Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rufous, the red-lored Amazon

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

1 comment:

  1. My heart goes out to Myron. I know what he's going through. In October our tuxedo cat, Shadow, passed away. We'd had him for 15 years...since before we got married, through thick and thin, moving from house to house and to another state. He was our official "guest greeter" and "sick person comforter". Slept on my tummy during both pregnancies, and under the crib with both babies (we wouldn't let him sleep in the crib). He gardened with us, went on walks, and even went trick-or-treating with us.

    It took me several months to stop crying every time I pulled into the driveway and realized, afresh, that he wasn't going to come running out to greet me.

    A lot of people swear they'll never have another pet once one dies. You cannot replace that special being - I agree. But I did finally realize that Shadow had done an important job in our household, and we still needed someone in that role. So, while we'll never replace our little Guardian Angel cat, we did "hire" a new "greeter/walker" recently - a dog. She does not replace Shadow, but she does her job very well. She gives me someone to greet and snuggle and walk, and the kids someone to play with, and it has gone a long way to easing that pain. I now recommend to people that they at least consider if filling that hole might, in some way, help with the grief.