Monday, June 21, 2010

Missing someone special...

I've been having a bit of trouble getting to sleep lately, and last night got thinking about the pet parrot we had before Chelsea was born.

His name was Kojo and he was a beautiful Sun Conure. We purchased him in an irresponsible 'spare of the moment' decision one Sunday afternoon when visiting a pet shop. We had planned on buying a Cockatiel, but fell in love with Kojo's playful nature. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), he didn't make any noises in the pet shop. And being totally clueless about Sun Conure's, we didn't know what we were in for!

As a heads-up for anyone considering adopting a Sun Conure - they are LOUD!!!! And I don't just mean a little bit noisy, but easy to block out as background noise loud; I mean obtrusive, unavoidable, able-to-hear-from-the-road-when-the-bird-is-in-the-back-room-of-the-house kind of loud!

Kojo let off his first screeches once we got him safely into the house. Mark and I looked at each other and both said 'what have we done!?'.

I would say that it probably took a good 6 months for him to be comfortable with us, and for us to be comfortable with him. We got him to the stage where he was quiet as a mouse when just hanging with us. And if he was naughty he would get a time-out in his cage - in his own room! We let his wings grow back and he would fly from my shoulder to Mark's as he pleased. He was always so happy to see us when we got home from work. He would do his little happy dance and make soft grunty noises. When he was feeling really affectionate, he would nestle himself in the warm spot between my ear and my shoulder, pulling my hair around him like a blanket. I loved him so much! So much that even now, almost 2 years since we had to find him a new home, my heart hurts to think about him.

When we found out we were pregnant with Chelsea, we made the hard decision to find him a new home, sooner rather than later. I knew it would be hard, but I don't think I realised just how hard! I tried a million different scenarios in my head to see if there was some way we could keep him. But it just wasn't practical. Kojo was terribly bonded to me, and had gotten to the stage where he would attack Mark if Mark tried to give me a hug while Kojo was sitting on my shoulder. He would attack any of our guests as well, and actually drew blood on everyone who came to look at him to give him a new home! We knew that this behaviour, along with his volume level, would not work very well with a newborn in the house.

Watching Kojo get bundled into his new owner's car... his little claws clinging onto the bars of his cage, trying to get as close to where I was standing as possible, staring at me through the window as the guy drove away... It just about broke my heart. There was no way I could explain to him that I still loved him, but his new family would look after him now. I don't know how much intelligence to credit him with, but I couldn't help feeling like I'd betrayed him. I'd taken him home, gotten him attached to me, then tossed him out at the first chance.

I cried for the rest of that day. I sobbed all through dinner. Cried myself to sleep. Cried at work the next day. And the day after that. (It probably didn't help that I was about 14 weeks pregnant either! :P). That sweet, annoying little bird had stolen his way into my heart, and going from the reaction I still have now when I think about him, he'll be there for a little longer yet...


  1. Oh, Emma! It's always so hard to say "good by" to creature you love! They are so naif in thier love and so belive in us... One day I did the same - sent my dear 2 cats to my mom - I was waiting for my baby :)))

  2. Sweet story of a good friend. Have you heard since he moved to a new home how he is doing? Thanks for sharing your touching story.


  3. That was so sad...When I married Joe and moved to Ireland, I had to find a home for my cockatiel..I felt the same way you did.

  4. thanks guys. I decided not to keep in contact with the guy who took Kojo for us. We had a couple of weird conversations with him in the days after the 'adoption', and Mark and I decided he was probably the kind of guy that needed really clear boundaries, or he might become a bit of a nuisance. (Plus, I think the temptation to take Kojo back again would have been too great!)

  5. You make me teary! I wanted one too one day but I think you need to make sure you buy TWO as they are very couple based!
    I'm sure he is happy!!!

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  7. I know how you feel. I too had to find a home for a timid dog that didn't fit into my busy life style. I only had him for 3 months, but he bonded to me and I felt so sad for us both when his new owner came to get him. I am still in contact with the new owner and he is doing great in his new quiet lifestyle. I hope you take comfort in knowing that you are doing what is best for Kojo too. If you didn't find him a new home, he may have ended up spending much more time in his cage and lead a less full life. He is a beautiful bird!! My heart goes out to you! Lots of hugs!

  8. Sorry to hear about your story....but yes, sun conures are incredibly intelligent. They've been assessed with the brain equivalent of a 4 year old human (possibly even more) it's almost like a kindergarten child wondering what's going on as his mom/mate sends him away.

    Kojo's very beautiful and must have had a huge personality to boot.