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Thread: Charlie, my constant companion

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    Brand New Egg
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    Jul 2016
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    Smile Charlie, my constant companion

    Charlie was my beautiful grumpy pied Cockatiel.. he was the first super tame bird I ever had, and i got him when I was only 10 or 11. I had him for 2/3 of my life and he was there for me through everything. I feel like I lived multiple lifetimes with that bird... middle school, high school.. then college and after.. he was always there. He really did meet me when I was just a kid.. and was with me until I was a grown adult.

    I've had birds for most of my life.. but Charlie was always THE bird. He wasn't the first one.. but I felt like he was what made me define myself as a pet bird owner. Of course, I loved the few I had before him, but when I got him, I already had them.. and he stayed when they left this life.. Some left lasting deep memories that stick out more than others (Rusty my hand tame zebra finch.. Misty, Charlie's first and true mate. Andre, my sweet Canary that had the prettiest tune..)

    Charlie was such a grump. He always acted like a grumpy old man even as a young bird. He was a crab.. but he was such a sweetheart too. He knew my moods. Even when I tried to hide if I was upset.. he somehow always could tell. He spent more than half his life on a seed based diet.. I was a kid in the 90's and didn't know better. I thought it was what they ate. He always had veggies.. later in life I got him on Zupreem. For a long while, he refused pellets. He lived to be almost 22.. maybe as old as 23. He almost felt immortal.

    He was a pied cockatiel I got from a regular pet shop.. not even a shop that specialized in birds or exotics. It was local.. but it wasn't a breeder.

    He had a crazy full life. He had chicks when he was young.. when I was young. I was too young.. it didn't turn out well. He was okay though. But, I think that was a great experience for him. I wouldn't have done it if I could go back in time.. but I think he was happy.. while it lasted. That time period I mean.

    He spent some years in a bird room I had as a kid/teen. It had him, his mate, my parakeets, and various finches , canaries and doves, (not all at the same time! lol).

    Later I had him and his partner (Dolly, and the my current, Chester ) in the den with me. They were out for the majority of the day whenever I was home in the den. This was for many years.

    I have so many years of memories of him.. but they seem to blur and bleed together. But there's fragments that stick out. I remember how he looked, blurred and out of focus, half an inch from my face when he was on my shoulder if I should turn and greet him. I remember his crest sticking up and how it had a weird perspective when he on my solar plexus. Sometimes he kind of sat in a way that reminded me of a gargoyle.. kind of loping along on the perch, head tilted in a fashion that could be either curious or one of his 'don't give me smack' moments. Not even he could look that elegant when he preened his longest tail feathers. I've come to the conclusion that no bird can if they have a long tail. It just looks too silly.

    He just had, his own rhythm and way of moving that's so different from Chester or my newest bird, Ellie's. He was so completely, absolutely, without a doubt, sure of himself and his surroundings and of me. I've never had a bird that just.. could totally own a space like he did. I don't even mean when he was acting territorial from being in a rut.. he just had this *way* of letting you know this was his house and his place.

    Maybe that's why it feels like he was such a part of my life.. he was just always there. It felt like his presence was glued to my reality.

    Of course, I love my ones I have left. I have a new one.. Ellie. Just around 5 months old.. so young. They're so young compared to how old Charlie was. not even half a year to almost 23 years.. it seems insane. The age gap between Ellie and Chester is 6 years... between Chester and Charlie it was 15-16 years.. sounds crazy huh? They got along super well though.

    All I can hope for is that he knows how loved he is. He left such a big impact on me.. he grew up with me. It's amazing how something so small can have such a huge effect on life.

    Charlie.. thank you for coming into my life. I'm glad I met you.

    I hope I meet you again.

    1994/1995 - July 2016
    Last edited by Michelle Beth; 08-08-2016 at 04:32 PM.

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