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  • I think she's ENCHANTING!

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    • Very beautiful!
      Mary

      www.madcatpearls.etsy.com

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      • Cliclasp, she is a real cutie, she looks very playful.

        Maryd, just noticed Bill, he looks very wise and regal.

        Cliclasp and Maryd, give your cats a big hug from me.

        The horrible woman downstairs from me has taken off for a few days
        And left her wee cat behind
        She could be gone for days(she has done this before)

        I always have food in case this happens,so will make sure she is fed watered and hugged
        https://www.beaderssecret.com
        https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeadersSecret

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        • Originally posted by Bernadette View Post
          The horrible woman downstairs from me has taken off for a few days
          And left her wee cat behind
          She could be gone for days(she has done this before)

          I always have food in case this happens,so will make sure she is fed watered and hugged
          Poor kitty! Thank goodness you are a kind person.

          Some kind of Christmas cheer, leaving a poor kitty to fend for itself.

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          • About six months ago or so, I posted our five parrots on this thread. The post itself can be found here:
            (click here: https://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/57524-post261.html
            descriptions here: https://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/57527-post263.html and here: https://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/57542-post266.html)

            It is with obvious sadness that I post the passing of Corazon (aka Cora, the dark green "Maximillian Pionus" parrot shown at the top of that post).

            She was almost 15 years old; just past middle age for a lifespan traditionally predicted as 25. She had medical issues her entire life, beginning with a heart murmur at the age of six months when I first brought her home. That miraculously cleared up on its own within a couple years. At the age of one year, she had the next problem --- a congenital calcium deficiency, suth that her body couldn't absorb calcium the way it should. I had taken her to the vet to determine why her skin was suddenly so itchy, and while were there in the vet's office, she flapped her wings and actually broke one wing clear through. The vet set her wing and she spent three months in a "body sling". It took so long to remedy her blood calcium levels, that the wing never healed at the correct angle. For the rest of her life, that wing would never open all the way.

            For the next thirteen years, Cora had blood tests every 6 months to check her calcium, and every other night I would give her an oral calcium supplement. We do have an exceedingly good vet (he's certified as an Avian vet with a specialty in exotics; he runs a high tech hospital with ten vets on staff; he does consultations and surgeries for Hawk Mountain, the Philadelphia zoo, and the Lehigh zoo; and his own father, under whom he learned, was considered the best bird orthopedist on the east coast) ... but even he could not figure out what was behind her calcium problems. We were able to keep her stabilized with the calcium medication though, happy and healthy, right up until this past summer.

            This past summer, her calcium level shot sky-high (she was pulled off of the calcium supplements, and her congenital calcium deficiency seemed to have "miraculously" reversed itself). Her uric acid level also shot sky-high (suggesting kidney problems), and her white blood cell count also rose (which had actually always been "higher than normal" ... again, unexplained causes).

            We fought for six months, July to December, with blood work every three weeks, x-rays, antibiotics, special supplements that were supposed to be good for bird kidneys, even an antifungal at one point. (Yes, over 5000$, I actually stopped counting.) Unfortunately, a short time before Christmas, she developed a limp in one leg. Yet more xrays, and the best guess we was that she had sprained her leg. Usually a bird will flap its wings if it loses its grip or its balance. But with her one wing not opening properly, flapping just threw her more off balance. So she was always prone to "slips and falls", and since the xrays showed nothing wrong, a sprained leg was the only conclusion.

            They put her on an opiate-based pain-killer for the "sprain", because with already-compromised kidneys, she could not handle the traditional pain-killer. In the end, that probably turned out to be the best move anyway, because the autopsy showed that it actually was *not* a sprain. Her kidneys had finally deteriorated so far that one had swelled and put pressure on the nerve to that leg -- hence the limping. Rather than easing a "sprain", the opiates in the painkiller probably eased her passing from acute kidney failure.

            We do know that we, and our vet, fought the good fight as long and hard as humanly possible. We gained her a comfortable and good life for as long as we possibly could. And that is what matters. Had she been in the wild, she would have died already when the congenital calcium deficiency hit and she broke her wing at one-year-old. Instead, we got her to nearly fifteen years of a good life.

