Yesterday, Inigo the Nanner King and I said our goodbye.
We arrived at the veterinarian’s at 11:40. While we were in the visiting room, at 11:50, I remembered Steph, a customer service rep at Birdhism, said she would post Inigo as Chubby Bird of the Day at 11:45. I opened Facebook and it was the first post in my feed.
“There you are, Inigo! There you are, for the whole world to see! There you are!”
He looked at the phone and made kisses! He was so happy!
Shortly after that, once he got used to his surroundings, he let me know he was ready, though he did get tangled in my hair when I tried to pass him to the tech for sedation. He let out a squeak when she gave him the injection.
“That is the last pain you will ever feel, my baby bird.”
She handed him back to me, and I held him on me, over my heart, on the Mickey Mouse sweatshirt I was wearing the day I met him. It was his comfort shirt. She left, and I hummed his favorite song to him as he fell asleep, “Silent Night.”
We stayed like that for 10 minutes. I told him so very many times how special he was, how much I loved him, how much everybody loved him.
Then I pushed the button for the veterinarian and the tech to come in, and I held him and sang to him again after they put the heart needle in.
I looked up at the ceiling, trying not to fall apart and weep all over him, and when I looked back down at him, his eyes were open. He was looking up at me.
“I’m here. I’m here. I’m here. You’re not alone. I’m here. It’s okay to go. I love you. I’m here. It’s okay.”
He closed his eyes, took a little breath, so faint it was barely two tiny clicks, and was gone. He slipped away gently, knowing only peace.
When I called the tech back in, I told her he opened his eyes before he died. She said sometimes birds do that to say goodbye.
Inigo, my beautiful little Nanner King, I will miss you every day for the rest of my life. You honored me in an incomparable way when you climbed over your cagemate, clung to the door, and then flew over, landed on me, and would not come off. You chose me that long-ago April afternoon, and I hope you know how much joy and love you brought into my life. Then you honored me again when you opened your eyes in your final moments here, so I was the last thing you saw.
Mommy loves you, Inigo, now and always.