As many of you know, my beloved Cockatiel, AbiGal flew off to the Rainbow Bridge about a month ago. She has a small grave in our yard, and people, a dog, and wild birds that miss her everyday. I know Abi would not want her cage to be empty forever, so we searched for and found another Cockatiel who needed a home.
New Bird, as we’ll call him here, came to us through of all things…a Craigslist ad. A lady in Ohio couldn’t believe her son when he came running home and said someone left a bird in a cage in the park and the police took the people away who threw him out. Seems New Bird had the misfortune of being possessed by a couple of known drug addicts who got into a fight in the park and tossed New Bird and his cage out of the car. Then they tumbled out of the car and began hitting and punching each other until people called the police. The police arrived, took the people away, but gave no notice to the scared Cockatiel in a battered cage.
As Laura followed her son the block from her home to the park she had dozens of questions running though her mind. What kind of bird? What shape would the bird be in? Would the bird even still be there? He was. He was wet and covered in seeds. Feathers were everywhere from his fearfl flailing in the cage. f
Laura carefully approached the frightened bird’s cage. He was flapping his wings and squawking…who wouldn’t be? She didn’t try to touch him, she just gently lifted the cage off the ground and talked to him. She looked around and one of the bystanders said., “Whatever you do, don’t let those people ever have that bird back. They’re drug addicts and always in trouble.” The bystanders said the people had been trying to sell the bird in the park for drug money. His cage was filthy and he not only was teriffied, he wouldn’t let anyone approach him. He bit everybody. Laura’s son asked if they could keep him.
Laura had a history with birds having had birds since she was twelve years old. At one point, she even raised Cockatiels, but this particular son had become allergic to birds and she’d given up on owning a bird. She knew she couldn’t keep him, but she couldn’t leave him either. And so the Cockatiel was carried home to their house and taken care of for the last three months. During the three months, slowly the bird began to trust Laura and he quit biting. One day out of the blue he said “Pretty Boy” and Laura knew he was ready for a new home.
Laura placed the ad on Craigslist, and yes she was asking a “re-homing fee” of $25.00, but I called her anyway. I asked many questions about the bird, and Laura asked me a lot of questions too. She wanted to know where he would live. Did I have a cage big enough? Would he be by a window? It was evident she wanted this little guy to have a good home and never go through such trauma again. I wasn’t sure and asked her to send me a photo. Honestly, the photo wasn’t that great and he looked kinda scary.
Over the next two weeks, we talked often. In the meantime I received offers of other Cockatiels, but none of them seemed right. At first I thought I wanted one the same color of Abi…then I didn’t. I thought I wanted another female to keep our all girl household intact…this bird was a male. Laura called and told me more information about the bird…she couldn’t keep him…she thought I’d be the best person for him. She sent me a video of the bird…he could say Pretty Boy! He looked different in the video, but he looked sad. Also…he was FAT! HA! Since Sadie and I both have to lose weight, this guy would fit right into the plan and shed some ounces along with our pounds! So I loaded up Abi’s former travel cage, and Sadie and I took off to see this bird.
We found Laura’s house and Sadie wasn’t allowed to go in because of her son’ allergies. So I tethered Sadie to the front porch and went in. it was very dark inside and the bird was in a very, very small cage. I didn’t ask why the curtains were all closed, and a door of curtains closed this room off from the hallway. He didn’t sing like he had in the video. He was silent in a corner of his cage and shaking slightly. In one moment, I said I’d take him.
Since Sadie was barking loudly because she couldn’t see me, I made the transaction as quickly as possible. Here’s the $25.00…I’ll get my travel cage. In a matter of minutes, he was in the back of the Jeep and on his way home with us.
New Bird has settled right in. When I transferred him from his travel cage to the big cage that belonged to Abi, he had a look of wonder! Sunlight…and he could see the outdoors and the beautiful woods. Believe it or not, he was transfixed on his new surroundings. And so we’ve had him for five days now. He will perch on my hand or finger. He has flown around the house. He sings and he talks on the phone. He likes his new food. He doesn’t like his head rubbed. He likes being out on the deck and several wild birds came by to greet him. He hasn’t bitten me…not even when I held him to move him into the big cage. He has a new family…he doesn’t have a name.
Help us give this delightful bird a great name. I had a name all picked out, but it didn’t seem right. I’ve called him a variety of names…nope…none of them work. Sadie and I are asking for suggestions. If we pick your name, we’ll give you a signed copy of our book and give your name to our sweet new family member. Write a comment with the name you suggest and tell us why it would make a good name for our new bord. We’ll pick a new name from the entries as soon as possible because he needs a name. Look at his picture; remember his story…lets call him something wonderful because he is.