In June of 2003, we went to Petsmart to buy food for my small herd of cats. There, we saw this small, ridiculously coloured little parrot. I read the label under his cage and discovered he was a sun conure. Since I had absolutely no idea what a sun conure was (other than probably something vaguely parrot like), I bought a book. The book told me that in no way whatsoever did I want to move a sun conure and their intense screaming into my apartment (the top floor of a Victorian house). I researched, I went and visited other parrots, and we kept coming back to see that little parrot at Petsmart.
He came home a few weeks later. We took him to the avian vet that we found, who told us that he was covered in stress bars and had a raging yeast infection. That the food he was eating was terrible, and we needed to fix that.
We fixed all of it. I taught (accidentally!) him to scream for attention and to bite me. Unteaching those behaviours is what set me on the path I am now.
He became a beautiful, social, delightful parrot.
Two days ago, he was acting completely normal, eating his food, playing, being his usual self.
Yesterday, he was normal when I woke them up in the morning. In the late afternoon, when I came to play with the little parrots, he was still normal. An hour later, his abdomen was visibly swollen, and he could barely stand up.
He died in the arms of the people who loved him. He bucked the trend of most parrots, in that he had one home his entirely far too short life. The gross necropsy shows that he had an abdominal tumour that ruptured. Nothing we could have done.
There’s an empty cage in my basement and a hole in my heart. Good bye Tiny Tea Monster.