? The husband kept his wife in a cage? Well, yea if she's a bird you do. I have a lovely pair of zebra finches. At one time we had two pair but were now down to one, Clark and Lilly. She had tangled her foot in some cotton that I had given them for nesting material. Then she snagged her foot on her perch and was left hanging. I gently pulled her off and set her down. I could see that the cotton was so tight around her foot that she wouldn't be able to fly, hop or perch. So I grabbed a tiny pair of scissors, put her in my hand and gently cut the cotton off. I don't know who's heart was beating faster, except I could feel hers. It took her about 3 weeks to recover. Her poor leg was jutting out from her body and she couldn't fly or hop and I had doubts that she would make it. But she was able to still eat and drink so in time I figured she'd be OK.

A few weeks ago she hurt her wing somehow but rallied back in a few days. Yesterday I noticed that her husband was picking on her, dive bombing her as he flew by and once even knocked her over. I don't understand how birds can be so loving one moment and out for blood the next. As she fell her wing got lodged in the grate of the bottom of the cage. I reached in and set her on her feet. Last night she couldn't fly up to her perch and slept on the bottom. Early this morning she was sleeping but looked rumpled. I have noticed that before they die, they have a very disheveled look about them. As my daughter and I were eating breakfast I looked over and she was gone. My daughter said she was not hungry any more.

We've had several finches over the past 9 years and at first when they died we would have a ceremony in an area behind the fence of our back yard. But now we have two cats and I don't know how many birds buried there and we just can't keep digging holes. So I lovingly wrapped her up in a Kleenex and put her in the garbage. I know, it sounds gross, but we did say a few nice words first.

I don't know how he will fare without a mate. Maybe he will like being the center of attention. After all he is a male. But I don't plan to get him another wife. It has become a cycle; wife dies, get another one, husband dies, get another one. We will have birds up until the time we die if we keep this up. So when he goes to birdie heaven there will be no more; for awhile anyway.

They are very entertaining but it's kind of a pain when you want to go on vacation. You can hold the mail, let the lawn dry out and even leave a cat for a few days. But a bird needs food and water everyday which leaves you to figure out which one of your friends you're going to ask to come over and feed your bird. (Be prepared for an email Sue) I could ask a neighbor, but as you know I don't like any of them.

So farewell little Lilly, we liked you better than the previous wife, she was mean and bitchy. Hmmmm, sounds like I'm talking about my brother again doesn't it.


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