My Dear Groucho

Thankfully I have survived Thanksgiving.  Now just a few more weeks til we bid 2013 adieu and welcome with open arms 2014.

Sadly 2013 claimed another life to shatter my heart and world.

Thanksgiving was a hectic day spent caring for sick family & trying to maintain some sense of tradition without completely breaking down at the empty chair left in Mom’s absence.   Stressed isn’t the word for it all.  The exciting good news was that my nephew now has the very first of his teeth breaking through & I got the news that a dear friend was actually ok after rolling and totaling his truck thanks to a rambling dear.  It was late when I finally got back to Dad’s.  He had retreated from the chaos at my sister’s place earlier.  I’m sure he needed some alone time.  The parrots cages were in a room just off the main hallway & usually Grouch enjoys keeping up with the comings and goings from the post making sure to greet everyone.  If it is dark the greeting is a simple “Night Grouch” letting who ever know they are indeed interrupting his sleep.  I rush by & got about 4 steps when it hit me… I didn’t get the call.

Sadly when I checked he was laying at the bottom of the cage.  He passed on hours before we realized.


Do I even need to say I lost it completely?

My world is so much quieter without him.  Baxter may be my snuggle pug but Grouch was my conversation companion.  No more “Hi Grouch” to greet me at the start of the day or anytime I come through the door.  No more “Night Grouch” telling me to go to bed.  All his phrases have gone silent.

You never realize how much they are a part of your world til they aren’t.

I have found myself a couple of times making kissy sounds and listening for them to be returned… which they aren’t.

Thankfully the new budgie and Barris are completely smitten with each other and doing wonderful but they are so quiet even when they get excited and chirp about who knows what.

Part of adopting an older animal is that your time together is shorter than it could be, and I know that going in, but it doesn’t take the sting away when it happens.  I certainly wasn’t expecting it.  He was 15 when he came to me 4 years ago. Looking back I can see him slowing and being a tad more grouchy than his norm, but I attributed it to my own stress levels, emotions or maybe the change in seasons.  Not sure I could have done anything differently, but I will always wish I had been able to pamper him more and had more time together.

 Captive mustache parakeets have a life expectancy of around 20 to 25 years with good care.  Grouch was well loved his entire life, but in the years before me he certainly wasn’t able to receive the best in care or diet.  It was with love and worry for him that his former owner relinquished him to my care.  Over time he got color back, he learned that food would always be there and got picky & demanding if his favs didn’t appear quick enough.  He developed muscles where he had atrophied from lack of flight his whole life and minimum out of cage time.  While he never was able to fly, he learned to pretend and flap those wings fast as any flighted parrot.  Occasionally he tested his abilities which always scared me & would lead him to stomping around on the floor with a look mixed with confusion and annoyance.   I would lower my palm & he would step right up thankful for the lift up.  His lack of flight enabled me to feel comfortable taking him outside to enjoy sunlight on his beak and watch the world beyond the walls.  Trade off I guess.  The trust he showed allowed him freedom others didn’t get.


The promise I made when he came to me that he would never be rehomed and always be loved has been kept.  Our time together ended but the memories I will always treasure dearly.

Always in my heart Groucho.  There will never be another quiet like you.


2 thoughts on “My Dear Groucho

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss- it sounds like Groucho had a great life with you. I was just wondering if you would be willing to answer a quick question I have about your blog! My name is Heather and if you could email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com that would be great 🙂

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