Meet the Morgans

This is a post about emotional abuse, recovery, and birds.

Living with Isabel was rather like living with a teenager who had all the power in the relationship. She was passionate, impulsive, and incredibly fickle – and if there were consequences to her behavior, everyone except her suffered them.

One afternoon, we stopped at the exotic bird store. We stopped in from time to time, mostly to look at the canaries. I had bought her a canary some time before, after she expressed interest in one, and I had done enough research to determine that canaries are meant to be caged birds, so after she (inevitably) got bored of it, all I would have to do was to feed it and keep its cage clean. It eventually passed on, and she’d been talking off and on about getting another one, but the local store hadn’t yet had one that she liked. That day, we played with all the big parrots, and she decided that what she really wanted was a lovebird.

I had serious misgivings, but she ignored them. The salesman informed her that you didn’t need to have two lovebirds; they could be socialized to bond to a human, instead of another bird. So, we brought home the lovebird in a cage that really was much too small for it.

The honeymoon period lasted about a week. After that, she decided that the noises he made “went right through her head,” and when he started chirping to himself, or making any noise at all, she would lock him in the small, dark laundry room for hours.

When I left, I took him with me. I felt terrible for this creature, similarly a victim of Isabel, but he hadn’t had any choice in the matter.

What I didn’t know when we’d brought him home was that lovebirds are a kind of parrot. He was small, and fairly quiet, but he was a parrot nonetheless, and I didn’t know nearly enough about parrots to rehabilitate him from Isabel’s neglect. I first started thinking about giving him up last fall, but it took me a long time to get to the point where I was ready. Keeping him was mixed up with survivor’s guilt, and resentment, and a lot of other things, but I felt like I’d made an obligation to keep him. I think I couldn’t let him go until she had left town, for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I didn’t want to explain it to her, or why I would never have offered him back.

It’s been about two weeks since I found him another home. I’m comfortable with the person who took him, and I think she’ll treat him well. Perhaps she can heal the damage that I couldn’t.

I used to keep finches. I had three society finches, and eventually they all passed away, and I didn’t replace them because I had the lovebird, and I didn’t like having to clean two cages. I loved my finches, though; they were sweet and pretty and made lovely little noises.

Yesterday, Jack and I went down to the AAS Bird Show, and I came home with four Florida fancy zebra finches. They’re so darling, and I love the little noises they make.  Because they’re Florida finches, and I’m a complete dork, I would like to introduce the Morgans:  Dexter, Rita, Astor, and Cody.

Four Florida fancy finches

Dexter, Cody, Rita, and Astor



~ by Amber on January 31, 2011.

One Response to “Meet the Morgans”

  1. Love! ❤ the finches, names and all!

    I could see you with some Lady Gouldians at some point. 🙂

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