It still seems impossible. I keep looking for her among the rest of the flock. But Miss Pixel is gone. She passed away, unexpectedly, on September 29.
I was scheduled for a complete hysterectomy on September 28. On Sunday, the 27th I noticed Miss Pixel was fidgeting with one wing a bit. Other than that she seemed fine. I watched her for a bit, then picked her up for a closer look. I examined the wing and found a rather large lump on the top inside of her wing. All the birds have been molting, so I did some research and determined for myself that it was possibly a feathercyst, which would need treatment, but wasn't immediately life threatening.
So, Monday, the next morning, before leaving for the hospital for my surgery I called the vet and scheduled for her to be dropped off by my husband, Joe, on Tuesday morning. I explained, and wrote a written note as to what I'd found, and how she had been behaving...good appetite, playful, sleeping fine, etc. I explained to Miss Pixel that Joe would take her to the doctor who would check her wing and make things better. I told her, and all the birds, before I left, that I loved them.
Joe took Miss Pixel first thing Tuesday to the vet, and then came to visit me at the hospital. Mid-afternoon we called and I was able to talk with the doctor, who told me it looked like a benign tumor, and that given it's placement and proximity to the blood supply on her wing, that his recommendation would be to leave it for the time being. As long as she wasn't picking at
it, and it didn't become too large, or infected, that she should be fine. That she seemed fine.
So, relieved, that was the plan. Joe would pick her up in early evening, and come back to the hospital later.
That is what happened. He took her home where she played with the rest of the gang. He put them in together so he could visit me at the hospital, where I was still in and out of sleep from the anesthesia.
When he got home later that night he called me in a panic as she wasn't doing so well. He explained that he put her in the travel cage to rest, but that she was sitting at the bottom of the floor of the cage. The birds often do that in there, as it is a small cage. I recommended that it was best he put her back with the rest of the birds on the platform perch for comfort.
Initially I had gotten the home phone number of our pet shop owners in case of emergency. With all the hustle and bustle of getting to the hospital, and so on, I had neglected to take it out of my wallet to give to Joe. Since I thought Miss Pixel would be better in with the rest of the gang, and I was rather out of it, I didn't call in a nurse to get my wallet out for me. I should have. I really, really should have. I should have called back home.
Joe was in a panic and was watching Miss Pixel closely. He was searching for an all-night animal emergency hospital in the area. By the time he had figured out where one was, she had passed away. He told her he loved her. That we loved her. He covered her and placed her in the travel cage and spent the rest of the night and early morning tossing and turning and unable to sleep.
He showed up very early to the hospital on Wednesday morning. The distress in his face was clear. He told me he was so sorry, but Miss Pixel had passed away. A wave of nausea and disbelief passed over me.
He told me what happened. He blamed himself. I comforted him. I asked a few questions. Explained how could we possibly know. We had just taken her to the vet. We had done the right thing. But had we?
I spend a great deal of time with the birds. I watch them play, clean their cage, their food, water, play gyms daily. They get fresh vegetables and fruits. They have lots of exercise time, and a healthy, toxin-free environment. I like to think that I am very aware of how they are doing.
Tori has had a tough time in the past year, and, so far, seems to have recovered well, and is doing fine.
It's so hard to think we could lose Miss Pixel so suddenly.
She was such a Diva. But the sweetest Diva around. She knew what she liked, where she wanted to sit, sleep, eat, etc. She didn't hold back if she didn't like someone else's behavior or opinion. No one could lecture like Miss Pixel. All the boys tried to woo her. None of them really won her heart. I think she liked it that way. But they all miss her. As do Joe and I.
We found a place in the garden for her. Joe and I covered her in pretty fabric and put in some flowers. We'll find a pretty garden stone and put her name on it. She's near the day lillies. Near the bird feeders. She'll be accompanied each day by the song of the wild birds in the yard. And I will tell her good night, each night, as I tuck the rest of the birds in to bed.
Good Night, Miss Pixel. I love you.