I got home from the gym in a great mood. I went to the bird room, took Max out for some pets and to make lunch for the day, and then went back in to refill waters and food bowls.
I thought he was sleeping, then I went to refill his food and water and Max yelled and he didn’t move. I pet him and he didn’t move. I yelled for my boyfriend, “Cameron!! Cameron there’s something wrong with Pico!” he came running, started prying him off his doughnut, I started crying, and told me he was still warm. Pico was moving so slow, something was so wrong. I called my coworker and told her I’d be late that something was wrong with one of my birds.
I thought maybe he needed water so I filled a cup to the brim and we put his face in it, then we ran the shower and I put Max in a safe place and I called an animal hospital, where the automated message said to call “this number” for emergencies and I had to re-dial because I didn’t know I needed a pen. Still crying. Got the number, rinsed off, put on clothes that didn’t smell, and started driving with my baby in a hand towel.
Six minutes in to my ten minute drive, Pico stopped moving and he felt so hard and so cold and his eyes weren’t blinking and his tongue was practically laying out of his beak and I knew he was gone.
I started screaming and bawling and I called Cameron. I called him on the phone and I screamed his name and I begged him to pick up. No answer. Again. No answer. Again. No Answer. Crying, screaming, feeling hopeless stuck in traffic wondering how my bird could just leave me like this. We were so close, and he was already gone. He called me back, I yelled at him that Pico was dead and I didn’t know what to do . He said I still needed to go to the animal hospital. I did, and after about a minute they came back in and confirmed my worst dread; he didn’t make it. Cameron finished putting Max’s cage elsewhere and was on his way. I texted my coworker that my bird had died. I cried harder.
A nurse came out with Pico and I looked at her, looked at him, started crying and asked her if she could just keep him back there “‘Til my boyfriend gets here. I can’t, I’m sorry, I just can’t see him like this again right now”. And then another nurse came in and gave me a hug and told me that we had at least given him a good home. And then the doctor came in and I asked if she knew what happened and how we could find out why he was gone. She said we could do a necropsy and I told her that I’d make decisions when Cameron got there.
Then another nurse came back in and asked if I wanted his ashes back. I told her I didn’t know, that Cameron would decide when he got there.
All these people and all these questions and I just wanted to curl in a ball and hide and cry and I wanted Pico back and I wanted to be alone and I wanted Cameron and I couldn’t stop crying.
Cameron got there and I told him I was sorry and I cried a lot and he was so much stronger than me and he made all the decisions and we paid for the shipment for the necropsy and gave them our address for billing and then I cried some more. I went home, told my coworker I couldn’t come in, made an appointment for Max to be checked out, got in PJ’s and just sulked and cried. Cameron came home, we took Max to the vet, he was okay and I was so happy and still so worried.
A little less than a week later we got the necropsy results and they were inconclusive. We don’t know why he passed but they said it wasn’t anything contagious or environmental; which meant Max would be okay. Except I have no closure. I don’t know why Pico was taken from us and without an answer, all I do it worry about Max.
I never saw Pico again. Then, a few days ago, Cameron came home with some packages. He lifted up a small brown box and said, “This is Pico.” and I cried some more. Then, yesterday, I looked at the 3″X3″x3″ cardboard box with postage stamps, picked it up, held it tight, and started crying again.
When Cameron got home I told him we couldn’t keep Pico in a box anymore.
He told me he was going to open the box and I told him I was sorry but that I couldn’t be there when he opened it, so he took it in the bird room, came out with a small silver thing and I asked what it was. He said, “It’s an urn. I’s Pico.” and handed it to me slowly. I took it and I started crying. He held me while I cried for a bit, then I looked at him and cried some more and I said “It’s so small. He’s gone.” and cried some more. I told him I don’t know what to do with him and started rattling off everything you can do with ashes from burying them to turning them into a diamond or a firework. And then I handed him back and he said “I think for now I just want to set him with his doughnut in the cage”, I said okay and he took the doughnut down from hanging, laid it on the floor of the cage and set the urn in the middle. I cried some more.
Even as I’m writing I can’t stop crying. I just miss him and I hurt and I’m sorry because I don’t know why he’s gone and I didn’t get him there fast enough and I could’ve checked on them before I went to the gym and maybe he’s be okay. I can’t stop blaming myself and missing him and being scared for Max and I’m just sad and miserable and depressed and I know it hasn’t even been two weeks but I don’t know when I’ll feel reminiscent instead of miserable.
I just hurt.
Maybe letting this out will help.
I love you, Pico. You were a good bird, a great big brother to Max, and a twinkle in Cameron’s eye. I miss you.