Monday, 3 September 2012

The loss of the family pet, Christensen style.

The new bird.  Heavy sigh.

So, the bird didn't make it.

Sometime on Thursday night, he gave up the ghost, fell off the twig, dropped off his perch etc etc.

Actually he didn't drop off anything, cause by late Thursday evening he was gasping for breath, sitting on the bottom of the cage.  He just kind of keeled over.

And that was where I found him on Friday morning.  He could have timed it better.

We had the architect coming at 7am to discuss reducing the exorbitant expense of our house renovation.  We didn't think our plans particularly exorbitant when we made them, but apparently they are and we are having to do some serious tweaking to bring them back into budget.

At 8am Mike had to take the kids to school for Father's Day breakfast.

I knew what awaited me downstairs when I woke up, having cuddled and held the poor little guy for an hour before going to bed.  When I put him in the cage, he struggled up to the bars and tried to get out to me.  He never liked anyone much, but I think he realised, crap as he must have felt, he felt marginally less crap and slightly warmer in my hands.

And perhaps not so alone.  Oh the guilt, I left him alone in the dark.  OH MY BIRDIE!!

Right. Enough. Get a grip.

I came downstairs and found him and cried, and tidied up the cage and cried, and put him in a little shoebox and cried.  Then the kids woke up and cried.  And patted him and cried.  And ate breakfast and cried some more.

And then the poor architect knocked on the door to find us all crying.  He attempted to comfort us by telling us his kids loved going to their grandparents farm and finding dead birds and putting them in the barn.  Every time they returned for a holiday or weekend, they would visit the barn to assess their state of decomposition.

Honestly, you can't make this sort of stuff up can you?

The kids and I sort of stared up at him.  Issy's lip trembled, her recently departed bird still sitting intact in a shoebox, not three feet away.  And she's thinking...'what's decomposition'?

Never has the name of this blog come in more handy.  Mike swept the architect (who really only was meaning to um...cheer us up) into the dining room and we continued crying and making lunches (actually I did lunch orders because I was too devo to make sandwiches) and crying and getting dressed  etc etc.

At 8 am I sent Mike and the older two away to eat chocolate croissants and drink Nudie juices up at the school and drag Mike into their classrooms to see their beautiful artwork.  He was sent with instructions to tell the teachers of our loss, in case of any mid school day episodes of sadness.

Issy told everyone at preschool within seconds of arriving and consequently when I left was surrounded by a gaggle of sympathetic 5 year old girls, patting and hugging and stroking her, while she hammed it up a treat.

In the afternoon we had the funeral.  In his box (a lovely blue one from IKEA- note the Hasemet makes an excellent budgie coffin) we put his favourite toy, some of his favourite food and rose petals.  We drew on the box, made a wooden cross and planted a polyanthus over him.  We all said nice things about him and threw a handful of dirt in and then I covered him over.

When the wind and rain came up about half an hour later, we all worried if he'd be cold.  We all reminded each other he was flying around in birdie heaven and wasn't cold at all.  Truly, no matter what you believe, talking about birdie heaven to kids is a hell of a lot easier than explaining decomposition.  Yes, I am a chicken.

And then on Saturday we went and bought Nibbles.  Of undetermined gender, Nibbles is not as zen as Smuggler (who was not zen at all but everything is relative).  So far he mainly has tried to escape the cage.  I am yet to love him.  I am afraid to love again.