Atilla had gradually been getting weaker. The last couple of days she ate less & less & slept more & more. Cagney would often sit by her. He would wait for a sign from her for regurgitated seed. He never let her down.
On that last day, I gave the toyboys a basil misting. Cagney really went to town & tunneled through the basil getting very wet. Bezukhov did not seem to be in the mood for a misting so shouted at Cagney from the sidelines. Atilla just stayed where she was. She did not have the energy to join in. I offered her some wet basil leaves & she licked them a little, but then went back to sleep.
Towards the end, I noticed she started getting a bit unsteady when going from perch to perch, so much so that at one point she lost her balance & was half off the perch, with one foot clinging to the side. That was my cue. I scooped her up in my hands & held her to my chest.
She was so still but I could feel her heart beating. I told her we loved her. I told her she was beautiful. I thanked her for all she had given us. The boys were looking on intently. Cagney looked like he wanted to be with her, so I lifted her up to him on the landing platform. He gently tapped her beak & preened her head but she could not open her eyes. Her head was resting on my fingers. Then suddenly she got some energy from somewhere & started flapping her wings but that was her last movement, as her little heart stopped & she was gone….
There was relief that she was free from illness & (hopefully) able to fly the way she used to, I like to think, with her little sister Raspy. But there is also great sadness that she is no longer here with us.
When she passed, I sat on her beloved poang chair, just holding her. In that hour that I sat there, Cagney flew over countless times & landed on my hand or arm & would gently touch Atilla or just look at her. Perhaps, like me, he could not quite believe that she had gone…
It has been a couple of months since Raspy’s untimely passing.
Atilla, Cagney & Bezukhov have been coping well in her absence. I believe the transition from 4 to 3 was made easier by them knowing that Raspy had passed on. I like to think that soon after she took her last breath, her spirit was released & she flew around the room & gave her sister, her boyfriend & her Manor-mate a kiss before making her way to the Fields of Millet, Wild Grass & Swinging Perches.
Raspy’s presence was quite “challenging”. She was the only one with the guts to stand up to Atilla. For Cagney, Raspy was a challenge to woo – a tough cookie who never cracked. She was, of course, totally committed to chubby chops himself, Bezukhov…
Bezukhov is lucky to have his mate Cagney to run & fly around with. Their friendship in that respect has not changed at all. However, there are times when Cagney is busy canoodling with Atilla, & Bezuky can look a bit lost, as if he’s thinking, “I used to have a lovely girl to canoodle with….” At those times I try to give him some extra attention. He is always ready to talk to my fingernail & has quite animated conversations. I also hand feed him pellets. I would hate for him to feel left out.
He is still fond of Atilla & tries to converse with her but she either ignores him or goes to give him a thump (no change there then). It is nice that her behaviour towards him has not changed. Occasionally she allows him to eat from the same seed pot as her, or even sit next to her on the perch. When this happens it is almost like a signal to Cagney to not chase Bezuky away, but just let him be & I will see all 3 of them sitting comfortably together on the same perch. 🙂