Because last week just wasn't bad enough, it also ended with the death of my beloved Desmond. Long-term readers may be familiar with my occasional references to the cantankerous yet lovable gay canary that lit up my life for just over three years. In case you forget, or if you never had the pleasure, a lovely picture accompanied by endless gushing by me can be found in this post.
Desmond, also known as Monty/Montague/Manch/Nutbug was fine when I left for work on Friday. He desperately wanted out of his cage to sit and gorge in his food tin, which he often did for hours on end despite the constant presence of a food container in the cage. I said goodbye to him as I always did, not imagining that he wouldn't be there when I got back. It seems he was a bit too quiet a few hours later, and when The Dude went to check on him he was lying on the floor of his cage paralysed. The Dude was always so fearful of picking him up as Desmond was so tiny and delicate, but he didn't want to leave him to die on his sandpapered floor littered with seed and Monty poop. A few minutes later Desmond died in The Dude's hand, with The Dude stroking his head.
The Dude told me when he picked me up for a doctor's appointment midday. He was hoping to avoid telling me until the end of my work day, but he couldn't keep it to himself. I cried, as I am always inclined to do, but gathered my composure before my appointment. I felt surprisingly fine for the rest of the day, until that evening when the finality of Monty's death hit me. Who would we alter song lyrics for now? Top 40 pop songs just don't sound the same when you're not injecting the words "Monty" "gay" and "canary" into them. Who would hop after us around the flat, then quickly fly away and hide when we acknowledged being followed? Most importantly, he would no longer be there to help himself to our plates of food, which he considered himself perfectly entitled to do. He had a particular fondness for salads and small dishes of sour cream in case you're curious.
I am well aware that many people cannot fully grasp the bond owners have with their pets, let alone an animal that appears so detached and uninvolved like a bird. Pre-Monty I wouldn't have thought myself capable of loving a small caged bird as much as a dog or cat, but it seems that I can. The curse of the IF-inspired purchase of a pet is that it will become your child. It doesn't matter if it is a cuddly dog that reciprocates your affection, or if it is a tiny bird with a bowl cut and a penchant for glitter and stilettos. Granted, in its lifetime that pet will be the most spoiled and well-looked after animal because of all the attention IFers readily provide, but it makes loss all the more difficult.
So, because even in death I still want to show off my favourite camp canary (may he rest in peace amongst all the seed and sour cream imaginable), here he is looking dashing in his food tin: