What happened to April and Andy haunts me to this day.
April and Andy were once a part of a loving family. They sat on the shoulders of Burt as he drove the car to their favorite vacation spot in New Hampshire. It was there that they had the most time out of a cage, and spent all day and night roaming, flying, and walking in their fat little man with his hands in his pocket way.
At home in Massachusetts, the two of them spent the day in their cage, coming out when the family came home. They were green cheek conures (a smallish multi-colored and very sociable birds. Cooking, vacuuming or helping with whatever chore was being done around the house. Sitting on the shoulders of Burt or Gisela, singing away or just being held and stroked. They were loving, and family oriented birds.
Until the day came that the family was going on vacation to Disney World and expected to be away from home for nine days. Before the holiday the responsible thing was done. Through research, they hired a woman to pet sit, who I will call Bernie. Bernie claimed to be an avaiarian expert, and for two days before the family left, arrived at the house to learn the routine of the birds. Of course, she was paid for those two days and appeared to be a caring, knowledgeable woman, and the family felt comfortable that all would be well with their two little feathered babies.
The day before they were doing home from their vacation Gisela received a call from the bird sitter. One of the birds had died, and the other didn’t look well. Hurrying back, they arrived in time to take the sick bird to the vet. It died on the way.
After the death of April and Andy, Burt and Gisela viewed the security videos only to discover that Bernie just went to the house twice. Once two days after the family left for vacation. At which time she dumped a huge quantity of bird seed and fresh veggies on the floor of the cage, changed their water and disappeared. She did not go back to the house for the next seven days.
Did she know or not care that April and Andy could not survive without clean water every day? With vegetables that were rotting, and seed that was full of bird feces? I don’t know, except to say that she claimed to be a specialist, she spent two days before the family left to learn the routines and feeding of April and Andy, yet went them without even a check in on them for seven days.
What haunts me is the knowledge that April and Andy, who were the darlings of a family, were loved, treated as family members, healthy and happy, ended their lives without comfort, or edible food or drinkable water.
There are those who would say. ‘They are just animals. Those two little happy birds didn’t have feelings or the power to think.’ But I know different, from watching our green-cheek conure, Jack. Jack recognizes what time it is for his peanut butter treat from the song of the television show that comes on about seven pm. He can speak complete sentences and if you ask him a question, he will say yup or okay, depending upon what you are asking. Jack knows when it is his dinner time and his routines. He adores affection, to be talked to and is curious about everything.
I know April and Andy suffered from neglect and the loss of the love and attention they were used to, and I believe that Bernie either didn’t know that birds will die within a few days without clean food and water, no matter what she professed her knowledge to be.
But it is more than that, she spent two days learning their routines, and their eating habits before the family left for vacation. She didn’t care and is a woman who is without compassion or the willingness to even do what she was hired to do.
As far as I am concerned April and Andy, were murdered. They died a lonely, torturous death. They suffered death by starvation, soiled food, and foul water. April and Andy will always haunt me, and I wish I knew the real name of the woman who the family hired for I would file charges of animal abuse on her.