Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Death of a Zebra Finch...


Behold, the Noble Zebra Finch - or at least, what the zebra finch thinks he is...

So, we adopted this pair of zebra finches from the humane society last spring - Mama Finch and Papa Finch.  Papa looks like the dude in the picture above, and yes, has the matching ego.  Within weeks, Mama started laying eggs.  

I'd read (in the very patriotic 'Bird Talk USA!', not to be confused with 'Bird Talk LICHTENSTEIN!') that if you didn't want babies, you should either 'dispose' of the eggs or take them out, shake them up real good, and put them back in the nest.  Apparently, female finches will lay eggs until they have enough for a small, not-at-all-unstoppable finch army if you don't scramble their eggs.

Mr. Assassin and my daughter pleaded with me to allow them to hatch.  By pleading, I mean round, watery eyes and trembling lips.  I acquiesced.  Soon, we had 4 more finches.

Did you know that 6 finches make ONE HELL OF AN UNGODLY RACKET 24/7?

But this is not their story.  

So, we have three cats.  All of whom are rather enamored with the finches.  I don't mean that they salivate over them.  As you can guess, an unusual person such as myself has unusual pets.  This is Miss Kitty with Katniss, the parakeet.

We also have a maltipoo named Muppet who stares at the birds for HOURS.  But Muppet loves everyone like the strange kid on the playground who wants, "BIG HUGS!"  all the time.

So, to the story.

I come home from work the other day, to see Mama Finch, dead, on her back, in the middle of the living room floor (did I mention that her cage is upstairs in my daughter's room) with a quivering-to-the-point-of-spontaneous-combustion-with-excitement Muppet sitting next to her.

Mr. Assassin went upstairs and found that one of the cats must have knocked the cage over.  Mama's finch roommate was fine - and sitting on top of the parakeet cage.  Mama didn't make it.

Weirdly enough, after a crude and rudimentary autopsy, we determined that Mama hadn't been 'gnawed upon,' completely lacking in bite marks.  She was, however, very drooly.

Finches are fragile birds.  They can have a heart attack if you look at them funny or accidentally have the stereo on too loud when you go to play a Frank Sinatra song (another story for another time).

Either Mama perished upon impact after the cage plummeted to the ground, or had heart failure when Muppet tried to revive her with using her tongue.  Another theory around the house is that whichever cat was involved (and they are NOT talking), may have been in cahoots with Muppet for an assassination attempt.

We may never know what truly happened.  And somehow, I think that might be for the best.

RIP Mama Finch.  One down...5 more to go...

The Assassin

8 comments:

TerriOsburn said...

You do have one interesting household. Am I the only one surprised you can get finches from a Humane Society? Yes? Fine.

Our first pet after the "period from hell that must not be discussed" was a parakeet. We named her Chesney (because she would only sing when Kenny Chesney played) and loved her dearly. Skittish, she was never touched and didn't come out of her cage.

Then we got a cat. Cat could not reach Chesney though he longed to with his entire evil feline heart. I had to move Chesney's cage one day and mistakenly put it somewhere cat could reach.

Cat leapt at cage, clung, and swung for all he was worth. Alas, no more Chesney. I'm still upset and that was three years ago.

Leslie Langtry said...

Oh no! That's so sad Terri! We have 2 parakeets we inherited when my aunt went into a nursing home. The bicker and squack like an old married couple and are very bitey.

TerriOsburn said...

Chesney sang like a dream. Unless kiddo and I started fighting and yelling. Then she'd yell right along with us as if telling us to shut the hell up. LOL!

The death scene was not pretty. I'm still traumatized. Thank goodness kiddo was out of town.

Leslie Langtry said...

(Nodding) I've hidden many a dead animal from my kids.

Brandy said...

We were given a cockatoo when we had a cat. The cat left the cockatoo alone. However, we rescued a kitten and she somehow managed to get into the cage with the bird one night. (The cage was hanging from the ceiling. Still haven't figured that one out.) We immediately re-homed the cockatoo.
Hoping the rest of the finches continue to long lives.

Janene Murphy said...

Aw! Such a sad story, though so well told. You have quite the menagerie, that's for sure.

Sabrina Robert said...

Even your animals assasinated like your characters.

I had adopted Andrew (a lhasa apso) thru the SPCA he had a thing about any type of animal being caged. One easter we were at a BBQ at my aunts and they had a pet rabbit in a cage in the backyard. Andrew kept going up to the cage the poor rabbit was scared. But Andrew was just trying to let it loose. Finally we weren't looking he managed to get the cage open. The rabbit took off, Andrew chasing him and me & my cousins chasing them. My uncle was yelling quick get a camera so we can go on America's Funniest Videos.

After Andrew passed away (natural causes) I got a cockatiel named Casey. Casey liked to sit out on top the cage when I was home. In the morning I would turn on the cartoon channel while I was getting dressed. Then when I would turn the channel to check the news before I left Casey would start chattering. Figured out it had to be the colors on the cartoon network that he liked. I also trained on a treadmill that was in front of the window. One day I put my hair up in a ponytail and as I was running Casey kept flying at my head. Couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. Realized when my ponytail was flying up in front of the window it must had looked like a bird flying outside the window. After that had to wear a hat to run on the treadmill

Sabrina Robert said...

Even your animals assasinated like your characters.

I had adopted Andrew (a lhasa apso) thru the SPCA he had a thing about any type of animal being caged. One easter we were at a BBQ at my aunts and they had a pet rabbit in a cage in the backyard. Andrew kept going up to the cage the poor rabbit was scared. But Andrew was just trying to let it loose. Finally we weren't looking he managed to get the cage open. The rabbit took off, Andrew chasing him and me & my cousins chasing them. My uncle was yelling quick get a camera so we can go on America's Funniest Videos.

After Andrew passed away (natural causes) I got a cockatiel named Casey. Casey liked to sit out on top the cage when I was home. In the morning I would turn on the cartoon channel while I was getting dressed. Then when I would turn the channel to check the news before I left Casey would start chattering. Figured out it had to be the colors on the cartoon network that he liked. I also trained on a treadmill that was in front of the window. One day I put my hair up in a ponytail and as I was running Casey kept flying at my head. Couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. Realized when my ponytail was flying up in front of the window it must had looked like a bird flying outside the window. After that had to wear a hat to run on the treadmill