Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Good-Bye, Crusher

I’ve been putting off writing this week’s first blog post because I’m afraid I’m going to cry. Crusher, our little parakeet, died this weekend, and we are all in mourning.


You might not think a little creature weighing only an ounce or two could have much of an impact. But this little guy’s effect on our lives was much larger than his size.

About five years ago, our son asked to have a pet bird. We waffled a bit, but eventually decided that we would indulge him. We bought Crusher (more about his name later) at a local bird store. Out of a cage containing at least 20 parakeets, our son pointed at “that one”—and the store clerk caught him for us. When we got him home, he was immediately friendly, pecking bird seed out of our hands, and acting more curious than scared about his new surroundings.


Crusher got his name from a joking discussion between me and my son. We were trying to come up with the most incongruous name for a tiny bird. I suggested Crusher, after a character in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. (Remember the cartoon where Bugs ended up as a wrestler? One of the other wrestlers was called “The CRUSHER.”) My son and I cracked up thinking about calling a parakeet Crusher, and the name stuck. Crusher seemed to try to live up to his name, too, being just about fearless for a little parakeet.

We kept him in our family room, which is open to the kitchen, and Crusher often chose the time I was making dinner to sing. I loved hearing his little voice chirping and trilling while I chopped vegetables or sautéed chicken. He loved bells, and when we heard him dinging one in the morning, we knew it was time to uncover him. He occasionally came out of his cage and joined my son in his bedroom, perching on the computer monitor, or sat on his little jungle gym with my husband and me in our office. He received Christmas presents, just like every other member of the family. (It’s good to be a pet in the Johnson household.)

Soon, I hope, I will be able to remember the cute things Crusher did without getting a lump in my throat. Soon I hope the happy memories will outweigh the pain of losing him. But right now there is a small, bird-shaped hole in my heart.

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8 comments:

Laure Ferlita said...

Warm hugs and gentle wishes for healing.......

"JeanneG" said...

I'm so sorry. Our animal babies just burrow so deep in our hearts that it hurts when that is taken away. Hugs.

Meredith said...

Oh, Kathy, that's so sad. My condolences to you and your family. My mom has developed close relationships with all her parakeets over the years, and I had two in law school way back. When I lost them, it was devastating. :( They are so tiny, but overflowing with bright and cheerful spirit.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Thank you all for your comforting words. Fellow animal lovers always understand! And Meredith's comment about parakeets' "bright and cheerful spirit" really sums up how I felt about Crusher. Just looking at him and listening to him lifted our spirits. Thank you!

freebird said...

It's a sad day when we lose a family pet. They aren't really pets are they, but rather family members that are just a little different than the rest. Those good memories will surface and the sadness will go away. I've been through this many times so I know. I tell myself never again but currently have 4 dogs, a cat, a canary and 2 goats. They give too much love to stay away from them.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

I agree with what you're saying! We've lost a couple of pets in the past couple of years, and at first the pain of losing them makes me wonder if it's worth it to have them. When that pain eases a little, I realize that of course it's worth it. They bring so much pleasure and joy into our daily lives, and sometimes we don't even notice it. I don't ever want to be without a pet of some kind.

Kelly said...

...my heart goes out to you. It's amazing how close we can become to birds. I had a little parakeet named Gomez. He lived 11 years. I was crushed when he died. Hope all is well...

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Wow--11 years! That's a long time for a parakeet, isn't it? I do really miss Crusher--I miss stopping by his cage to say hi every time I walked through the family room. I miss his songs at dinner time. We are lavishing attention on the remaining house pet, our dog, which she is enjoying.