Monday, August 19, 2013

Remembering Eloise, Again

Remembering Eloise, Again

I was cleaning out the kitchen pantry and came across a bag of gravel tucked down in the corner on the floor behind the bottles of water. I used to put them in my cockatiel Eloise’s cage to help her digest better. It’s been over two years since she died at the advanced age of twenty-two; most cockatiels live 12-15 years, occasionally to 20, so we had the pleasure of her company for a little longer than most.

I have to say that seeing the gravel gave me a heart-twinge. It took me many months not to expect the hello chirp she offered whenever I entered the house. And the place her cage once occupied is still bare. She was a great companion bird.

Some people claim that companion birds don’t qualify as natural because they aren’t free in the wild to hunt for their food, establish nests, mate. True, they aren’t. But nature has a way of expressing itself anyway. They have particular food preferences as they would in the wild. They choose those they prefer as their main companions. And they certainly have their own, distinctive personalities. Are they shaped by their genes or by their surroundings – or both? The nature vs. nurture question arises with humans, too.

Our neighbor’s grown daughter was visiting and we started talking about birds. She had the job as a teen of caring for our cockatiel when we were away. She remembered Eloise fondly and spoke of her very definitive character. I was happy to hear that Eloise had made such a lasting impression on others who had contact with her.  I thought about how every living thing reflects its own, individual nature whether out in the wild or not and leaves part of its energy within its realm of existence.

Today I was remembering Eloise again, grateful that she spent some of her natural life with us.

Different birds have different life spans:
Cockatiels respond to their surroundings:


  1. Losing beloved pets is always so sad. Even though we saw Eloise infrequently and really didn't pay much attention to her when we did, her absence is always felt when we visit.