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.