Eulogy for Salt the Parakeet (2002 – 2011)

This morning I noticed Salt huddled in the bottom of her cage. When I stepped closer, I saw she wasn’t moving. She was not breathing, just very still.

When my youngest daughter (who is a senior in high school) was in fourth grade, her science teacher bought five parakeets for the children to study during a section on birds. Each table in the class had a parakeet in a little cage that the children would observe. They drew bird beaks, bird eyes, bird feathers, bird feet. When the bird study was finished the teacher found herself with five birds with little room to keep them. We could debate her wisdom in purchasing them to begin with, but that is history.

One afternoon I picked up my daughter from school and she was so excited she couldn’t sit still. She talked so fast I could barely understand her, the way children do when they are super excited. “Mom, Miss Dee said I could have all five parakeets and she said she will give me their cage and all their food and all their toys and all the things I could possibly need to have parakeets isn’t that great mom she said if you said it’s okay I can bring them home tomorrow can I mom can I? Mom, please?”

I should add that this particular child had adopted two mice from her first grade teacher who swore they were two girl mice…..nope, boy and girl, and we quickly had 17 mice on hand, as well as two hamsters and a puppy. Obviously, I am a pushover.

So the five parakeets came home and were a raucous bunch. Lots of tweeting and chirping and fluttering around but they were very happy in the super luxurious huge cage we bought for them. My daugther was very responsible in caring for them and over the years, one by one, they died of natural causes, except Salt. For the last four years Salt has been in the cage by herself, but developed a wonderful relationship with one of our cats. The cat slept on her cage during the day, they rubbed noses/beaks and they kept each other company.

I am waiting for my daughter to come home from school so we can bury Salt along side all the other little animals that have been part of our family. We will miss this very sweet little bird.