My wife has a very big heart. She loves animals and caring for them. That’s why when I saw her frantically trying to catch a beautiful yellow stray parakeet nearly into a busy street while still carrying our unborn daughter, I gave her the benefit of the doubt.
I figured if she cares that much about a stray bird, I could at least help her corral it.
The parakeet was stubborn at first, flailing around and jumping from sidewalk to window sills out of our reach. As we stared up at it from our distant spot in the sidewalk, we weren’t sure if we’d be able to catch it. And even if we did catch it, we weren’t sure what we’d do with it next.
As soon as we were about to take our attention away from it for good, the parakeet (later named Lucky) suddenly swooped down from its high window sill right to where I was standing near my feet.
I had a epiphany – could fate be bringing this creature to me, probably starving and ill, for us to take home and care for? The way it flew right at me from such a far distance made me start to believe that.
Since it landed close to us, we were finally able to corral Lucky and put her into a shoebox to take home (of course, after we stopped to get her a bird cage and some food).
I’ve never seen an animal eat so ravishly and for so long. It was clear this bird had not eaten in a long time, and could possibly have been very close to death, although in the end we never realized how close she actually was.
For the few weeks after we found her (my first pet bird), we had the pleasure of seeing Lucky go from a timid, scared, and malnourished creature into a lively, comfortable, and healthier version of herself.
Needing medicine every day, my wife would gently cradle Lucky in one hand to administer the dosage. Over time my wife said Lucky became more receptive to being held.
Lucky’s chirp was a wonderful sound the filled our living room. Our cats also enjoyed exploring Lucky from outside of her cage. Curiousity more than anything, they’d stare at Lucky as she went about her pacing and movement in a free-spirited way.
“She didn’t have to die.”
My wife solemnly said that over tears after finding Lucky off her typical ledge one day after work.
Even though we provided the best care possible (including repeat trips to the vet), Lucky was much closer to death than we thought.
Lucky’s absence leaves a void in our house and hearts.
Although we only knew her for a few weeks, we started to bond with her and saw her improve in health and spirit.
We especially enjoyed remembering that day we saved her from the throes of being a parakeet outside in the wild.
The vet believes the sudden death may have something to do with the shock of being inside (and confined) suddenly. And since we have no better explanation that can possibly make sense, this is what we tell ourselves.
I still miss hearing her joyful chirp.
Looking into Lucky’s eyes, I saw not just a bird staring intently back, but a soul. I remember fine details like the patterns on her tiny bird claws, and the way she chewed with her beak.
We named her Lucky because she was considered lucky to be alive after being out in the wild. Now I know that we were both lucky – her for being saved, and us for having known her and been in her presence, even if for just a short time.