            To bring it back to the point of the board, I'll also mention this. ----- Along with various charitable donations made in Cora's name (particularly to wild parrot causes), daughter and I have also decided to symbolically express our mourning by wearing pearls through the end of January. Also, ironically, last month I contacted Sarah from Kojima about making me a Kamoka pearl bracelet. Technically, it's supposed to be my Valentine's gift from hubby, but now it's obviously much more. The irridescent greens/blues/purples/bronzes/etc that Kamokas are known for, match the irridescent sheen that pionus parrots (ie. Cora) are also known for, especially across their wings and chest. You can see the irridescence in the picture I posted in July, (click here: https://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/57524-post261.html ) That's not a trick of the light.

            It is also not lost on me that in a time when Cora's wild cousins face continuing habitat loss, the Kamoka farm is known for its emphasis on environmental friendliness. It seems remarkably fitting.

            (continued in next post)

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            • The household is obviously still a bit shell-shocked. Our other four birds (also shown in my July posts) are having to adjust as well.

              We have always said, "Whenever, God forbid, we lose a bird, we'll give another one a new home." We have years of experience (my whole life, personally), a darn good avian vet, good cages and supplies, and a good home here (heck, our home was vetted by social workers for the adoption of our daughter from China).

              We had always thought we would take another bird from a parrot rescue group. Three of our current birds were rescues themselves, and two of those had been neglected/abused. We have, for the most part, successfully rehabilitated both of them.

              Perhaps you can imagine our guilt, then, when I say that we've decided, instead, to adopt a baby bird from a breeder. Believe me, we are feeling guilt over this, but we've given the reasons a lot of thought.

              Why a baby? .. when we know there are rescue birds out there that also need a good home? It's because our daughter, Katie, is seven years old now, and could be an excellent future bird-handler *if* she could gain some real confidence.

              She's in a catch-22 situation. --- When she tries to handle one of our birds, she doesn't show true confidence in herself. They, in turn, sense her lack of confidence, and are therefore reluctant to let her actually pick them up. ... Birds can tell when you don't know what you're doing, and so they shy away ... but how do you gain that confidence/practice in the first place when they won't *give* you the chance to learn? Our Ringneck, Alma, will briefly let Katie carry him, as well as giving her quick "kissies", and Cora used to let Katie give her "head/neck rubs". But other than that, they all were/are very skittish about Katie's lack of confidence and practice.

              When husband and I married, I already had Corazon, and hubby was very nervous about handling her. Soon after we married we got our second bird as a baby from a breeder, and husband literally "learned" on that second bird. (Handfed baby birds are much more willing to be handled by less "practiced" people.) In the long-run, hubby was able to work with all of our birds because he learned on that baby. We have two formerly abused/neglected birds here that now enjoy good care from their new "Daddy", because "Daddy" had the opportunity to learn on a hand-fed baby. ... We're hoping the same for our daughter. She has been raised with birds, loves birds, and can someday give a *lot* back to future rescue birds, if she just gets the chance first, to learn with a friendly, agreeable baby. ----- That is our logic, and hence the decision for a baby, this time, instead of a rescue.

              (continued in next post)
              Last edited by PearlA; 12-31-2009, 04:00 AM.

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              • So, with all that said, and if you're still with me, I'd like to introduce our new baby, "Ruby."

                Ruby is a red bellied parrot, of the Poicephalus (African) group. (The more commonly known Senegal and Meyers parrots are also Poicephalus.) These birds are often considered to be one of the better bird groups when it comes to interracting with children. (The Pionus group, what Cora was, are also good with kids.)

                Red bellies are one of the few sexually dimorphic parrots, meaning that males and females look different at s exual maturity. Both have slate-grey heads, upper chests, and wings. Both have green color "trousers", and turquoise on their lower backs. Both have bright red/rust irises in their eyes at adulthood. Females, however, will go from orange chests as babies, to greyish chests as adults. Males will retain their orange chests from babyhood through adulthood. A sample picture is here: http://www.lovenlet.com/images/05020...rs%20P%201.JPG

                We won't know "visually" for a few years, so when Ruby goes in for his/her "new bird" vet visit, we'll have DNA sexing done to determine sex. If it's a girl, official name will remain "Ruby". If it's a boy, hubby says that the official name will be "Rubicon", with "Ruby" as the nickname.

                Ruby was hatched 11/13/2009, and is being handfed by a breeder that our avian vet recommends (the breeder takes her birds to our vet too). (This breeder also makes bird-owners prove themselves before she'll adopt a bird to you, which I really appreciate. Fortunately, we also come with a recommendation from our mutual vet.) This breeder also has a number of rescue birds of her own, which means that much of the 'profit' in our purchase of Ruby, will go to help support those birds too.

