Archie passed away unexpectedly on Saturday. He was his usual energetic self all morning, but he started showing signs of illness sometime after lunch, and he stopped breathing around 4pm. Matt and I had been nursing him and we tried CPR, but to no avail.
Birds have evolved to hide illness until it's very serious; he's been sick once before and we must have gotten lucky because he recovered then. But this time...
We'll never know what made him so sick so fast, and not having answers makes this feel like some awful dream. It can't be true. But is is.
We are devastated. Archie was a huge part of everything we did daily. He was so curious and always wanted to be where the action was. If I was in the kitchen, he would be on my shoulder or in a cabinet, inspecting my work.
He loved to cuddle. He'd sit on our keyboards and nudge our fingers with his head when he wanted scratches.
He'd sit on our shoulders and press his beak against our faces when he wanted kisses. He slept in our shirts. He fell asleep in our hands. He would chirp and sing in his sleep. He would enjoy the ride under Matt's hat when we took road trips.
He loved when we had rice or pasta for dinner, and he wasn't shy about eating off our plates, although he made quite the mess. When he heard me telling a story about my day, he'd hop over to me and get as close to my face as possible. Sometimes he would strut along the floor instead of flying, like he thought he was a little person.
He loved to get tangled in my hair, and once we had to cut him free. He hated when I wore nail polish, so I never did. He loved to preen our eyelashes and eyebrows.
He would sit on my shoulder and preen while I washed my face and brushed my teeth, so we always got ready for bed together. He was truly a part of the family, not aloof or distant like some people might think a bird would be.
And now the house feels empty and quiet. It was so sudden. It just feels so unfair.
We put him in his little bed and then into a box, which we buried in an underground cairn in the backyard. Archie loved cardboard boxes, so it almost seemed fitting for one to be his final resting place. We bought a birdbath and ceramic bird ornament to finish the memorial. As we were digging the grave, a little rainbow appeared in the sky. As we finished putting in the birdbath, a huge storm unleashed. We sat outside and watched until it was too dark to see. We didn't want to leave him alone out there, when he so clearly belonged warm and soft in our shirts inside the house. We did what we could, but it still feels nightmarish and unreal.