Monday, March 18, 2013

Animal friends

Last night was the first night in 5 days that I didn't wake in the wee hours of the morning because of the birds. Button quail, to be exact. We are bird sitting for some friends who {I'm jealous} have flown to Washington to spend time with family.
The button quail are housed in a sweet little vintage cage, though separated, because they keep pecking at each other's heads.
And, surprisingly, they have no names. My friend says she calls them "her boys". And, jokingly, she said {as she giggled}, "You can name them if you want." All joking aside, they are now named Chicho & Miguel. Although, Pazely (the 8 year old), wanted to name one Squirm (because it squirms a lot), & the other Poopsie (because...well, you know). 
We feed & change their water daily. And on occasion we'll give them a treat: oranges or lettuce. Their cage is looking pretty messy, much like my house---except I don't poop everywhere. So, it looks like I'll be tidying up the creatures' cage today.
My bird-owner friend said, "Don't worry if something happens to the birds while I'm gone."
"Like what?" I asked. "Like, if they die?!"
I thought bird sitting would be good practice since the girls want a bigger pet so badly.

The girls currently have beta fish. But what they really want are animals that can be held & cuddled. (And I'm not saying they haven't tried those moves on their poor little fish.)
We left on a 4 day trip just recently & forgot to ask anyone to come over & feed  Jo-Jo & Bud ("Bud" is short for "Rosebud". I laugh every time I say that.) while we were gone.
Well, we came home from the trip & the girls immediately went to their rooms to check on their fish. Pazely's  fish, Bud, was swimming around all happy-like. Zoey's fish, Jo-Jo, was sitting very still on the bottom of the tank. I tapped the bowl, I shook it a bit too. I cried out, "Jo-Jo!!!!" But, nothing. Zoey fell to the ground & screamed, "Get out mom! Get out of my room!" I felt so heartbroken. She didn't even like that fish all that well. Yet, she became very upset at finding it so lifeless. 
My insides literally felt crushed for my little girl.
And, this, my friends, is why I don't want to have pets. I can't bear the day my girls may have to say "goodbye" to their friend forever. 
I closed the door to Zoey's room & left her sad & mad. She didn't like me all that well just then, being a fish murderer & all. I could just picture the day, many years later, when my children were all grown up, & Zoey recalling, "Hey, remember that time mom killed my first pet?" What a horrible thing to have attached to you.
As I walked down the stairs, I felt so numb. 
Then I heard Zoey shouting, "He's alive! He's alive!"
I darted back up those stairs & swung her door wide open. And there was Jo-Jo, slowly swimming to the surface. 
He's a heavy sleeper I guess. Either that, or we caught him mid-death.
I cannot explain the sense of joy & relief I felt. My heart was flooded with gladness. I hugged Zoey.
I looked her in the eye & stared into her blue eyes as if to say, "See, I don't kill stuff."
And she looked into my little brown eyes as if to say, "Can I have a kitten, mom?"
And then I looked into her eyes & spoke without speaking, "You'll have to ask your dad. And you know what he's going to say. He hates cats."
And then she sighed out loud.
As I walked out of Zoey's room, I gave Jo-Jo an extra pinch of stinky fish food.
Way to stay alive little guy!

Well, I hear the birds calling. Time to clean someone's house.

1 comment:

  1. I would say after that incident the girls deserve a baby kangaroo...


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