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...