After her bath, she rested comfortably on the couch. A few hours later, she coughed up blood. Obviously, I immediately knew that the end was near. I knew that I would not be able to afford vet care for her and I feared that the time had come, that I may need to consider having her put down. I spent the afternoon in tears, while Cardinal distracted the younger kids. She was absolutely amazing!
Around 5:00, she had another seizure. The boys were so upset. Once again, she laid lifeless on her side and they thought she was dead. When I got up to go to their room, she again seemed fine, but once again had that weird stiffness about her legs.
|Duckling and Parrot's last picture|
|Macaw and Parrot's last picture|
|Hawk and Parrot's last picture|
|Cardinal and Parrot|
She was laying on our couch...she sat up during one of her coughing fits and tilted her head back so far that she fell straight back and began having a seizure and then she whimpered and moaned. When I sat he back up, the blood was dripping pretty bad out of her mouth and nose. She was breathing very fast and heavy. It was apparent that she probably was not going to make it through the night, and she was beginning to suffer. Macaw was sitting right next to her and she started to panic and was yelling "take her to the doctor, she needs to go to the doctor". I called two different hospitals and they both charged $165 to put her down. Neither of them were willing to work with me on the cost. It was killing me that my kids were having to witness this and I couldn't bear to see Parrot suffering, but there was nothing I could do. I was advised to keep her warm and comfort her and that it sounded like she was in heart failure and was having seizures and with the hemoraging she probably wouldn't last long.
At 7:00 she made her final trip up the stairs. She went to her favorite spot in the whole house...Hawk's bed. I covered her up and Cardinal and I sobbed for hours as we sat with Parrot...trying to make her as comfortable as we could. We took a few last pictures and then it was obvious that Parrot was growing extremely uncomfortable. She would stand up, turn around, lay down...stand up, turn around lay down. She tried to whimper and cry but not much sound came out. She was breathing so heavy Cardinal said it sounded like she had run a marathon. I said "Parrot has always been such a trooper, a real fighter...she can't even give it up when she is dying". My mom suggested that I hold Parrot to see if that would make her more comfortable and get her to calm down. That since she wasn't hiding to die, maybe she just needed me to tell her it was ok to go. So, I picked her up and cradled her. I talked to her...basically begging her to give up because I just couldn't bear to see her suffer. I didn't want these memories to replace all of the ones I wanted to remember. She was bleeding so bad from her mouth and nose, that blood was pooling on the bed. Her breathing slowed down and she took a deep breath then her body relaxed and she went limp then she twitched. I thought that was it, I said "I think that was it, I think she's gone" but then she gurgled and gasped for air. It was so hard to tell if she was dead or alive. I was amazed at the peacefulness that took over her, I was truly in awe and I was so relieved and if I could feel "happy" this was that moment, it was a beautiful thing. I kept saying "Cardinal, look at her, look how peaceful she is, she is not suffering, isn't it amazing". At this point, I thought she was still alive, but as I look back...I realize that she was already dead. I told Cardinal to go get Hawk and tell him that if he wanted to see her alive again, that he needed to come now because it seemed we were in our final minutes. I called my mom and told her that we were close. It was hard to distinguish if she was dead or alive. Her head was limp and lifeless, I even said to my mom "she can't even hold her head, if i let it go, it falls". Again, she twitched and her body went limp and she gurgled. Again, I said "I think that's it, she's gone" then she would make a gasping sound, so we thought she was alive. Hawk and Eagle left the room. I was trying to figure out if she was dead or alive...but she did the twitch/gurgle routine one last time. It was still hard to tell if she was dead or not, but this time I was sure that she was. As I replay the events in my head, I realize that she was dead before I sent Cardinal to get Hawk, that moment of peace was actually the moment of her death. I know this for certain, because she defecated during that first cycle of lifelessness and I didn't want Hawk to see it when looked at her.
|A final goodbye, one last video and preparing for grief and healing|
We held her and said goodbye for about 45 minutes. I decided to wake Macaw so that she could say her goodbyes. In the morning, she did not remember that Parrot had died. Eagle and Macaw were both very upset that they couldn't see her. This bothered me very much because I too have that need of having that type of closure.
We drove 45 minutes to our own "pet cemetary" to find that it was flooded and was about 12 inches under water. In a panic, I got ahold of the only place that could bury her. They offered a "country burial" in which 50-100 pets were dumped in one big hole. They don't allow you to mark the grave and they don't keep track of which animal goes into which hole. So, basically, I felt like we'd be throwing her away like trash. They did offer a "private" burial. She would have her own plot and we could mark her grave and visit her...for $450. So, I called a vet and explained the situation and they advised me to keep her in the freezer until we could give her a proper burial. My mom offered to help with this difficult task. My mom looked sad and she has the same "closure" issue as me, so I asked if she wanted to see her and she said yes. After seeing that Parrot was still "presentable" I gave everyone the option to see her except Duckling. I thought it would be too confusing and better if she didn't. Macaw needed that. It wasn't upsetting to her at all. She got to see and pet her and say her final goodbye, she needed that. Eagle seemed a bit bothered, but he really wanted that chance to see her one last time. Emu...ahh, my little Emu. He has dealt with this entire thing in a way that is bothersome to me. He has been not only completely unaffected by her death, but he has had no response to any of us being so upset either. Well, he wanted to see her and when he looked at her he said "heh" and ran away. He came back a moment later, flapping his wings and jumping up and down and with a smile and his little laugh he said "so, are we going to put her in the mud now"? That's about how Emu has handled all of this, I guess for him, it's a blessing.
Each day is a little easier, but we are still so sad. Poor Duckling can't begin to understand and she keeps asking why Parrot is hiding. Macaw just cries and says she misses her. Emu doesn't even know she's gone. The rest of us break down randomly. There is such an emptiness that I never could have imagined. Her bed still sits where it always was, her bowl is still in it's same spot and her food is untouched. It's hard when I realize I haven't tripped over her or she hasn't gotten in my way. I feel like I'm forgetting something when I leave because I don't have to make sure she's locked up. I miss hearing her scratch at the gate (and God, I hated that). I miss letting her outside while I'm waiting for my coffee in the morning. I miss shaking my head as I walk by Hawk's door because someone let her out of the kitchen and she's laying on his bed. I miss yelling at Duckling to put her down because she was always trying to carry her. Nothing seems the same without her. I never would have imagined that I could miss her this much. I can't wait for the day that this gets easier and when this pain goes away!
I love and miss you so much Parrot, life will never be the same without you!
|Her final hour|