Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Angel...

Tori. He's my angel. The first parakeet we brought home that led us to five more, plus cockatiel, Google. Tori is my sweetheart. I love them all, deeply. But Tori is absolutely special. Sweet. So much personality. Sometimes so serious. I fell for him pretty hard. The first week we had him I kept him with me every moment I was home and awake. He napped on my shoulder, in the crook underneath my chin. Joe had to insist that I put him to bed when it got to be midnight. I didn't want to let him go.

He learned to talk quickly. Seems like it only took weeks before he said "Hi!". Then, "pretty bird", then "Tori", then "Tori, Tori, Tori", as it was part of a refrain from the "Tori Song" I sang to him so often Joe probably heard it in his sleep. He would sometimes sing along with me, with an extended refrain of "pre-tyyyyy bird!" After awhile I would just listen in wonder as he sat on my knee, or my shoulder, or my nose, and chattered away. He added "sweetheart" to his repertoire, then "how was your day". I felt guilty leaving him home alone all day while I was at work, so we adopted Pumpkin and watched as he and Tori became best friends forever. Their friendship was instant. Day one. Tori didn't speak "people" as much after that, but he and Pumpkin are such great companions, I can do without it.

Every so often Tori seems to become ill. Parakeets tend to hide it when they are feeling poorly, an inherent trait, but I have gotten to a point where I can tell pretty quickly if he's not feeling right. Like parents do with their children, I suppose. He puffs up, keeps to himself. Sometimes he naps on my shoulder. Then I really know he's not feeling well. Then, he does this thing where he throws up slimey, seedy, foamy goo. He gets very upset when this happens, and tries to fly away from me. But once he's done, he's back to sit on my shoulder (and wipe his slimey face on my shirt, or my chin).

I've taken him to an avian vet for this a few times over the past year. We thought we had it figured out. Stress from the big "spring molt" weakens his immune system, and he is overrun by bad bacteria. A course of antibiotics should do the trick. But it keeps coming back. And, though I'm diligent about administering the meds, he sure doesn't like it one bit. It's not easy on either one of us, but at least I can see that he's feeling better.

Just over two weeks ago I could tell he wasn't feeling right. He'd gone through a major molt, all the 'keets did, but he is the only one who seems to suffer the stress of it. I took him to the vet. He checked him over. Slimey crop. Bad bacteria. Antibiotics were prescribed. Two weeks worth. We started right away. Within 24 hours there was a major difference. Within a week Tori had more energy than it seems he's had in a long time. Ah, all we had to do was get through one more week of meds and we were done. He'd hopefully be healthy and wise for a long time. At least until the next big molt got his immune system down.

But tonight, I came home from work to find him sitting, puffed up, by himself, out of touch with the others. He didn't even want to come to me. My stomach fell. Not again. We've barely been done with the meds for 48 hours. My poor, poor baby. I finally got him to come to me, sit on my hand so I could talk to him. It wasn't long before he threw up. That was about two hours ago.
I've already called the vet to see about bringing him back in tomorrow morning. He seems to have rebounded for the moment. He's playing with the rest of the gang. He's flown over to my head several times, hopped down to my hand, told me a story or two. I don't know what to think.

I think of all the possibilities. Maybe he's just got a tender tummy. Hmm, probably not. Another infection? Yeast infection post anti-biotics? Tumor? (please, no...) I go over and over, in my head, what he might be eating, or drinking, or picking at that might cause this. But, over and over, I see that anything he eats, or is exposed to, is the same as the others. And they have all been fine. I clean every day. Fresh water, every day. Rotate water dishes, food dishes, clean ones for dirty. Unlike Texter, or Miss Pixel on occasion, Tori doesn't eat his own poop. So that can't be it.

I know I'll just have to wait and see what the doctor says. I won't be sleeping much tonight. But as long as I'm awake, I'll say a little prayer. I 'll make a wish. Hell, I'll make two. My little angel deserves it.


Stephany said...

very sweet, sending good thoughts your way from my 2 love birds!

kmbrco said...

Thanks, Stephany!