Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Too long...between posts for me.

Here is an animal dominated post for you.

Our cockatiel Poppy has a fractured wing. I really aren't having much luck with our pets at the moment. This is of course making me doubt my role as a parent and being able to raise children.

Poppy's injury wasn't a result of my own direct actions, thankfully, D can account for this one.
I took her to the vet yesterday and they strapped the wing to her body which is what I thought they would do. When they brought her back to me looking like a bandaged feathered sausage roll, I was concerned that it looked too cumbersome for her. The strapping looked heavy. She looked unbalanced. Sure enough when she was put down she promptly fell over and couldn't get to her feet again without assistance. The vet held her in her hand and supported her until she was standing on her own and then when the hand was gone from her vicinity she moved and fell from the hand around 5 feet to the ground. I was as distressed at this as any normal mother would be if not more, I was sure she was a gonner. I hope the vet felt bad about this. Remarkably Poppy was ok, at least she didn't seem to be any more hurt than she already was. I decided that maybe this strapping was not going to work. I asked if we removed the strapping would the wing heal on its own. Yes was the answer albeit with a permanent droop and perhaps she may not fly as well as she might. I rather would take those chances than have her flopping and falling all over and potentially damaging herself further. So we trotted back home and she is as happy as she can be with a broken wing. I hope it all turns out for the best. I'm considering taking her to a proper avian vet but I think D will balk at the cost of this. Will keep you posted on our decision.

About two weeks ago Poppy decided to have a butter bath though, this time it was a result of my actions.
I was preparing a bbq for dinner and D came along a deposited Poppy on my shoulder. As I was taking some melted butter out of the microwave Poppy took interest in this. She remained on my shoulder as I pottered around intermittently stirring the butter as it cooled down. It had cooled enough and I was stirring it before I was about to add the garlic when Poppy decided she wanted a closer look. She made her way onto my chest and then before I knew it she was on my forearm. I moved my arm away from the bowl just as she took a fluttering leap for it. She landed on the rim of the bowl and when I went to grab her from there two-handed she jumped forward landing in the butter. I snatched her right out of there as soon as humanly possible but too late. Like an oil slick victim she was coated with a greasy slick of butter. I put her under the tap but she didn't like all the fuss that I was making, calling for D to come and help. I thought perhaps I should try a bath weak with detergent and wash/wipe her clean but she repeatedly struggled to get free from D's grasp. Quite amazing how she wormed her way out every time. I called the vet after hours and he assured me that I was doing the right thing and there wasn't much else I could do. Well we tried to clean her but I din't want her too stressed out so we relented and confined her to her cage for the rest of the evening to dry out and rest. The next day she had preened most of the buttery feathers and was looking a bit less bedraggled. The day after she was further improving in appearance but I gave her another mild detergent bath, this time in a deeper bathroom sink prepared with the kitchen sink as a rinse. Dunk and wash under the wings, rinse and in the cage. She wasn't too impressed with this. But I think it may have helped in a minor way. The trouble is that it is still all through her feathers, every time she preens she further distributes the butter. She smells like butter instead of the typical lovely cockatiel smell which depresses me a bit as I don't like the smell of two-week-old butter on her. Perhaps I should rename her butterball or popcorn instead.

I did make Poppy a play area for her to play on when she is out of her cage though. I was quite impressed with my creation. I used a plastic hanging laundry with attached pegs, $4.50, some baby connecting rings, $9.95, connected into a chain which was attached to the pegs from each end and a piece of dowel for the perch threaded through the loop of "chain". I attached the bell/mirror and some other small toys hanging from the pegs above and put Poppy on it. She LOVED it! That made me the happiest mum ever! So cute seeing her explore it and investigate all the bits and pieces. The best part is that I can hang it almost anywhere there is somewhere to hang it from! Downfall being the mess underneath it, but this is fine by me, nothing a vaccuum can't fix.

D's daughter B has two mice, Ginger and Tiger. Ginger has been scoffing too much mouse mix and is like a quivering mass of mouse fur with a whiskery nose at one end and a tail at the other denoting that she is in fact still a mouse. I said that she should be put on a diet and B agreed so we separated the mice into two cages and Ginger is doing it tough on rations. I think she has lost a bit of weight. I really should have weighed her before so i could monitor it a bit better. Never mind. Mouse-hood obesity is being rectified.

Still missing Milo, I don't think I will ever forget him. I miss my personal trainer. I miss my confidant. I miss my shadow.


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