Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pet Memories...



I've always had a great love for the Looney Tunes' character, Tweety Bird. So much so that my first pet was a beautiful yellow canary, a present from my grandmother when I was seven-years-old. I named her Queenie (because somehow "Tweety, Jr." or "Little Tweety" didn't seem to fit).

Queenie was a unique bird who loved football. Her cage was in close proximity to the television set and whenever a game was on she'd chirp happily. If we changed the channel, she squawked. She also liked to "swing" and "sing" to Frank Sinatra. When my father put a Frank Sinatra album on the stereo, Queenie would jump on her swing and tweet and peep to the beat.

When I got home from school each day, she would leap from her perch, clasp the cage bars, and put her head in the open space for a rub. While I patted her head, I would tell her about my day. Whether it was good, mediocre, or exceptionally crappy, Queenie was always ready to listen.

For most children, their pet -- be it dog, cat, canary or goldfish -- is their first best friend and confidant. Often, the relationship a child has with a pet is as significant -- if not more -- than that of any other family member. For a child, having a pet instills responsibility, commitment, and unconditional love.

We had Queenie for four years. I came home from school one day to find her listless, her "peep" more like a "croak." She wouldn't flutter around, but simply sat on the floor of her cage. My dad and I took her to a neighborhood vet who recommended that we just keep her quiet and warm. I don't think there was anything to do to help her, but the man felt he had to offer some suggestion to console an upset little girl (me!). Dad and I took Queenie home, covered her cage before bedtime as we always did, and the next morning when we removed the cover, she had passed away.

Dad took a shoe box, padded the inside with several layers of tissue, placed Queenie in the box, covered her up to her shoulders with an additional tissue, and secured the lid to the box. Since I had an aunt and uncle who had recently moved from Philly to New Jersey, Dad and I buried the box in their back yard.

To this day, whenever I hear the birds chirping outside my window, I think of Queenie -- especially if there's a football game on television.

Does anyone have a pet memory to share?

Have a good week, Everyone!


(photo c/o facebook.com/tweety)

6 comments:

  1. I grew up with German shepherds and loved them to pieces. They were good judges of character and it they didn't like someone, we were mindful.

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    1. Dogs seem to have a keen sense regarding the integrity of humans. Thanks for visiting, Kim.

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  2. Hi, Angela! I've had cats since I was 5 years old. Since my Scootie passed last year, I've been making noises about getting another. She liked to sit by my computer monitor and once, I caught her sleeping with her head propped against the monitor. LOL

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    1. I bet Scootie was a great help when you needed to bounce around story ideas! Thanks for stopping by, Vicki.

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  3. When my husband and I first married, he bought a parakeet, named it Coocopoo and spent hours training it to talk. It said, Marion, I love you; Coocopoo; Pretty boy; and a dozen other things. When we got cats, they particularly loved the bird and we gave it to my husband’s uncle. He fed it and cleaned the cage but never talked to it. When we visited, the bird still said the same things but combined them in a different order. When the uncle died, the bird went to my in-laws. They let it fly free in the house and one day it flew out an open door. My father-in-law scoured the neighborhood calling Coocopoo but the bird never returned.

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    1. I think someone needs to have a bird as part of their family to appreciate how smart they are. Thanks for sharing, Marion.

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