Spin Cycle: My Former Life as a Pet Killer
May 22, 2009 § 4 Comments
I’m still not really sure what’s going on with my computer, but it seems to be working ok for the moment, so I am going to take advantage of that for some spin cyclin’
In my life, my computers are not the only things that have been diseased. My pets haven’t really done so well, either.
When I was a kid, I was OBSESSED with dogs and puppies. I wanted a dog so bad, but my parents would never let me have one. They said I was not responsible enough. Isn’t that a nice thing to tell your child? That they are not responsible enough. This was beaten into my brain on several occasions, not always having to do with pets, but that’s another story. (love you, parents 🙂
Anyway, so I wanted a dog but somehow my dad talked me into getting a bird instead. I’m not really sure how a bird is less work than a dog, but whatever. So I got a cockatiel. I named him Herbie, after the race car. I was eight.
Herbie was great. He squawked every time someone opened the garage door. I carried him around on my shoulder while cleaning his cage. He loved to sit on the washing machine when it was running. And he also loved to poop all over my piano music. One time, I tried to give him a bath in the sink. That was not really a good idea. And sometimes I decided to be mean, and pretended there was an earthquake and shook his cage while yelling “Earthquake!” I was a very considerate child.
On average, cockatiels are supposed to live about 20 years. Five years went by and things were good. Then, when I was 13, something weird started happening. Herbie was vomiting all over the place. In his cage, on the wall, pretty much everywhere he could spew. It was kind of disgusting. And I was the fortunate one who got to clean it all up.
Finally, we took him to the vet and found out that he had some sort of bacteria. We got some medicine, which he hated taking, and sometimes threw up on, and for a while he seemed to be doing better. One day, we took him out and let him fly around for a little bit and he ended up getting stuck behind the bookshelf for a while. During this time, another bird, from outside in the “wild,” crashed into our family room window and died. No joke.
Finally we got him back in his cage and I was feeling happy because he hadn’t thrown up in a while and seemed to be doing okay. Not long after though, he got worse again and things weren’t looking too good. Then one day, when I got home from school, my mom made me wait outside in the backyard so she could tell me that Herbie had died. I don’t really remember how I reacted to this. All I remember is going inside and looking in the birdcage and seeing Herbie laying on the bottom with his eyeballs all shriveled up and sunken in. Pretty gross.
So we had a little burial for him in the backyard and my brother started fake crying really loudly so I chased him around and beat him up. A little later the neighbor’s nasty cat, Tiger, dug Herbie up and ate him. Ooh, I hated that cat. It was one of the evil-est cats I’ve ever known. Nothing like my parents’ cat now, sweet little Jazmine. I adore her.
And that was the end of Herbie, and the end of pets, for a while. My brother got a guinea pig named Skippy that we had for a while until he got pneumonia and died. After that, my brother swore off all pets and said he wouldn’t take care of them anymore. Then it was my sister’s turn. She got the next guinea pig named Marsha.
Marsha was super adorable. She was one of of those fuzzy guinea pigs with stick-up hair. And she was really sweet too. Then a neighbor child came over and practically squeezed her to death. She was never the same after that. After that she became evil. I thought she would live forever, basking in her evil ways.
One day, my sister and I were outside cleaning Marsha’s cage and we took her with us. We set the top part of the cage on the ground and let her wander around in there for a while. At this time, I probably should mention that Marsha had been drinking a lot of water lately. We sort of forgot about this minor detail and went about our business goofing around with the garden hose and whatnot. When we went back to check on Marsha, she was laying down and breathing hard, probably dehydrated. We brought her back inside and tried getting her to drink some water but she had no energy left. She died within a few minutes.
We felt really fantastic about ourselves that day.