In September 1989 Myron got a new parrot. It was a red-lored Amazon that he named Rufous. Myron got Rufous when he was so young Myron had to hand feed him three times a day. Over the next twenty years Rufous learned to speak, saying "what are you doing", "bye", "hello birdie". In the last year or so he started mimicking my laugh.
Tonight as we were getting our dinner party underway we went into the kitchen and Rufous was in the bottom of his cage with his wings spread and his beak open. Myron picked him up and Rufous bit him, which Myron took as a good sign. Myron gave Rufous some water with a spoon, which he drank, and Myron returned him to his cage. Within a few minutes he was sprawled with his wings spread, panting.
Myron called the emergency vet, which did not have an avian vet on staff but said they would do what the could. By the time he got there Rufous was barely breathing. Rufous died shortly afterwards. The cause of death is unknown.
I can't imagine what Myron is going through right now. Having a pet for 20 years and losing it so suddenly is an unthinkable horror.
R.I.P Rufous, 1989 - 2009