Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Google Shower

I'd read in some of the bird publications that the larger parrots might actually bathe in a shower. I didn't really think I'd have a bird that would do the same. But Google, it seems, likes himself a nice lukewarm shower. Just a simple spray, whilst sitting on my shoulder, dipping his head and body in to catch the drops.

On workdays, I usually let the birds out to play first-thing so they have time to stretch their wings and have some fun before being inside all day while I'm away at the shop. The 'keets are fine on their own, for the most part. They like birdland and are pretty content to have free reign while I shower. Google, on the other hand, cannot be left on his own. Mainly because wherever we are is where he wants to be. And he is not afraid to fly down to the floor and walk the house looking for us. So, when I shower in the morning, I often bring Google and his playgym into the bathroom with me. He plays contentedly on the playgym, has a morning snack, while I shower and sing to him just footsteps away. He can't see me behind the shower curtain, but he knows I'm there.

One morning, after I'd showered and was toweling off he fluttered into the tub, then walked around with his wings held up and wide. I finally figured out he wanted to bathe, too. I turned on the faucet, wet my hands and dribbled some water over him. Happy bird. Twice this happened. The next step seemed obvious to me.

So, one day when I didn't have to work and could take a little extra time, once I'd finished my shower, I reached out for Google. He obliged. He sat on my shoulder, dipped his head in and out of the gentle spray, fluttered his wings, chirped once or twice, and soon we were done. When I told Joe about this he thought I was nuts. Perhaps you do, too.

Since then Google showers with me maybe twice a week. In fact, one night I was showering after working in the yard all afternoon and could hear Google whistling while hanging out on Joe's shoulder. I whistled back. Google got louder. Soon enough Joe walked into the bathroom and stated that Google wanted to take a shower, too. I put my hand out the curtain and Google hopped on. Happy bird.

The other day Joe was in the shower and I cracked the door open and yelled in that Google wanted to shower with him. "No he does not!" was the panicked reply.

One day...

Google hit the publish button

I wasn't quite ready, hadn't written a word, actually, when Google decided to play on my keyboard and inadvertantly hit the "publish" button. So, I'm editing the post to at least say that "here is a picture of Blogger and Tori" hanging out on one of the playgyms. Tori has really been watching out for Blogger and Mouse. It's very sweet."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tempting fate...

We were down to one med per day. Tori had one bad day a week ago, then was doing well again. Until this morning. I discovered he had thrown up during the night or very early morning. I watched him carefully while I got ready for work. He seemed to be eating fine, flying about. Stopped by to help me dry my hair (don't know why, but he likes to sit on my hand while I dry my hair). I went off to work at least knowing we have an appt with the vet on Wednesday. Maybe this was a fluke. It didn't seem he had thrown up much. The only evidence I had was that his feathers around his face were matted down.

My husband, Joe, got home early today. I called home from work as I was running late. He informed me that Tori had thrown up again. That his face and feathers were really a mess. I asked him to check for evidence in the bottom of the cage, but he wasn't sure what he was looking for. As soon as I got home I went in to see the birds. Tori did look a mess, but he was eating. I took a look at the tray in the cage. There were several piles of thrown up seeds. He'd thrown up a lot. Not a good sign.

I changed my clothes. Picked up Tori, put him on my shoulder. Then we went to the living room. Joe brought Google. The two of them puttered about on the coffee table where we put a small playgym and a small dish of food and water. Tori threw a toy ball off the table several times. He talked to me quite a bit, I expect telling me how crappy his day had been. I sang to him, he sang along. He wouldn't leave my shoulder so I could prep dinner, so I had Joe help me. While dinner was in the oven Tori and I sat with Joe in the living room and Tori took a nap on my shoulder. When dinner was ready he was reluctant to leave me. Finally he went up to one of the playgyms.

Now dinner is over and I'm spending time in birdland. Tori is presently on my shoulder and I am considering having him sleep alone in one of the spare birdhouses for the night. That doesn't always work out so well, though. He usually wants to be with the other birds.

I did call the vet from work before I headed home and he said I could start up the anti-nausea med again. Then we'll check things further on Wednesday. Hopefully that will help Tori feel better in the meantime.

My poor baby. He is such a sweet, sweet boy. It seems every time I blog that he is doing better he relapses. Am I tempting fate? Dooming him to illness? That's crazy talk, I know. But it sure is upsetting and disheartening.

Keep him in your prayers, dear readers. If you don't mind. I love him like you wouldn't believe.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Sunday Night in Birdland

It was a busy day in Birdland. Joe and I did not work today, so we were home most of the time, which mean lots of time out on the playgyms and buzzing the room for the gang. Mouse (pictured above) had a big day, as he buzzed the room for the first time. His flight feathers are finally settling in and he is able to fly short distances, and tonight buzzed the room once entirely with the rest of the gang. You could see the pride in his stance after he'd landed on the playgym on top of his house. He was a happy birdy. I gave him much praise and pointed out to the rest of the birds Mouse's achievement. They pretty much ignored me. Still, it was a happy moment.

Tori continues to do better. I can just see it in him. We have a recheck at the vet on Wednesday. I'm hoping for more good news, that his wellness will continue. It's been such a long road. It's so good to see him playing heartily, tossing toys off the playgyms, buzzing the room, sharing secrets with Pumpkin, eating with gusto.

