Tag Archive | parakeets

Pet Obsessed

Currently in my household there reside my 3 kids (14, 18, 20), my husband, my mother-in-law, and me.

And approximately 347 animals.

OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. But for my non-pet-loving husband, I’m sure it feels that way at times.

 

Currently we care for 1 big, noisy, hair-factory dog named Berkeley, a 9-year-old blackIMG_7141 lab; twin 2-year-old kitties named Stella and Luna that we can only tell apart by their collars and their personalities; 2 parakeets, Jasper, whom we’ve had for 4 years, and FullSizeRender 13Kalani, whom we’ve had for 1 after summer pet sitting turned into a forever home; a new mud turtle named Franklin who’s supposed to be in my daughter’s care—we’ll see how that goes—a koi fish pond out front that currently holds 2 gorgeous koi named Kiiro, which means yellow in Japanese, and Kireina, which means beautiful, at least according to Google Translate and an aquarium with fish that now number about 15, I think.

Phew! Sounds like enough, doesn’t it? Yet every time I see that someone needs a home for an animal, my mind always jumps to the idea that just one more won’t make a difference. Then I think of my husband, long suffering but loving, who just shakes his head at my obsession.

IMG_8058He agreed to the mud turtle because it doesn’t make any noise.

And it doesn’t shed.

Mind you, we live in the ‘burbs. We’re not on a farm where animals can roam freely and be outside most of the time. Ours are all indoor animals, though the cats love the screened-in back porch and are excellent lizard hunters.

So every morning I get up before I really want to and take the cover off the birds’ cage, let the cats out of the laundry room where they’re confined for the night because they kept bothering the birds in the wee hours of the morning, let the dog out, check the food and water levels in everyone’s bowls and step IMG_7792out the door, rain or shine, to make sure the koi get their sustenance.

Every night I cover the birds, feed the aquarium fish, clean the litter box, give the kitties their treats and lock them up, let the dog out and make sure Franklin has been seen to.

In between comes the washing and the playing and the cleaning of filters and changing of water and bird cage liners, and, and, and. The list is endless.

So why do I do it? Why do I keep these little critters that take up so much time and energy?FullSizeRender 14

That’s a good question I’m sure my husband would like answered.

Before we got the 2 cats we have, we had another big ol’ boy we named Oreo (can you guess what colors he was?). We weren’t going to get another cat, but my eldest told us of a dream he had one night where his class from school went to a pet store, and everyone got to get a pet but him, because his dad wouldn’t let him.

I didn’t even put him up to it, I promise.

As David was praying about the issue, God told him that by keeping pets from his kids, he was limiting their capacity to love. They did, in fact, need to have these creatures into which they could poor affection.

oreoWhen Oreo mysteriously passed away at the young age of 8, this is what my then 16 1/2-year-old, that same boy who had the dream, said in way of eulogy on Facebook, along with the photo (left): “My friend, it has been an exciting and pleasurable journey we have taken. Every moment and every part of your existence was well spent, and although I don’t know if cats have a true sense of feeling and emotion, I hope you felt that you partook in a life well lived. Though the circle of life continues, your being will never be forgotten as long as I live. Our vast array of memories will never leave my mind. Rest in peace, Oreo, my wonderful pet, friend, and companion.”

Capacity to love? You betcha.

I also feel like a love of animals has a biblical basis: Psalm 50:10-11 says, “For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.”

They really do reflect the glory of God. He made them. He cares for them. He has given usFullSizeRender 15 stewardship over them.

Do they cost a lot of money in upkeep? Yes.

Do they make a lot of noise? Some do, yes.

Do they make a lot of messes? Again, some do, yes.

Do they sometimes ruin things that we have purchased? Yes.

But would I give them up to have a spotless house, a pristine yard, an unscratched window, a lot less work? No.

When that fuzzy little body climbs onto my lap and purrs, I know that I am touching something sacred. And would I have missed my boy’s heart for his cat? No. All of my kids speak lovingly of having pets of their own when they move out.

The care and loving of an animal will prepare them for parenthood, it will make them kinder people, it will make them more patient and accepting of others. I do most of the work mainly because I want to, not because the kids are shirking their duties. They know there will be work involved.

So in my 55+ years of life, I’ve invited into my heart 4 dogs, 5 cats, 3 birds, numerous fish, a rabbit, a couple of mice and a hamster that was really my brother’s.

And I’m all the richer for it.

 

 

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The Wonder of it All

It’s too bad that we can’t remember back to when we were newborn babies. What would we think of all the new sites, sounds and smells that were bombarding us from our first moments in the light? When we try to see things through a baby’s eyes, we get some idea of why they cry. It’s too loud! It’s too bright! Something about me feels funny! Who are all these people, anyway?

I think my new parakeet, Jasper, must feel the same way. We got him yesterday after deciding the sun conure we were pet sitting was too much bird for us. Jasper is just a baby. In the matter of a few moments, he was snatched rudely from the crowded pet store enclosure (and who knows what indignities he had suffered before even getting to that place?), confined to a small cardboard box where it was dark and cramped; carried, albeit carefully, into a large metal structure that made funny noises, moved to another habitat, surrounded by gawking people and placed into this cage where that same bunch of people continued to stare at him, talk to him and encourage him that it was all going to be OK.

Right.

After sitting on the bottom of the cage nearly the whole day, Jasper (named after the green jasper gemstone which he resembles in coloring) did hop up onto one of the perches. That was encouraging. And then this morning, he actually chirped! Several times! And then, much to my relief, he ate.

Phew. What a couple of days he’s had. We have a big dog who barks at whatever he sees moving across his view from the window next to the cage. We have a cat who has curiously peered into his new home. He must think the world has gone crazy.

But everything is going to be alright. He felt a little of that this morning when he felt good enough to eat. As the days go on and he realizes more that he is safe, that he can trust us to do him no harm, I’m sure he will enjoy exploring his new world even more. He’ll get to know us and we’ll get to know him.

That reminds me of a verse:  “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” 1 Corinthians 13:12.

We’re glad to have him as a part of our family. Hopefully soon, he’ll feel the same way.

Thankful today for:

544. new pets

545. a feeling of security

546. potential

547. challenges–not because I like them, but because they cause me to grow

548. friends just dropping by