Talking about the End

Every pet owner has to talk about the eventuality that, one day, their pet will pass away. It is a sobering contemplation. I don’t believe that anyone likes the idea that their faithful companion won’t always be around.

As a regular cockatiel, Froley has about twenty to twenty-five years to his lifespan. I got Froley as a very young bird. He was under six months old when I got him at a run-of-the-mill Petco back in 2009. The reason I know he was that young was because his face was covered in grey feathers.

Typically, female cockatiels have duller faces than males, with grey feathers muting whatever color they might have had. When I first got Froley, I seriously thought he was a woman. What I didn’t know was that all young cockatiels, no matter their sex, start out with a grey face. It’s only after six months of maturing that males start to sport their bright yellow and red cheeks.

So Froley was definitely under the six-month mark when I got him. And seeing as how it’s now 2018, I can estimate that Froley is about nine years old.

Froley in my shirt
Hey there

As he nears middle age, I can’t help thinking about what I’m going to do when he dies. It’s like this pit that I can’t seem to stop myself from jumping into. Froley means a shit-ton to me. He’s the first pet I’ve ever cared for on my own. He’s probably the only pet who has ever adored me the way I adore him. (At least I’m pretty sure he adores me.) You can probably tell from the cover image of this blog that I’m kind of obsessed with him.

When I think about Froley dying, I’m overwhelmed by this feeling of premature sorrow. It’s like I’m already missing him. I once told my sister that after Froley dies, I’m never going to get another cockatiel ever again. No other bird could ever replace him. She looked me straight in the eye and told me I was being stupid. Said that it would be a shame to deny another bird a chance to have a competent bird owner.

(My sister is too kind sometimes.)

My sister then reminded me that Froley is living the good life, a life he might not have had if someone else had picked him up from Petco instead of me. I’ve gotten him three cages, one for short trips around town, one for his bedtime, and his main domicile. He has a strictly healthy bird diet with the occasional treat. He has more toys than he knows what to do with, and I switch them out monthly so that he’s never bored with his surroundings. I let him take showers with me, and if he wants to take a bath too, I hum his favorite bath-time song while he rolls around in the water (“Little April Shower” from Bambi). He also gets to cuddle with me whenever he wants to (except when I’m working). I let him climb onto my neck as I’m laying down, and he’ll stay there, fluffed up and happy.

Froleybird on my neck

I shouldn’t be dreading Froley’s passing when he’s currently right in front of me, totally not about to poop on my keyboard ohmygodFroleypleasedonotsquatrighttherethatisnotapoopingplaceohdearlordohheck…

I love Froley, and I’ll be sad when he’s gone. But I’m happy he is here right now. He has changed my life in such a large way for such a small bird.

17 thoughts on “Talking about the End”

  1. I used to keep hamsters. This is why I don’t, anymore… they only live for about three years, and even though they’re just little rodents it’s heart-wrenching when they pass away. Having to deal with that every few months is just too much :/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I empathize your angst. I’m a cat person… have had cats all my life. Pondering the inevitable can be quite troubling. All we can do really is be in the moment. It sounds like Froley means as much to you as ButterBean means to me.


  3. I can empathize with your angst. I’ve had twelve cats during my time here. Pondering the inevitable can be quite troubling. All we can do, really, is live in the moment. It seems that Froley means as much to you as ButterBean means to me. Enjoy each other while you can.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. She is a rescued, black, green eyed, domestic short hair. I got her when she was 5 months old. Now that she is almost 7 years old, she prefers to be called… the Bean. LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Froley is a very special pet. I see the love that is between you both every day. You are a very caring mommy of Froley. Beautiful writing!!!! ❤️🐦

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my…I happen to sometimes look at Brewski and Boots while they’re sleeping and get teary-eyed with the thought of either passing. My world would be a little emptier not hearing Brewski howling at the sirens going by or Boots snoring like a freight train (for such a little chihuahua?!). It’s amazing how such little creatures can bring us such happiness and love…truly God’s gift to us

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As always I enjoy the read. Froley is so lucky to have someone as kind as you as his owner. He is living the good life, and I hope he has many many more years with you! My heart still has a piece missing from when Drogo passed. I am lucky to have had him in my life even if it was for a short time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mellon, he totally adores you. That was set in stone at the beginning of the Space Time Continuum. Seriously, he’s a one person bird if there ever was one.


    1. I’m certain the feelings of affection that you still retain for your childhood pet make it so that it is a true loss to the dogs of the world that you are not their owner 🙂


  8. That’s tough. I have 3 pets and have had 3 die on me during my lifetime. It hurts. But it all depends on the person, for me, it felt like a family member dying the first time. I can’t help thinking about how I will feel when my cats die though. That’s not going to be fun. Most likely we will have to get more cats after tears are shed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard that the easiest way to get over the loss of a pet is to get another pet. (Kind of like when you’re eating Hot Cheetos and the only way to soothe the burning sensation on your tongue is to pop another one in your mouth.)

      (Ooof, that Hot Cheetos comparison sounds callous. I don’t mean it to.)

      I completely understand what you’re saying about your cats. Froley is definitely one of the most important things in my life.

      Liked by 1 person

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