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At 27 years old, my Cockatiel, Igor, finally died

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He was having problems staying on his perch, falling off more and more frequently.

He was having trouble eating his food.

But some days he looked very healthy and happy.


I got him in 1981, he wasn't newborn, but was very young (8-20 weeks? I don't know).

He was very smart and learned to whistle many songs such as Jingle Bells, Taps, and Charge.

He could not pronounce words very clearly, but he had a decent vocabulary.

He refused to learn to whistle Dixie... which is strange since he picked up almost any other sound he heard, including the microwave oven humming then going ding when finished.

The old Irish Spring commercials which had someone whistling a tune always got his attention and made him very happy.

His cage was always in my room from 1981 until 1989 when I joined the Navy.

My parents had him until I got out of the Navy in 1997.

He got very depressed when I originally left, and would get depressed again if he saw me too much while I was home on leave.

He would pull out his feathers to the point of bleeding a little while depressed.


When I got married in 2003, my parents were stuck with him again off and on as my job has required much travel and my wife cannot handle animals.

I was home 3 weeks in December/January and my mom thought he was getting very ill, so I took him back.

He perked up while he was with me.

He was happiest sitting on my shoulder.

My 1 year old son loved to try to touch him.

I had not done much more than give him food and water and say hello over the weekend.

I left for work down in Miami early in the morning and didn't even think to check on him.

My wife found him dead the afternoon.

I have shed no tears.

I feel the loss of my longest living pet, but my life has kept me focused on so many other things and I knew that he was very old and his health was failing.

But whether or not I show or feel grief, I cannot forget this little bird that was a part of my family for so long.

It is so strange seeing the empty cage.

My parents buried him in their back yard behind the shed where my pet snake and guinea pig were buried so very long ago.


Rest in peace Igor.

I do not intend to get another bird.

Birds do not belong in cages.

Igor had lost the ability to fly for any extended period with any skill many years ago due to having had his wings clipped for so long and being afraid of flying.

In recent years, he would just about have a heart attack if he fell from my shoulder and had to land on the floor.

However, I want my son to grow up exposed to all sorts of animals the way I did.

I will try to teach him to appreciate wild animals, animals at the zoo, and other people's pets.

But if he ever really wants a bird, then I will build a very large cage (almost an aviary) and make sure there are enough birds for them to feel happy without being dependent on human affection.

Hopefully, he will be happy with having dogs, cats, perhaps a snake, and/or guinea pig.

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Wow that is a long time to have a pet. Very sorry for your loss.

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It is very hard to lose a pet. I don't know why. I have had friends and family die and it never makes me feel the way I do when I lose a pet. Maybe I am wired wrong.


I don't cry much. I'm real close right now.


RIP Igor.

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Sorry for your loss. Over the years I've lost some fish, and hamster or two. But my hardest losses were my first rabbit and my dog. I know how it feels....

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The loss of a pet is tough, they become family members for sure. My first cat (on my own) had to be put down several years ago. I lived with here for 10 years, she was given to me by my wife (we were dating at the time) She went back while they administered the dose, and held "Stretch" until she left this world. I could not be there as I was on duty at the Fire station. My wife called me, and I could not believe she was present during the euthanization. I told her I would not have been strong enough to watch that happen, but knew that Stretch would have appreciated touch of a family member in her final moments. She was a pure "indoor" cat, but when we had a house built that year, we allowed her to roam the backyard, knowing she could not get over the privacy fence. She loved that freedom, using the dog door to go in and out as she pleased.


Sorry for your loss......

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I know I would be very upset if I lost my bird. He's only 5 or so (I forget) but his little voice as he says "peekaboo" when you come into the room is something I would really miss.

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