Continued from previous post...
Jotting the phone number on a scrap of paper, I hustle Cadence to the car and flip open my phone. It has been nearly five months since that sad day and Cadence’s words flood through my mind as I dial the number. “You can’t put a price on love… it’s not about a bird, It’s about this bird… we were meant to be together…we have a connection.”
I keep my voice ‘poker-face calm’ as I make the inquiry, nodding excitedly to Cadence while she rubs her hands together; sparkle in her eyes. This is indeed the Sky from the New Pet Store purchased in March. The woman on the other end tells me that they need to sell their house and Sky will not fit into their new plans. I tell her I will speak to my husband and call back, asking her name as I ready my pen. The world squeezes smaller as I write, making the friendly connection; she is a school administrator that I know from town.
Several days later, Cadence buckles herself into the back seat of Dad’s car on a mission of destiny. I am happy to let this be their moment, knowing my husband craves the hero stance to wipe away his twinges of guilt. They return two hours later with a plan.
Saturday morning, Cadence hauls her beloved old toys to the curb, while Dad posts the Tag Sale signs. She is careful in arranging her display, falling victim to the call of a few dolls and animals who say they are not quite ready to leave.
She works the customers like a pro; “I notice this one caught your daughter’s eye…” she smiles, flashing her dimple, “If you press right here she talks.” Cadence demonstrates while the young child beside her nods, eyes wide with hope. “I guess two dollars would be fine. Now for this one you will have to pay full price,” she tells the woman looking down at her, as she holds a My Little Pony in her hands, “but you get this one free…they are a pair and they’re meant to be together.” Her words ring in my ears as she adds little by little to her money box, raising nearly half the cost through her efforts; meant to be together.
The day arrives when it is time to bring destiny home. The sky is blue that morning and Cadences dresses the same. She sits with a clip board and writes a numbered list of questions, leaving lines to place the answers or painstakingly making yes and no check boxes.
Sky is more beautiful than I remembered; her long tail feathers formerly chewed off by hostile roommates are now re-grown and regal. The family that loved her for six months spent large quantities of time and money, sending us home with a massive cage, bags of toys and goodies and a sweet bird who knows how to step up, give kisses and is working on “Hello.” Cadence is not the least bit deterred when filling out her clipboard by the elaborate routine that this bird had grown accustomed to.
She prefers fresh fruit in the morning: favorites are fresh pineapple and apples.
She likes fresh vegetables in the evening: prefers broccoli or green beans, lightly steamed.
She showers every other day on a special plastic perch with suction cups holding to the shower wall. Simply point the water to hit the wall above her and she spreads her wings, taking an elaborate tail feather-shaking, head twisting fifteen minute spa treatment.
And, to avoid getting a chill, she is accustomed to the blow dryer afterward; low setting held 6-9 inches so as not to be too hot.
Cadence is thrilled.
Sky adjusts quickly to her new home and family members. Inquisitive and funny, she hops onto our cockatiels cage and works diligently on the door to set her neighbor free. She delights in dropping food items onto the dog’s head and cocks hers to one side watching him eat. He waits patiently, wagging his stubby brown tail while she runs back to her dish to decide what to feed him next. She loves to climb onto Cadence’s head, arranging her hair with her claws and beak.
I look at them and they are beautiful to watch. I remind Cadence that these birds live 30-50 years and that she will likely still have Sky when she marries. “I’ll just tell my husband, take a wife…get a bird free!” She says.
Birds of a feather they are.
It is about love and connection.
It is about a bond and a destiny.
It is simply, meant to be.