                Ruby will be able to come home in about two months, which is good because it gives our household time to get more used to Cora's absence. We still look at the cage and momentarily wonder where she is. In the meantime, we're visiting Ruby at least every other day.

                And this is Ruby, held by our daughter:
                Attached Files
                Last edited by PearlA; 12-31-2009, 04:03 AM.

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                • closeup of Ruby:
                  Attached Files

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                  • Ruby is cute, but your daughter is so precious. She looks genuinely happy with Ruby. Thanks for sharing your story.
                    Cathy

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                    • Wonderful story! What potential in that pair! They are both so adorable!
                      Caitlin

                      How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

                      My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

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                      • I'm sad for your loss, but it sounds like Ruby is going to make everyone very happy. I agree with Cathy, they are both adorable.

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                        • Thanks everyone. (still , but too)

                          Hubby and I are still going through crying jags, but knowing we fought the good fight has seriously made a difference. The worst time was the 48 hours between Cora's death and receiving the autopsy results. I'd kept thinking it was only an ankle sprain (unrelated to the continuing kidney problems), and maybe she'd died specifically from the opiate-pain-killer that the vet had prescribed but *I* had administered. Finding out that wasn't the case, and that it really was the kidneys, and not a sprain or even the medicine that hurt her, literally stopped my mental freefall.

                          The cage is now the biggest reminder, which is probably both good and bad at the same time. She had the largest cage. I'm talking one yard by one yard by 18inches, and it sits almost at the center of our house. Visible from kitchen, living room, dining room, and hallway to the bedrooms. When Ruby comes home and he/she takes up residence in Cora's cage, the cage will have to go into another room for the standard 90 days of quarantine. (He'll still see our other birds in the evenings, when one of us sits with Ruby in what will be designated as the "quarantine" chair in the living room.) But moving the cage to another room, then back out to the living room *with* him in it, should be a good segway.

                          Cora's ashes (don't laugh at this next bit), will be "part" of a nativity that we keep up on a shelf year-round. I also suspect she's still around here -- we've had a couple things falling over that shouldn't have, especially from locations high up near the ceiling. We're also comforted that she knew a few of the pets from my mom&aunt's house, so she'll have them as links or "chaperones" to find on the other side.

                          I've also emailed Sarah again ... I'm going to see if she'll let me send her pics of cora to use as 'color inspiration' for the Kamoka bracelet.

                          Sigh.

                          As for our daughter Katie, yeah, you can tell I need to trim her bangs too, can't ya? When cora started having these problems a couple weeks ago, little chores started going forgotten.

                          She's very into "fashion" (and in an adult way, actually), and does well in school, homelife, and kung fu.

                          And you know, if you want to see Katie performing martial arts, we actually have a really cool video on youtube. She's been taking kung fu for two years now (specifically kung fu because kung fu is Chinese, and therefore part of her her heritage), and is getting really good. She's on the demonstration team, and when we do performances, they like to let her perform nunchucks. (Nunchucks are actually from Okinawa, not China, but our Shigung wants the kids to learn the concept of nunchucks' whipping action.)

                          The team performed at the "Families with (adopted) Children from China" autumn moon festival, and we have her nunchucks solo on youtube. (And as a sidenote, I found it disturbing how few kids at the festival knew anything about things like "the rabbit in the moon", or the relevance of tarot root, or even the legend of the mooncakes. Their "crafts" for the kids at the festival involved things like stringing beads, and *corn*. Corn, as in New World -- nothing to do with China. I mean what the ???)

                          Anyway, here's Katie doing nunchucks. Believe me, you'll like this. It actually shocks people to see her doing this. And this was two days after her seventh birthday, this past October. You can see face-paint on her face from a kung fu birthday party she'd had just earlier that morning.

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxc_0QoVLGU

                          --Pearl
                          Last edited by PearlA; 12-31-2009, 03:02 PM.

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                          • I sure don't want to mess with Katie when she has her nunchucks. She is quite good.
                            Cathy

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                            • PearlA,

                              Your story touches my heart--Katie is precious and you are giving her wonderful gifts that will enrich her life--Ruby looks quite content in Katie's hands, and not a bit upset at having her photo taken!

                              So sorry for your loss of beautiful Cora.
                              Pattye


                              PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

                              facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

                              SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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                              • That was very cool. It made me nervous, though. I know I would clobber myself in the head in the first few seconds. I'd hate to encounter Katie in a dark alley...

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