Nineteen Years

Early this month, my husband and I celebrated 19 wonderful years of living together. This is not to be confused with our wedding anniversary, which happened about two years later in June. The occasion marked in March is the night he moved in with me.

I mention Mike in most of my posts here, because he is my support and help in all things in my life. We traveled over some rough patches, but instead of shaking our relationship apart, we have grown stronger.

At the time we joined our households, I had two cockatiels and a pair of finches. I decided to rehome the finches, but we kept the tiels. Palafox and Paradise, a male normal gray and a female lutino, were not as happy to be together as Mike and I were. Paradise tried very dilligently to interest Palafox, but he would have none of it. He might not have known what he was, but he wasn’t whatever she was, and didn’t want to do those things she suggested.

I always felt a bit sad watching them in different parts of the same cage, pleasuring themselves alone when they could have made the same music together. Oh, well.

Mike evolved from reluctantly accompanying me and the kids to a bird club meeting to readily interacting with the various parrots and finches. He’s not a club kind of person, so that is now something I do on my own, but he still likes the flock. He monitors the water daily, feeds as needed, and cleans the cages weekly. Without this help, I could not keep my birds at this time.

I believe I mentioned before in this blog that our first sun conure, Zazu, came to my attention when his owner chose to give him away, and I made all the arrangement to travel north a bit and pick him up. We had him home less than an hour when he decided to attack me. Mike could hold him, get him to step up, and be a kissy bird, but I was a threat, an intruder, and not to be tolerated.

Over the years, Mike has been bitten by finches, canaries, parrotlets, budgies, cockatiels, conures, and once by an Congo African Grey. That was our Bo Dangles, who politely said she was sorry after she bit him. Of course, she had no toes so she couldn’t hold on when she lunged at him, and ended up falling a few feet. Maybe that was what she was really sorry about.

My darling husband has also been roped into loading and unloading cages of all shapes and sizes. I have a terrible tendency to insist some cage will fit, and when we had a minivan, I was pretty often right. But once we opted for two Toyota Matrixes . . . Matrices? Well, anyway, when we got two small cars, I often erred. This resulted in getting a great deal at a bird mart two hours north of home, and once we rolled it all the way out to the car, found it would not fit. And Mike didn’t have tools with him. He ended up dismantling the cage with a small screwdriver. And then some of the disassembled parts nearly didn’t fit. We still refer to that incident when I insist on being spacial.

Oh, and Mike never ever liked that cage, either. He was very pleased when we sold it.

I may have mentioned that he does woodworking and cage building for me. He created and added the sides and roof to the aviary, and when we added the outrigger cages, his term, he designed and built the cage supports and the enclosed areas. He’s had to add smaller wire around the bottom to keep baby button quail inside, been responsible for putting up and taking down nest boxes in there, and also does the nest checks when the cockatiels are breeding.
He comforts me when one of the birds dies, sometimes even when his own heart is bruised. His task is to build the fires where we send the small bodies off to their next stage. His task is to keep the birds hidden in the freezer when visitors come over.

I can’t imagine anyone else putting up with me and carrying on with all these chores. Some people think humans don’t mate for life, but I think it just takes the right pair of bonded people. Just like with birds, the bottom line is being happy enough to roost together at the end of the day.

Take care, see you on Wednesday!


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