Jacqui is a galah, a beautiful dark pink and grey parrot. She is 17 now, but we met when she was 6. My first sight of her was a listless pile of feathers in the bottom of a small cage. We thought she was dead, it was a while before we realised she wasn't. She had no food, no water, no shelter. Who knows how long she had been there like that. The decision was made to euthanize her, to cut short her suffering. I held her - there was no weight, barely any substance. Then there was a small movement of her tongue, the faintest spark in her beady red eye. I crossed the line. I pleaded to be allowed to take her home, just one night. If no difference could be seen by morning she would be put to sleep then. I was scared. What if all I was doing was prolonging her suffering?
It was a very long night. I wrapped her in a cloth, and buttoned her inside my shirt. The alarm was set for every hour, when I would feed her honey water with a dropper. The first few feeds, the liquid just ran across her tongue and out the other side. But she was making swallowing motions, she was taking some of it in. Gradually she started to make an effort to drink it. I spoke to her, and gently caressed her little head all night. I dozed off sitting in the chair at around 5am, and awoke at 6. My first thought was Jacqui. I looked down, and her sweet, beady little eyes looked into mine and bl
It took a while before she was fully fully fit, fully recovered. She had bonded with me that night, and there was never any suggestion of finding her a home. She had one now. It's been 11 years, and she is a precious companion. She doesn't talk, in her species the males are better at that. I have heard her screech the word 'SCRATCH" twice. Once when a large unknown dog scared her, and the other time when a peroxide blonde got too close. It must have been the hair that scared her that time. She does purr like a cat constantly, and copies the noise I make clicking my tongue on the roof of my mouth. She loves kisses, she loves scratches, and she loves to climb down my shirt to sleep. The life expectancy of a Galah in captivity is around 25 years, so we have a few more years to share yet.