I know I haven’t written in a while and though I wish the occasion for me to write a new entry could be happier, I never had to write something that feels so difficult.
It’s a dark day today for me and my family. Today I lost someone I held more dear than anyone else. I called him my baby, called him “Spatz - today I lost him, today, on the 16th October 2014 I lost my beloved pet bird, the most beautiful mistle thrush Piepsa.
Many people say “he was more than a pet” and find it silly to mourn over an animal the same way one would morn a person, but Piepsa certainly was more than a bird.
He was my baby – I mean it, he was like a child to me. I was his mother and today I lost my only child.
Whenever I came home, he happily greeted me – he always began to chirp loudly when he heard my voice. Any only my voice – although he also loved my parents and my brother as well, he only called for me. When I wasn’t home, he pouted and the moment I returned, he jumped around excitedly and called for me. Because of this, my mother also always said I was his mom, but is it any wonder?
I raised the little boy.
I met him when he was a little chick – he was still covered in his yellow down feathers and could barely eat alone. I was still in primary school and fed him with my own hands and gave him water, until he became old enough to eat and drink on his own and got his adult plumage.
I watched him when he learned to fly, encouraged him and was so happy when he was old enough to let him go.
We wanted to set him free.
My father told us not to get too attached to him, for he was a wild bird. As a thrush the woods would be his home, not our house, not a cage... So we let him go. Twice he flew away, twice he returned. The little boy melted my father’s heart, until the topic of letting Piepsa go was no longer a matter.
He was always there.
When he was young, he used to sit on the large pendulum clock in our living room. During dinner I would call his name and he would fly to my shoulder, so I could feed him tiny pieces of potato and noodles, a little bit different things than his usual mealworm, dry food and forest bird treats diet.
I have so many beautiful and amusing memories of him jumping down from my shoulder onto the table, to land amidst my plate. He was such a funny little bird. I also have so many cute memories of him bathing in the kitchen – he set the whole room underwater then, when he flapped his wings in the bowl we gave him as a bathtub. I loved to watch him do this, and loved how he always ran to me when he was too drenched to fly. Then I always held my hand in front of him, he climbed on it and I carried him to his cage.
The doors of his huge cage were always open – during his early years he was free to fly about the whole house.
As he got older, he remained inside his cage and began to develop an adorable habit of humming along whenever he heard the dishwasher or the kitchen hood over the oven. I often wondered what he spoke about to the machines, why they made him sing like this. All I know is that it always made me smile.
In spring – and throughout nearly the entire last year or his life – he also had another habbit: as soon as it got bright outside or someone would turn on the lights in the kitchen, he’d begin to call out noisily. Mating calls, my mother would say and smirk – but I think he simply hated to be alone. Because whenever one of us was in the kitchen, he would be silent, except if I went up to the cage and talked to him – then he would sing a little song, only for me.
Just two weeks ago – a day before my birthday – when I was baking a cake, I was in the kitchen and played some music. As soon as the chocobo theme played, he began to sing along. It was so cute – he was cute. The cutest bird I ever knew.
There were signs though that it was going to end.
He was old, I know that. Also, he was half blind, but still he had no trouble feeding and drinking – I taught him early on to eat from a dish on the cage floor, and to drink from a small bowl. And as he got older, and was too weak in his tiny legs to sit on the bars, he spent his days on the ground. Still, he ate his mealworms, pecked away at an apple we provided sometimes as a special treat and jumped up whenever he heard me.
Still I won’t forget that dreadful morning in August when Piepsa was acting crazy... He jumped around as though in panic, screamed and was breathing heavily. I was scared, I cried and thought I was going to lose him – a thought I couldn’t bear. Later I found out he suffered some kind of seizure, but he recovered and the next morning I woke from hearing his usual calls. I was relieved, had hope he was going to be fine – and for a little while longer, he was his old self.
All changed this morning.
When I woke, it was silent. When I went to his room, he didn’t answer – and when I approached his cage, he didn’t move.
Now he is gone.
My beloved bird is gone and nothing can bring him back. I couldn’t even watch as my mother buried him in the garden... It hurts too much to think he’s gone. I’ll never hear him sing again, he’ll never welcome me home again. He was the only one I always talked to about everything, the only one who kept me company when I felt sad.
I didn’t lose a pet. I lost a friend. A family member. A child. My baby. My Piepsa.
I will miss you...