It’s never easy losing a furbaby. Yesterday, we awoke to find one of our birds, Pickles, had passed away overnight. He was huddled in the bottom of his cage where he always sleeps, and it looked like he just went to sleep and never woke up. He was about 17 years old, a Quaker parakeet (or monk parrot, if you prefer).

He was Grandaddy’s bird, literally his baby. No one else could handle him but Grandaddy. When Grandaddy passed away in 2011, I inherited Pickles and their cat, BW.

My other Quaker, Margarita, is about 25 years old, and I’ve had her since she was a baby. She’s the reason I bought Pickles for Grandaddy, because his first cockatiel, Pete, had died. Then he had Pete 2 (or re-Pete, as we called him) for several years, and he died. So when he lost Pete 2, I asked Granny if I could buy Grandaddy a Quaker, because they’d birdsat for Margarita a few times and he loved her. (They’re amazing talkers.)

So I bought Pickles for him, he was still being hand-fed a couple of days when I bought him. Once he was totally weaned, I took him to Grandaddy and that bird bonded with him so hard and fast. Grandaddy let my son name him, and because Pickles was green…

Pickles was spoiled rotten. But once Grandaddy passed, we took care of him as best he’d let us (usually with a lot of swearing on our parts as we got the crap bit out of us while trying to change his food and water, all while Pickles would be yelling at us, “Stop that!” and “Don’t touch!”), we’d replace his toys when he destroyed them, and talk back to him when he’d talk to us, wanting a “piece of bread” or saying “want a cookie.” (More phrases he learned from Granny and Grandaddy.)

Quakers usually live a lot longer, so now I’m paranoid about Margarita. And it was a doubly emotional hit because he was Grandaddy’s bird.

Thanks to everyone on Facebook yesterday who offered their condolences. I’m sorry I haven’t responded to everyone yet. I had to unexpectedly go help a friend with an electrical problem at their house, which turned out to be a blessing because it got me out of the house and forced me to not sit there and cry all day.


RIP Pickles
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