Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Decibel the Parrot, 1986-2015

I thought she would live to be 70 years old. That's what I'd heard that parrots do. When the vet told me she was nearing the end of her lifespan at age 29, I couldn't believe it. I wasn't prepared.

Decibel the parrot died of atherosclerosis on Black Friday. She had had a heart attack two weeks earlier, and I rushed her to the vet. That's how I got the diagnosis. She was given an X-ray that showed fatty buildup in her heart. I got her a prescription of blood thinner, and she was taking it very well twice a day, but it wasn't enough to prolong her existence in the apparent world.

Well, she didn't fly, and she did love her sunflower seeds and snack cakes. Just like a human.

When Decibel was young, my grandfather was alive, and my children weren't born. She came to me as a partly-feathered chick and lived with me all her life. I loved her, but I grew to understand that she was a wild animal forced into an unnatural state of living that was not even remotely close to what she should have had or what she might have been. It's great that she could call for my daughter, say my name, chuckle, cry, sing off key ... but what she couldn't do was soar above the rain forest with her own kind, mate, raise her family, and get all the exercise and proper food her little body required.

Life will be so odd now.

It's not like my whole day revolved around Decibel -- far, far from it -- but she was always in my mind, in my reality, part of the daily routine. She was an antagonist, a source of laughter, an obligation, a friend, a needy child. With all of that removed suddenly, there's quite a void. My mind still expects her to be there. I'm sure it will be that way for awhile.

I buried Decibel the parrot with the poppet Mrs. B made for her, under a young oak tree near the infamous Snobville Pond. There's a bench where I can sit and see her well-hidden resting place (didn't want the resident night critters to dig her up).

I'm still in the close-to-tears phase of mourning. I'm racked with guilt that I didn't spend more time with her ... although I did in these ending years.

I owe an apology to Decibel and to Gaia. Goddess, I was young. I didn't know this "pet" should be a wildling. Forgive me.

Decibel, you did good with what you were given. You did real good, ol' girl. May you have found a Summerland that is 100 percent rain forest, 100 percent of the time.