Feb. 15th, 2013

krazykitkat: (bird love)
A month ago in my last week of holidays, I bought a big bird cage, twice the space of our old one. Kensi & Deeks were fighting and we were hoping that more space might stop it (the last brawl ended in Deeks with a sore wing and Kensi with a bloody eye & vet visit), and the old cage was showing signs of wear. And with the new big cage, our budgie tribe grew from 7 to 10 when we brought home 3 new babies: Castle, Beckett & Alexis.

Castle was the youngest and as his wings were clipped, I got to handle him a lot. He was a sweet little thing and he'd sit on my finger and I could pat him and then he'd do his cute little flutter down to the floor. I really fell in love with him.

On Saturday I found him sitting on the floor of the cage, which is never a good sign, and especially bad when it's the first sign you see of illness. I picked him up and he was very skinny. Kept an eye on him, put him back on the perch every time he went back to the floor. Dad took him to the vet Sunday morning. Vet thought it might be an UTI and gave him antibiotics. We moved him into the small cage to keep him warmer and quieter and hoping he would eat with being closer to the seed. He didn't :( Monday night we started trying to force-feed him with wet mushy crumbles and a spoon. Got tiny bits into him, so hard. Continued Tuesday with the feeding and I was veering between wondering whether I should take him to the vet to be put down and some hope.

He started eating seed himself & kept trying to get out of the hospital cage. He escaped twice when I had my hand in the cage (and was jumping onto my chest which was awkward with his poopy bum), & then latched onto my finger & wouldn't let go as he was trying to get out a third time. It was echoes of Danny just before he died, it was like they wanted company. But before I went to bed Tuesday night he was on the floor & when I put him back up on the perch he wouldn't stay there. So I wasn't surprised to wake up Wednesday morning and find him gone :( He was only around 3 months old.

We do wonder whether he had an underlying issue. He was such a quiet little bird, never had one who made so little noise, he didn't chat like the others & rarely whistled. He didn't do the normal baby budgie climbing all over the cage and exploring, and he mostly just sat there. His posture was a little odd too. So it's probably not surprising that I didn't notice any change in behaviour (birds are notorious for masking sickness) when he wasn't active or noisy to begin with.

But I feel like such a bad birdie mum. Maybe if I'd noticed earlier, or started force feeding earlier, or taken him to an avian vet, or... I wasn't this upset when Danny died. There were tears Tuesday & Wednesday and today has been incredibly down. But the youngest we'd lost a bird before was 2 years old. It feels like Castle never got a chance and I don't know whether there was anything I could have done to give him that chance. And now I kinda wish I hadn't bought more birds, that maybe it is better to stick to just a few and not get attached. It just hurts too much.

handsome Castle )

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