If your bird seems sick, take him or her to an avian vet immediately! Check your local phone book or Vet Lookup, AAV, Avian Vet.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Memories of J.L. LeMone

Thank you, everyone, for your condolences and kind words. They really helped me. I did not know J.L. made such a big difference with his blog, but it makes me very happy to see how much his readers like it. My little bird was full of surprises!

A little over 7 years ago, I mentioned to my friend, the Cool One, how I didn't like to go home to the apartment after work, because it was empty, and nobody was waiting for me there. A few days later, he gave me a call and told me to come over to his house. He said he had something for me so I would not feel alone anymore.

When I got to his backyard, I saw a little cage on the patio table. A big bird glared at me from inside. I had never had birds before, and I did not even know what kind of bird this was. My first thought was: Uh-Oh! I'm in trouble!
The Cool One explained to me that the bird had landed on the neighbor's house and come down to let him catch him. The Cool One put him in a little cage that he happened to have in the basement and fed him wild bird seed, since that was the only type of birdfood he had at hand. The bird did not care; he was hungry, and he gulped it down.

Since the Cool One had a whippet (a miniature greyhound), who liked to chase birds in the back yard and would have tried to get at the bird, he decided to give him to me. So I returned to the apartment carrying a small cage with a bird who gave me dirty looks and hissed at me, wondering how in the world I would bond with him.

I researched cockatiels on the internet, and I went to buy him a big cage. When I carried it into the apartment, it was the first time that he showed any kind of interest in what I was doing. As soon as he saw the cage, he started moving about and chirping loudly. Most likely, he had a similar cage wherever he came from, and he knew it was going to be his. He did not like waiting for me to clean the cage and get it ready; he wanted to move in right away. When it was finally ready, I had to put on one of the thick gloves the Cool One had given me for that purpose and get the bird out of the little cage, while he was trying to bite me all the time.

He loved his cage, and that day was the beginning of our somewhat rocky friendship. He did not do a lot of the things cockatiels were supposed to do; he never went to the bottom of the cage, and he did not want me to pick him up. I spent many hours trying to get him used to me, talking to him while holding my hand into the cage so he would get used to it. He always stayed in or on his cage, except when the Cool One came to play with him. He was an excellent singer, though, and we spent many hours whistling back and forth to each other.

When the Cool One convinced me to get him a girlfriend and we returned to the apartment with Miss Prissy, he was completely excited. He spread his wings, started chirping, and began to act silly while trying to impress her. Even though he acted as if he was the boss, he really followed her lead, venturing onto the desk and the floor with her, learning how to gently preen her, and even landing on my head just because he saw her on my shoulder and wanted to be close to her. Miss Prissy's presence actually helped J.L. and me bond. Every few weeks, he started doing new things he had never tried before. I described his transformation as getting in touch with his inner tiel. He even started sitting on Miss Prissy's eggs!

His life came full circle, and I am very happy to have been part of it. I definitely became a better human because of him. He fell asleep in the cage he loved, like he had done so many times before, with Miss Prissy close by. The Cool One and I buried him in the Cool One's yard, in a pretty box with flowers, just a few feet away from the spot where the Cool One picked him up and where I first met him.

I'm still very upset, and I think it will take a long time for me to start feeling better. I'm just hapy that I was able to give J.L. 7 good years filled with the things a cockatiel loves, and that every years got better than the previous one. He'll always be a part of me, and I'll always miss him.

Here are some pictures of J.L.:


triple B said...

I know it's so hard to lose someone you love. That is a very nice story that you wrote and wonderful pictures that you will cherish forever. You and Miss Prissy will find comfort together.

T-man said...

What a beautiful story of your life with J.L.! He was truly blessed to have found his way to your home. That's wonderful you've brought another lucky tiel into your home to share its life with you and Miss Prissy. I love the fact that J.L. was buried near the spot where he met the Cool One. That is so touching.

T-man, CC-man, and their mom