Friday, June 11, 2010

Tribute to Calli

For the past three years I have had someone special share my life, and to some of you it might come as a shock to realize I am talking about my pet cockatiel. Three years ago if you had asked me whether I am a bird person I would have told you “no, birds just sit in a cage and tweet”. But ask me today and my answer would be “most definitely!”

What changed? Not much, except I took the time to get to know one, she was called Sam. She showed me that there was more to birds than them sitting in a cage going tweet.

It took me seven months, but I made the decision to convert to being a bird person. I went to a breeder, a friend of a friend, I stood in front of the cage with half a dozen baby birds in it, faced with the difficult task of choosing the “right” bird. None of them would come to me, except for one little bird. She was a mix between the yellow and grey breeds which made this beautiful ‘design’. I’m convinced she chose me and I believe our paths were meant to cross.

I took her home, all nervous, ready to take on this new challenge of hand rearing my first bird. Calli and I had a rough start, I wasn’t sure what I was doing but I did know I had a purpose, someone that needed me, who I could care for and love. It was a time in my life where there were more dark days than bright days. Calli chose me, but she also saved me.

Yes I can see you skeptics frowning at that statement, but very few will ever know what that little feathery friend meant to me, what she brought to my life. Until you have one of your own you won’t know what I am talking about and you don’t get to judge until you try it.

Cockatiels, especially hand reared ones, are known for being very lovable birds who seek personal attention, who have such huge personalities you can’t help but just want to squeeze them.

Living on my own it was a joy coming home to someone waiting for you, she got so excited to hear my car it made me smile how such a small body could make so much noise. But as soon as I had opened her cage so she could play on her jungle gym she would calm down, talk (in bird language) and play. Calli enjoyed spending most of her time sitting on my shoulder or nestled under my chin sleeping.

She wasn’t just a bird, she was a companion who gave me much joy and peace. She was a real character with a huge personality and believe me she knew exactly how to wrap me around her little wing. We had an understanding between us, a bond that no one else understood.

Yes to you she might just have been a bird, but to me she was my friend, my companion, my ‘daughter’ whom I loved very dearly. She wasn’t just a bird, and I resent anyone who says otherwise. If you’ve hand reared a cockatiel and spent enough time with them you know exactly what I’m referring to, you know what love I am talking about and you know what personalities these little creatures have.

Calli unfortunately passed away recently and very unexpectedly. It broke my heart to have her die in my hands after being very sick. It was horrible to sit there and not being able to do anything for her, but it comforts me to know she wasn’t alone. I miss her terribly and will always be very grateful for the three years we had together for she taught me so much! She wasn’t just a bird who sat in a cage and went tweet-tweet, she was so much more…


  1. Again. Am not reading. Will cry. Just reading the heading makes me want to skip class and go home to baby T-dog. She is with you Tara.

  2. Moving blog, can relate to the loss you feel as I too am an animal lover too. Animals have a great purpose in one's life of unconditional love that no human can fulfil.