2/20/2006

Flying toward that big, glowing disco ball in the sky

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:


18 comments:

Georgia said...

Shine on, you gay canary.
I'm sorry to hear about Desmond/Monty's death.
I'll put a pink boa on my manly dog Buck this evening and have a moment in his honor.
I had a pet rat in my 20s, and I was so so so crazy attached to her. She had tumors, which I had removed. I paid for breast cancer surgery on my rat. People thought I was nuts--a rat? But Muriel was my baby.
xoxo

Molly said...

Oh, no. Poor, poor Desmond. I'm so sorry that he left for the big Euro discotheque in the sky. Will there be a proper birdie funeral? The idea of one of my pets dying is terrifying - I know how much you loved him.

Wishing you beautiful memories of your darling drag-queen.

Jenn said...

I'm so sorry Pru.

Beth said...

Pru, I am so sorry. I myself made an IF pet purchase of an English bulldog, and he is my baby. I take the damn thing everywhere. I know that the loss really hurts your heart. Glad the Dude was able to hold him as he passed. Thinking of you.

Panda said...

You lost Desmond the same day I lost Elvis-kitty. It totally sucks arse in a really big arse-sucking way to lose a pet. Its amazing how a small creature with questionable hygeine standards and a speech imnpediment can have such an impact on our lives. I'm so sorry you have lost your little feathered boy.

May they both be hanging around the disco balls and loving every sparkly minute.

laura said...

I'm so sorry about gay canary desmond. I totally feel the same way about my infertility-arrival kitties. I can't imagine. They are my babes.

tania said...

So sorry to hear of your birdy's death.

Losing a pet is always hard.....

May you find peace in knowing that there is a canary (and a gay one no less) up there watching over you.

Take care...

Kim said...

I'm so sorry about Monty's death. I know what you mean about them becoming your babies, I'm terrified about something happening to our cats. I have this crazy love thing going on with them and it's soo nice to have another living creature voluntarity interested in you. I'm sure Monty is missing you, I'll be thinking of you both today.

Mary Scarlet said...

Pru, poor Monty, I'm so sorry. Glad you three had a happy life together.

Susie said...

I'm so sorry, Pru. He was totally fabulous.

PortLairge said...

I'm so sorry about Desmond. I love the name. I feel the same way about my boys Paddy and Angus(dogs). They are my first sons. I hope you continue to have lots of happy memories.

Manuela said...

Hey!! My comment disappeared!!

I'll leave it again... Pru... I refer to my pets as furry little people with speech impediments... and I love them more than many people I have met in my life. Ok... MOST people I have met in my life.

I am so so sorry for this loss... and it is indeed a loss... of a sweet little soul that was a part of your life. My heart aches for you right now Pru...

Fly right little Monty... just aim for the sparkles and all will be fine!

Orodemniades said...

Birdie!

It's the standoffish pets that many people don't appear to understand. I sobbed when my turtle died, she was in fact the last pet I had, as I as too devastated to have another.

My condolences...

Ornery said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I had a pet canary when I was growing up, and I adored her. There were other furrier and cuter animals in our home, but for some reason I really bonded with the bird. Then one day I let her out of her cage, my dad had accidentally left the front door open, and she flew away. That just broke my heart.

I hope you and the Dude are feeling better today.

Vacant Uterus said...

Oh, Pru. I'm so sorry to hear it. Having lost the family canary (Bandit Bird) at an early age, i can understand how losing abird is just like losing any other pet.

May he find all the gay canary love he can handle up in that big disco in the sky.

Alexa said...

Oh! No, not Desmond! I am so sorry to hear this news. You have my deepest condolences, and I hope that Desmond is strutting about in some canary Turkish Bath in the sky...

cat said...

Damn Pru so sorry. May he boogie on forever in your heart.

April said...

So incredibly sorry Pru.