I have three small birds and we are not in a safe place. I am still too weak and in terrible pain to take care of myself and them both. No matter how much I hurt, they depend on me. I cannot let them down.
I am too afraid and anxious to leave the room I am staying in. I can’t go into the kitchen or to the bathroom unless I know there is no threat in the house. There is only one person in the house willing to help me, but, he is usually intoxicated and often forgets and leaves me without food or water.
The people who own this house no longer want me, here. They won’t talk to me. They refused to take me to the hospital when I begged. Instead, they left. It’s because their daughter moved back into the house.
She has threatened to hurt me on sight and destroys my things. She destroyed my vehicle. She used my personal information to open phone accounts and buy a phone the day of my surgery. She stands outside the door and says things that are not true or that mean to make me feel worthless. I try not to hear her.
No one here will protect me or make it stop.
I am trapped, today, and I feel like my birds and I are going to probably die. I have no where to go. I can barely move because of this pain. It shouldn’t hurt this way.
I am alone. I am so desperate and afraid. I would beg anyone to help me, please help me. If I have to lose my flock I have nothing. We are each other’s everything, right now. The oldest is 30 years old. My Lou. Qt has been my companion for 15 years. Alo is only 7, but he is Qt’s best friend.
I won’t leave or abandon them. I promised them I would never let that happen to them.
Please help me keep my promise to never leave them.
The tightness that began in my chest when I learned that the ass-hats who have my birds are about to screw me over, again, due to their combined control pathos so that I might lose them, forever, has not budged.
I slept in 30 minutes stretches between hours of anxious wakefulness. I don’t even know if I managed a full 3 hours of sleep.
I know I was freezing my ass off outside before 6 a.m., this morning. I still can’t feel my damn feet.
Combining this imminent state of anxious panic with my lack of rest, no where to use a bathroom, not having been able to take a shower since early last week, another prospective day crammed in this 2′ x 2′ opening without food and surrounded by open hostility from once beloved people who have squarely lost their minds in some black pit of badness. (Real badness, as in evil bad not not bad-ass bad) .. it’s the queasy, greasy disquiet felt after eating a questionable burrito.
I have to keep my head out of my ass. Seriously.
So, this is what I got to work with, today. I have to begin with prayer. It’s literally all I have left, what remains of my mind. Imagine that.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
I don’t know if I’m going to pull it, today, but, God knows I am going to try with everything I’ve got
The following is a re-post of a message to Mickaboo volunteers written by Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue co-founder and CEO, Michelle Yesney. It has been published here with her gracious permission.
As you all know, Mickaboo is a rescue. That means we often take in birds that are injured, sick, maimed, and terrified. We take whatever measures are necessary to see that they receive the medical care they need, and our trained and compassionate volunteers help nurse them back to health.
But not all of the birds who come to us can be “cured”. Not all of them can recover fully.
Birds that have lost all or part of a wing, all or part of a leg or foot, or have had part of their beak torn off, cannot grow back the missing part. Birds that have plucked for a long time may have damaged the follicles such that their feathers cannot all grow back. Scar tissue can impede the full use of wings, legs, and regrowth of feathers.
These birds will never be able to behave or act exactly the way a “normal” healthy bird would act or move. Their lives will never be the same.
So why does Mickaboo rehabilitate these birds? Why do we spend time, money, and valuable volunteer resources on these damaged birds? Wouldn’t it be kinder to humanely euthanize them, “put them out of their misery”, since they can never be just like other birds?
People do ask me these questions, and it seems appropriate to give you all my answer – and to explain why you might want to consider fostering or adopting a “special needs” bird.
The first and most important thing to understand is that no matter how savage the injury or damage the bird may have sustained, no matter how severe the mutilation – birds don’t think of themselves as crippled or handicapped.
Once their pain can be controlled, the bird immediately begins to work through the actions and behavior changes necessary to resume its “normal” life. They never feel sorry for themselves.
Loss of a wing may be the most significant injury that can occur to a bird – the loss of flight.** A few years ago, I cared for a cockatiel after his surgery (for a wing amputation). He was clearly grieving; he didn’t move around very much and was silent and withdrawn. His surgical site healed, but he remained very quiet. Then spring arrived and with it, a lot more sunshine. It was almost as though he had been sleeping for weeks – he began singing and calling to the other birds, he was active and had to be moved to a much larger cage. He was probably the most musical – and joyous – cockatiel I have ever met – his name is Picabo.
Birds seem so fragile and delicate. When they survive a terrible injury or lose part of their body due to injury or illness, it is easy to assume they will die. But often they do not. They can be incredibly tough and amazingly resilient.
We take in birds that are so badly hurt, often compounded by bad care or neglect, that our experienced avian vets are horrified by their condition. But we try never to assume that an injury is fatal. So many of the birds that come to us with horrible damage do recover. Chacco the Galah (or rose-breasted cockatoo) came to us with horrible injuries, many of which had caused flesh on his wing and body to become necrotic (literally, it had died). The smell was horrible.
Take a look at him now on our web page (under Special Needs Birds). He lost a wing, but he is a beautiful, active bird who is learning to trust humans again.
Violet the budgie came to me with a huge hernia the size of her head attached to her vent. It has been repaired now and she is as active as any other budgie. She must never be allowed to lay eggs, but she likes to chitter at me in a soft voice, and is just as spunky as any budgie hen I’ve met.
We label birds “special needs” – but everyday the ones I know remind me that mostly they are just special.
And I am lucky to have them in my life.
I invite each of you to consider fostering a special needs bird. It is an experience that may change you life. Perhaps some of you can also share your experience with “special” birds.
Tonight, Lou (27 year old CAG that came into Mickaboo care last Spring) found his way to the bookcase. Not so easy a feat, as it is beset with several intended deterrents. But, as I was sitting with him in the living room absorbed in a thread I was reading, I heard a conversation Lou was having with himself.
“No.” Then, again, “No.” “No.”, again. I look up and there he is biting on a spray bottle. Actually, he’s got the spray bottle in a position now such that it looks like he’s embracing it with his leg while biting on the trigger piece and each time following a bite with a “No.”.
I say, “Lou. Stop biting that.”
He says back: “No.”.
I laugh. I couldn’t help myself.
Lou laughs back.
I say, “Seriously, Lou. Knock it off.”
He replies with a loud whisper, “Whatever.”
Whatever?! Where did that come from??
I say, “Lou! What are you doing?”
He looks at me and then looks first to his left then behind him, as if he’s saying “Are you talking to me or another
parrot that looks just like me?”
I say “Louie. Come here.”
He says “I’m over it.” I don’t think I could even make this up…
I can see where this is going.
I stand up, making like I’m going to go over to him. He looks at me eyes wide and starts whistling to the spray bottle and bobbing his head up and down so it looks like he’s dancing with it.
Just innocently dancing with the spray bottle, so what’s my problem, any way?
I get up close. He lets the spray bottle fall on its side, then lets out a long, exasperated “hhhhhhahhhhhhh’. He is, apparently, thoroughly disgusted with me.
“Lou. Do you want a pistachio?”
He begins walking towards me. I hand him a pistachio. When he has it in his beak, I pick up the spray bottle and put it behind the couch. Lou drops the pistachio and says “Hey!” Then goes back to finding the pistachio he dropped. At least, he appears to.
Before turning back towards him I hear “No.”
In the 1/2 second I was busy facing the other direction, he has silently crept up the bookcase and is now biting a book.
I love my books. Lou also loves my books.
He loves to destroy them.
I say “Lou…”
He finishes my sentence “…no!”
Then adds, “be a good boy.”
The book drops to the ground below. Lou laughs.
I approach the bookcase and Lou says “Goodnight, Lou.”
Yep. That sounds about right. What a smart bird.
“She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.” ~Mark Twain