Friday, May 22, 2009

Linus came back

For political correctness, I will simply say that Linus left the home I adopted him out to, and ended up in one which was not the best for him. This past weekend, fortunately, I got him back, much worse for the wear, poor little guy. When he left me, Linus had finally started to really gain confidence. He was adopted by a very nice family, and I know he was very happy there, but things happen. I am glad I was at least able to correct them, and I hope none of my birds will ever have to go through this again.

Skipping ahead now, Linus is back here. He is a mere shadow of what he was when he left here. He is thinner than when I got him, and far, far more mentally stressed and panicky. His feathers are dark and greasy, and he had some green discharge from his cere. His feet, which had been arthritic when I got him, but had improved with a good diet and a cushioned platform to sleep on at night, are bright red, very inflamed, and obviously painful. He has also started plucking. He has pulled all of the feathers on his legs, under his wings, and quite a few on his back and upper wings. All over his body, although he has no other bare spots, he has pulled out down feathers, so that he has only a thin covering of contour feathers left. If these move even a little, you see bare skin, very inflamed, and in places, bloody, bare skin. Fortunately, his plucking has not gone as far as a bare chest or anything, but was enough to get him back here. I am hoping he will stop now, and can grow back in all his beautiful feathers.

As I said, his mental state is pitiful, too. Not only does he go into a blind fright, spastic state if his cage is touched, or if you move too quickly, or appear to be thinking about touching his cage, he is obviously fearful almost all the time. After adding back a comfy platform and hiding places in his cage, he did relax some, but he still seems very upset, scared, confused, and depressed. And yes, that is anthropomorphizing, but sometimes, it is necessary, so please forgive me!

Before he left, he was quite the singer (talker, yeller, whistler) and could imitate absolutely everything he heard. He never stopped talking, whistling, singing, and imitating, in fact. He had even begun to speak in context, and always called for me by name when I left the room. Since he has been here after his "adventure" he has never sung, whistled, or spoke. Not once. Every now and then, he will start the tiel contact/fright call when he is panicking, but other than that, nothing. It is so sad.

As to food, he is iffy on how much he will eat. He is eating millet,some lettuce, but he only eats little bits of his other seed and fresh food. I am hoping that will improve, as it already has. He refused to eat almost anything for the first few days.

Although he is not really handlable, I did manage to get him in the shower. He loved that. Absolutely loved that. He had been here 2 days, and I finally decided I just needed to get him cleaned off fully. I am glad I decided to, for while he did not play or spread his wings, he did run from one side of the shower perch to the other, to sit in the full spray of the water. He sat there, seemingly in bliss, with his eyes closed, occasionally turning his head or body to get a different part in the direct spray. After many minutes, he moved out of the full spray, and I turned off the shower. It was after that shower and cage renovation that he seemed finally to let down his guard a tiny bit, and relax some in his cage.

Needless to say, he is not going anywhere.


Flo said...

Oh, that poor little bird!! I do not understand how people can treat animals so poorly. I'm so glad you have Linus back and I'm sure he's happy too even if he doesn't show it yet.

Pamela said...

What a heartbreaking story. Thank you for giving him a good home - again.

Susie Collins said...

You are doing God's work.

Mary said...

Meg, this makes me so sad. I am very happy that you were able to get him back. It just breaks my heart. I could go on and on but I know we feel the same way...

Meg said...

It is always nice to know there are people out there that fell the same, especially when dealing with stuff like this.