One thing you'll learn - be careful about asking me questions, I might respond with a novel.
In a way, I'm glad Winter came to me ill. When I was a teenager, we had a budgie named Bluebell. I was taking an animal science course through high school, I took 4 normal courses then got on a bus to take 5 courses worth of animal science every day. I knew Bluebell had a respiratory infection, I saw the tail bobbing and told my parents... then it developed into clicking when he breathed... my parents refused to vet him, I was young and didn't have money. The morning that I woke up to find him dead, I was destroyed - because it was preventable.
Now I'm an adult and I have my chance to make up for it to a different budgie, I guess. I dismissed the brown crusty stuff
above his cere as being dirty from something he ate in the pet store, then his poop started piling up and hanging off of him like Christmas tree ornaments, some piles up to an inch wide. A lot of pet owners would've missed those two signs, and even then... not many would "bring a $13 bird to a vet." So I'm happy that the little fella is with me. I hope he'll be okay.
I got Andrew when he was a baby.
I was 15. I wanted a new animal (not an unusal thing for me
) and I knew my dad had a soft spot for medium-sized birds. I cleaned my room (good thing they never checked the closet or under my bed) and did a little begging, and got the cute little fluffball that tried to chew my zipper off. Well he also chewed all the cage bars right off the too-small cage that I had for him, broke out of his second cage during our first vacation while my sister was caring for him, and a whole multitude of other fun memories.
He was my baby. His cage was in our computer room, and he had a playtop there. But for the living room, I had a 2-story play gym for him. He'd fly over my shoulder down the hallway and hang out on it while I watched TV or did homework. When he wanted me, he'd fly over. When he wanted to go back, he'd fly back. Then the "terrible two's" hit and he started biting and testing me... I got scared, I hadn't researched, I didn't know it was coming. My dad came down sick with some weird lung disease and needed a hospital bed in the living room, my parents banished Andrew's cage to the upstairs bedroom where he never saw anybody. Somehow through the years of me being scared of him, me not taking care of him properly, he stayed loyal to me. Sure he's feisty and chopped a hole in me sometimes but... well, he always had his reasons, and I never blamed him for it.
We adopted a cockatiel at one point... she was older, in a tiny cage, the pet store sold her mate and she was angry, depressed, and plucking. My lack of knowledge... well, I didn't know her copper toys were toxic. There was one toy that she'd unwind the copper wire and bend it in all sorts of cool shapes. I didn't know. That lack of knowing lead to me watching her die of heavy metal poisoning, 2 days worth of seizures. That's my other regret. I swore I'd treat Andrew like a king to make up for it.
It's been 8 years but... I'm finally living on my own, with a good man, financially secure. My favorite big purchase to celebrate my holiday sales was buying Andrew his new cage. I've changed his cage a bit since this picture, I took out the snuggie for safety reasons and added a variety of toys, clickie
. The other thing I wanted to do... is make up for all the years that he's been cagebound. My boyfriend and I built a gym big enough to make up for all 8 years.
It's excessive, he's terrified of it. But we take him out every day and let him see it, he'll adjust to it eventually. I'm gonna add a flat surface on the right side where I'll have food/water dishes and a shallow stainless steel baking tray for a bird bath. Don't mind the mess in the background lol, clickie
. Here's a picture of the net I made
before I trimmed the knots down and tied it to the gym. (Yes, the rope is safe, no chemicals.) For now, he comes out for 10-30 minute bursts to hang out with us and walk around the house. In the future, we'd like him to be out for a good part of the day with us, like he used to be. The budgies will have their separate out-time in the future too, for now they're still terrified of us.
So that's my story.
Andrew's a ball of feathery love, he comes out of the cage fluffed up for his head rubs, all he wants is attention. I can't believe he's stayed loyal to me for all this time - that means the world to me. He trusts me as if it were day 1. I'm the one that has 8 years worth of fears to get over. But we'll fix it. In the meantime, I have two budgies to earn the trust of. I have a boyfriend who has a sincere interest in bonding with the birds, including Andrew. And he's getting so into my bird passion that he's considering a bird of his own after we move to a bigger place in the summer. Life will be fun!
And no, I didn't break my wrist. Just made a tendon awful angry according to my mom the ex-nurse. I got a little over-zealous when moving furniture around. I've also been a little over-zealous with re-injuring it. It was finally better, then 10 pounds worth of Andrew-pellets came and I lifted it wrong. Then it was finally better, but I plungered a toilet with a little too much force. Figures.
It'll stop protesting if I stop angering it.