Monday, January 24, 2011

The Horror! The Horror!


As I contemplate the overall contents of this blog, I realize that a large portion of it is dedicated to animals. Mostly animals that die. Maybe I should make a separate blog for dead animal stories. But I won't. I'll continue to share here the terror I have faced on about a bi-annual basis.

Sometime in October a place opened in my little town called "Oasis Exotic Birds". Being a lover of all things feathered, I took my kids there one Thursday. They had a bunch of cockatiels in a little glass pen and you could hold them and play with them all you want. I was permitted to go in the other room and grab me a cockatoo or macaw. It was so fun and the birds were so sweet. So sweet that we started going every Thursday after school. One little gray cockatiel decided it loved Sienna. It would get so excited when she came in that it would leap to her shoulder and nestle into her hair. It would tell her all kinds of bird stories in her ear that the rest of us couldn't understand. Stories about eating seeds and looking around, mostly.

Finally at Christmas we brought him home. He had been "Murphy" to us for some time already, so we didn't need to name him. Sienna was as happy as I have ever seen her. She fed him and held him and cleaned his cage. All the kids loved him. He was a sweet, sweet bird.

Do you feel foreboding?

We decided to bring his cage down to the kitchen so we could all spend more time with him. He was out of his cage as much as he was in it. Always on somebody's shoulder. Friday morning we caught Fiyero, our wild leopard cat (who is a jerk) eyeing Murphy's cage and licking his chops. Sienna was nervous and moved the table even farther away. Then I took her to school.

Dun dun duhhhhhh.....

When I came back I woke Mason up and made him breakfast. I went in the other room to turn on the lights for our box turtle Gregory Von Turtlestein. Then it all started. Mason started screaming,"I'M SORRY! I'M SO SORRY!". I ran in there to see Fiyero running out with the bird in his mouth. I chased him screaming out of the house into the 2° weather. In my t-shirt I ran around the back and down the hill falling through bushes and trees as I went. I caught him but it was too late. Murphy's neck was broken. He was dead and I was pregnant and lying in the snow. I took him back inside and held him until he was no longer warm. Mason was a wreck. He wasn't supposed to take him out without me or Sienna with him. He hid behind the curtains and sobbed. Camryn came down and wailed as only she can. She could be a professional mourner. It would be a good use of her talents.

Preslie didn't care.

Luckily, Sienna was at school.

Mason pulled himself together and I took him to school. I figured it would be a good way to take his mind off it all. I came back home and climbed in bed and shook and cried. I'm so glad I haven't had to deal with horrifying "people" incidents instead of animals because I would not be ok. Jaymee told the kids to never get hurt or die because "Mom would implode." It's probably true. It wasn't that I was sad for my own loss. It was that it was traumatic and horrifying and I knew it would be the worst day of Sienna's life. I dreaded telling her. How could I tell her? How could she forgive Mason? How could she forgive our jerk cat if he ever came home... he may have been kicked. . . can't be sure... it's all a blur.

Jaymee came home early and we went to pick her up together. I told her we had to talk and started crying yet again. I said,"Fiyero..." and she looked horrified so I thought she understood. Jaymee finished my sentence (gingerly) so I could sob,"ate your bird." She said,"PHEW!! I thought the baby died. Then I thought Fiyero died. I'm glad it was only the bird." I guess that's a good way to tell somebody difficult news. "Mom? Dad? I'm dying of cancer - yep. A week to live ... just kidding. I'm just gay." Phew.



3 comments:

Teresa said...

Wow! It's so true that we worry more about things that never happen... Unfortunately, the cat was just doing what cats do naturally. I still cried! I wonder if I could have held the bird.

Krista said...

I'm so sorry Shelby. What a horrible thing to go through and witness! I feel your pain!

Sidenote: I love the way you tell stories-true or not true they have me. And if you ever write a book I would buy one and tell all my friends! Seriously!

Tami G. said...

It's the circle of life and Murphy was at the bottom of the food chain. I hope it comforts you to know that someday our bodies will become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass.