09 March 2007

I thought it was time to write about my lost pet, Zeus. He's not really lost. He flew away and must have died. I was never a pet person. I never wanted a cat or dog. I've always thought I must not have the gene responsible for pet love. Then I got a bird. My parents have cockatiels, and I took care of one of them for a winter. I found, much to my surprise, that I liked having a pet around. It was nice coming home or waking up to find a pet that was happy to be with you. My cockatiel, Zeus, came to us when someone placed an ad in the Pennysaver. He belonged to a family that no longer had the time to give him the attention he needed. I started out being really afraid of him. Of being bitten or pooped on. He became my buddy. When he wasn't sitting on top of his cage, he was on my shoulder. He'd stay on my shoulder for hours at a time. I'd vacuum, eat, watch TV, whatever. His favorite food was popcorn, and it was a riot watching him eat. I was thoroughly entertained by him. He loved water. He had a perch with suction cups that was made for the shower. He'd put his face right up to the pounding water and get completely soaked. He'd get in the funniest positions trying to get the undersides of his wings wet. It was pretty comical. I think we had Zeus for about 2 years. One day, I was really mad at Emily. I don't even remember why. I was washing dishes and feeling really sorry for myself. I looked out onto the deck, and thought I'd go out and fill the birdbath. I looked at the cage to make sure Zeus wasn't on top. The cage was not far from the door and I was always careful. I walked out, and as I was pouring the water, I felt something alighting from my shoulder. It was Zeus. I didn't realize he was on me. He flapped his wings and kept on flying. I just went crazy. Emily and I ran from the house in the direction he flew. It was over by the 'beaver pond'. We called and whistled for him. We could hear him. To make a long story short, we searched for hours. Our friend Sarah helped. We made and put up posters. Finally, I had to go to work. A few hours later Emily called from Sarah's. Zeus was in a tree at the edge of the woods by her house. They could see him. I told her to just keep whistling and calling his name, and that Zeus would fly to her. I hung up and continued with the highlights I was doing, but I wanted to be there. She called me back about 10 minutes later to say he wouldn't come down. I told her I'd be right there. I found someone to finish my client, and rushed to Sarah's. It took 20 long minutes. Finally I was there, along with Emily, Sarah, her husband and young son. I called for Zeus. He was so freaked out he was squawking up a storm. I guess that was what attracted the hawk that we watched, as in slow motion, fly to Zeus and grab him. Feathers flew, but Zeus was able to fly away. He must have been mortally wounded, though, and that was the last we ever saw of him. I searched for days, put ads in all the papers, etc...He was gone.

It took me a long time to get over what happened, and the fact that it was my fault. Zeus was a good bird, really funny, and I'm glad to know I have it in me to love a pet. If I thought that I could get another bird that would be as loving as he was, I'd get one in a minute. I always thought I'd get another bird, and maybe one day I will.



Anonymous said...

Ah, what a cutie! Rest in Peace Zeus!

(This post was really well written by the way, Kudos!)


Dave said...
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Billy said...

Sorry to hear about the bird. He was cute though.

Andrew said...

Ah Zeus, what a cool name for a cockatiel. I hate you lost him though and glad to hear you have the pet owner's gene. I don't know what I would do without Maggie. She is such a good companion.

Amanda said...

He was beautiful! I can understand the fear of not being able to find another bird as nice as him. Trying to work up the courage to get another pet too...

Kristen said...

So sad.


Anonymous said...

this is crazy. my cockatiel looked exactly like yours and the same exact thing happened to me last friday. It took me hours of looking, but i finally found him in a tree by the creek behind my apartment. I whistled trying to get him down for an hour then the red tailed hawk swooped in and ripped him off the branch, but he did not escape like yours. It was traumatizing and in some weird way im fascinated with hawks now, but our bird was 15 years old and at least he didn't die old and bored in his cage. I just could'nt believe my eyes. I'm sorry you had to go through this too. b_brenner1@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found you and your
wonderful story about Zeus. I can't
believe he's been gone two years now. I can't tell you how many times I when I emailed you to help,I searched by internet to help you get him back home to you. You probably don't remember me but I am Karen from severna park who on that rainy Oct 8 (forgive me if it wasn't exactly that day) but I was going to the Scottish festival in
Crownsville and came across your ad and wanted to help so I emailed you. You did email me back but didn't take up my offer. I couldn't understand why but I guess you was
so upset you couldn't think of bringing a stranger to search. I couldn't think of any place I would rather be than helping you search for Zeus. I went to the festival in the rain but wanted so to go search for Zeus so bad and he was all I could think of for a long time. I set out on a mission and searched every website available and prayed so much for him and you. I can say now and then I think of his short life but comforted that he had a love filled one with you. My cockateil was accidently killed by my sister. I understand completely how you blame yourself for I will never forgive myself for letting someone pet sit who didn't love or care about birds. Your story of Zeus reminds me of my wonderful little cockatiel (Mungo)I have from Max who died. She is my best friend and I think of her as my child. I don't have a child but when I not with them I think of them and wonder if their ok. Mungo twist and gets in those crazy postitions when I spray her with water too. I sometimes stare at her, Lulu (sister) and mother (Milo) for hours at their just being. Sometimes Mungo flies on my shoulder for her flight is very silent. I will be more and more careful now. Your story was one I will never forget but you should be happy that you gave him the best two years of his life and he was so happy to be with you. Please reconsider and give another
fine feathered friend from a rescue or shelter a love filled life. If you check on www.petharbor.com, it list animals (birds) at your local area shelters. If you choose not to
get another bird because of the great loss; I to understand.
Birds are so misunderstood and I
wonder what God was thinking when
he decided to create such a beautiful magical creature.
Take care Cheryl and god bless,

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