I wasn't expecting to have to write this obituary post for some time, my little boy Louie, but you've gone away. Your spirit flew off and I still can't believe it. I thought you'd be with me for at least 10 more years. I planned for it. Looked forward to it. But you've passed on...
Louie died Thursday, February 23, 2023. His passing has hurt my heart more than I could have ever expected. I've had other pet friends pass over before and it always hurt horribly, but at least I was able to watch them growing older, getting a little slower, could see it coming and plan for it a little bit. But with Louie, I was completely taken by surprise.
I work from home and my morning started like most do. I woke up, fed my pets, played with them for a little bit and then got to work. Louie flew to the side-room, like usual, watching the birds and weather outside. Argos followed and rested on the futon I have there in Louie's room. I sat working at my computer. I remember passing by your room a time or two Lou, and I thought you looked so beautiful standing there in the windowsill. My beautiful burd boy, taking one last look out at the world.
I decided that I'd go for a walk at around noon last Thursday, put on my shoes, and went looking for Louie so I could put him in his cage... but I couldn't find him. I looked and looked, but nowhere. Finally, in his little side room, I saw him hiding behind some bookshelves. I knew something was wrong. He wouldn't step up onto my hand. He had no energy. I picked him up and took him to his cage, but he couldn't find his balance on his perch. So I put him down gently on the bottom of his cage, and he wouldn't or couldn't move. I called his vet, scheduled an emergency appointment, and drove down. I told him over and over that I love him on our way down, and asked him to please be okay.. but he wasn't. When we arrived, I saw that he had died sometime while we were driving.
The vet told me that Louie had a cancerous tumor in his crop, his neck, and that was likely the cause of death. I've read and known for many years that birds hide that they are sick, they keep on going until they just can't go anymore, because a sick bird will be immediately targeted by bird-of-prey or other predator. I had read that, I knew that, but I'd never seen it for myself. Louie, you were here and you seemed a-okay, and then you were gone. I'm so sorry. I miss you so much.
I adopted Louie in the spring of 2017 when he was somewhere between 6-8 years old. I adopted him from Ronnie's for the Love of Birds, a bird rescue located down in Sandy, Utah. I went in there for one reason or another, to buy food or bird toys or something, but also because I love to meet their rescued parrots. Louie really stood out, a shining star, and I kept wandering over to his cage. To play with him, to talk with him, and finally to hold him. The ladies who worked there told me that I was the first person they'd seen him come to willingly. I went back the next day, and the next, and the next, because I just wanted to spend time with him. I finally adopted and brought Louie home, and he lived with me ever since.
What we've done to birds.. taking them on as pets, treating them as objects instead of the wild birds they are.. I find it so disgusting. I hate it. But even now, as I write that, there and hundreds of thousands of captive parrots (possibly millions) who don't have a home here in the USA. They could never survive in the wild. They don't know how. But their spirit still belongs to those wild skies. I didn't learn about Louie's whole history, but what I do know about makes me very sad. I was told the environment Ronnie's rescued Louie from was very dirty, he wasn't very well fed and his diet was bad, he was neglected and abused. Louie needed a home, and I am so grateful he was able to make his home with me for a time. I'm grateful there are organizations like Ronnie's who sincerely try to help these birds out the best that they can. And I am so grateful that Ronnie helped bring this beautiful little blue indian ringneck boy into my life.
I miss you so much, Louie. We walked and hiked every day together, weather permitting. I was looking forward to being able to take you out on walks with me again soon this spring. I loved hearing you sing out under the sun and trees, I loved walking with you out under a full moon. You never learned to talk, but we had our own secret language, whistling together and to each other. Whistling and responding to the other birds in the branches or flying overhead. I will miss driving around the city with you, out running errands or visiting friends. We went out driving last Wednesday evening, and you seemed so happy (and healthy), bouncing around on your bird-backpack-perch, listening to music and watching the sunset. I had no idea that would be the last time, but I am so glad you were there.
What I do know is our physical material bodies are animated by a unique spirit. Every plant, animal, person, planet and star. You moved out from your body, Lou, and your spirit will move and evolve into something new. We will see each other again someday. You'll fly down onto my shoulder, and I will give you a big old kiss!
Until then, be a good boy Louie. I love you forever!