Saturday, November 5, 2011

Goodbye Quita

Quita lounging in her coconut

We unexpectedly lost the last budgie of our flock yesterday.

I took Poquita (who we call Quita for short) to the vet yesterday for a routine wellness exam.  She was somewhat streesed, which is not unusual, but during the exam, which usually isn't that big a deal, she passed out and couldn't be revived.

Needless to say, we're rather shell-shocked over the whole thing.  It could be argued that if we didn't take her to the vet, she'd still be with us.  But it would seem that there must have been some issue for her to succumb to something as  innocuous as being handled and prodded a bit.

But it is what it is.  As much as we might want to, there's really no point in over-analysing the situation.  The vet staff felt awful about it too.

Quita just after coming home for the first time in 2007
Quita was the runt of the litter.  That why we wound up naming her "Poquita."  ("poquito" is Spanish for "little")

When we first brought her home, she still couldn't perch.  But that didn't last very long since she wasn't overly fond of being pooped upon by the others.  She wound up holding her own quite well with her cage-mates.

Quita and Coquette sharing a moment together
Quita and Coquette spent a lot of time together feeding and preening each other.  There was no question (as with any good male/female relationship) that Quita called the shots, but she made sure that Coquette knew that he was appreciated.  Sometimes, she even let him have a bit of fun with Copperfield just so she get some peace and quiet in the coconut.

When Coquette passed in June, she was never the same.  She lamented her mate for the longest time but eventually she would get back to singing, chirping and playing with her "bling" in the cage.

The coconut was her favourite place to snuggle and have a little nap.  I suppose it let her give in to her nesting instincts, but there were a number of times you could catch her with her head tucked under her wing having a nice afternoon nap.

The other thing she really liked was her cuttlebone.  In fact, she loved that cuttlebone -- enough to make Coquette jealous.  We'll just leave it at that.

She had a sense of adventure that sometimes got her into a bit of trouble.  One day, she decided to fly into the kitchen and land on a sticky fly strip.  As you can imagine, that was traumatic but she survived the loss of a few feathers and a bit of dignity like a trooper.  

Then there was the time she flew into the kitchen while daddy was cooking and lit on the nearby window sill to watch.  I noticed her, said hello to her and then was startled to realize who was out of her cage watching me.  She hopped on my finger and was happy to let me take her back home.

I could have done without the time she decided to fly into my office and play hide and seek under a pile of rubble in the closet.  Fortunately, she did give me a few "peeps" to help me find her.   

And there was no head of broccoli too big for her. 

She wasn't afraid of much.

She was a sweet little bird and now she's flying with the rest of her flock.

Our house was unusually quiet this morning.  We already miss the cheerful chirping and peeping.  We honestly don't know when birds will become part of our lives again, but I honestly can't imagine not ever again enjoying the company of feathered creatures.

But for now, it's a time to think back to happier times in the aviary and thank those little critters for enriching our lives.

Farewell, sweetheart.

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