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Goodbye Cheese

As those of you who downloaded and listened to the podcast already know, our budgie Cheese was not in good shape over the weekend. He got sick late last week, but too late for us to get him to an avian vet on Friday, and none were open on the weekend. We got some treatment from a regular vet when he looked worse on Sunday, but they really didn’t have any bird expertise and couldn’t do anything of substance. We got him to an avian specialist Monday morning and they essentially put him in the bird equivalent of intensive care as they tried to figure out what was wrong. But basically with most birds, by the time they show any outward symptoms at all, they are in pretty bad shape. They hide the fact that they are sick at all costs, because in the wild, showing that weakness can be an immediate death sentence.

Cheese had shown some improvement Monday afternoon, but we got word this morning that he hadn’t made it through the night. As of this morning, the vet had not been able to determine what exactly had been wrong and it was somewhat of a mystery. I gather they are continuing post-mortem tests, but in the end the reason won’t really matter. (Although we are having Cheese’s companion Skittles checked out just in case it was something that could effect both.)

Cheese is the yellow and green bird in the picture above. I actually was unable to find ANY pictures of either Cheese or Skittles where they were not together. When we initially got them, the intention was to only get one bird as a companion for Nacho, whose cage mate Brain had recently died. (Thus the name Cheese… Nacho and Cheese… get it?) But even in the big aviary with 100 budgies at the petstore, the two of them would not leave each other alone and were inseparable. So we had to get them both. Seperating them was out of the question.

They would sit next to each other on the perch. They would huddle together when they slept. They would play together. The only exception was when we for a time had our old grandmother budgie Nacho in the cage with them. Cheese would sometimes snub Skittles to stay with Nacho. She was the matron of the family after all, and appreciated the attention.

Cheese didn’t really like us humans that much. But we liked him and he will be missed.

Especially by Skittles. They have never been apart, and now he has an empty cage.

I had sworn that we would not get any more birds. But we may have to rethink that. Budgies are flock animals and being by themselves isn’t good for them. We’ll figure all that out. But for now…

Goodbye Cheese. You were a good bird.

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