Blogger and Texter seem to have a blast racing each other around the room, flying from playgym to playgym, and buzzing my head while I'm at the computer. Miss Pixel continues to play the field, and now it seems Blogger may be somewhat enamored of her as well.

Texter seems to be making friends with Google. They tend to follow each other around sometimes.

So, all is well tonight in birdland. Everyone is tucked in snug and sleeping away. I'm including a link to a video that gives a sample of the evening. Enjoy if you wish...

Goodnight from birdland...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvrL_mEu8F4

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Birds to the left of me, birds to the right...

Something interesting is happening now that Tori is feeling better. He's returned to some behaviors from the early days, when he first joined the family. He was the sole birdie in the house then, so he spent a lot of time with me. He sat in the living room with me, perched on my shoulder as I went from room to room in the house. He nestled under my chin while I lay on the couch. It was a sweet time. He discovered that sitting on top of my glasses, and, even better, on top of my nose, allowed him a position of parakeet power. Plus, it was damn cute.

This past weekend, Tori had an early bad morning. A little sickness. But improved throughout the day. By Sunday he was much better. And was being very attentive to me. Surprisingly, he flew to my shoulder and stayed there when I left the bird room. Normally, these days, he would fly back to one of the playgyms. This time he went with me. He even went to living room and sat on my shoulder, sweetly, as I watched a few minutes of television.

Not long after that, he and I returned to birdland, where Google joined us. With Google on one shoulder, and Tori on another, I walked to our bedroom where Joe was watching the bird feeders out the window. Both Google and Tori went quickly to Joe. And I snapped some photos.
It's been a long time since Tori was this adventurous. I'm not sure if it's so much that he's feeling better, or a little bit of jealousy over the fact that Google likes to spend more of his time with us humans than with the rest of the birds. Maybe he felt a little competitive. Maybe.

In any case, I'm enjoying the fun, and I'm relieved (yet still cautious) to have my Tori back in better health. It's taken quite a while. I hope it continues.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to my Mom. To a woman who raised four daughters through trials and tribulations. To a woman who now has a total of seven fabulous grandchildren (none of which I contributed). To a woman with a grand sense of humor, and a grand heart to go with it.
I love you, Mom.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to my sisters. Each of whom has brought beautiful children into this world. Their dedication to their children, their ability to seemingly do it all, amazes me. I have one sick bird and I can't sleep at night. I don't know how a mother copes with the worry while raising a child. But they all do it. And each one of their kids is a complement to them and the world. I love you, Laura, Jackie and Cheryl.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to the women I call friends. The gift of nurturing is not exclusive to those with children. You make my life better just by being in it.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Let the birds sing...

The good news today from the vet is that Tori has improved a great deal. His weight is back up to his normal, his energy levels are back up, he hasn't vomited, his appetite is back to normal, he's socializing very well, and his crop is clear of all the slime. Huzzah!

The doc thinks there may have been an underlying yeast problem all along, although it didn't show up on the tests until the previous visit. So, we'll continue with the anti-fungal and phase out the anti-biotics. Which means Tori will soon be down to one med per day. Relief for me, and even more relief for him. As long as it sticks.

Texter went along today for his first wellness exam and passed with flying colors. The vet says he is a beautiful specimen of a budgie in every way. Healthy, athletic, good demeanor, and truly beautiful. This Texter seems to know, and work at. He's been known to bathe two times a day! And he relishes his bath, let me tell you. Every inch of him is wet and attended to. He's a poser for the camera, too. He's a good looking boy and he knows it. I told the doc Texter is our metrosexual. Ha! He does have a thing for Miss Pixel, but she's playing both Texter and Pumpkin along. Such a diva!

Anyway, I wanted to let the good news be known. We have a few more weeks of meds and a couple re-checks until we can say this thing is gone for sure, but things sure look better than they did a week ago.

For me, birdsong is a gift. And so is Tori.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Q-tips are for the birds...

I'm crossing my fingers, and all of my toes. Saying my prayers, counting my blessings, throwing as much love as I can out into the cosmos. It seems to be working. Tori is finally seeming better. Earlier in the week I was very afraid. But the meds must be working. His energy is now more consistant, he's eating well, playing well, and, as far as I can tell (and I check often) he hasn't thrown up again since last weekend. Huzzah!

We still have a visit planned with the vet for Wednesday when we'll find out more. I don't want to take him off any meds until we know this thing is gone. He's such a trooper about taking them, too.

This photo shows Tori and Google playing with one of Google's new discoveries, and one of Tori's old favorites...the Q-tip. There is something so fun about this little wand. They love to pick them up, pill up the cotton tips, then drop them to the floor. I finally had to put the box away since there were so many on the floor and scattered about. I buy all those colorful toys and bells, and they want to play with tissue paper and Q-tips! Sounds about right...

All the rest of the gang are doing well. I think Pumpkin seems relieved that Tori is better. He keeps watch over him, and he seems a little more at ease now. Me, too. Hopefully things will stay that way.

Just wanted to post an update in case anyone has been wondering. And if you've included my little angel in your prayers and good wishes, I thank you.