I AM A COCKATOO
Excitedly, Mom, Dad, WOW, look at that pretty sunset, the beautiful clouds, the trees swaying in the breeze. I love my perfect life flying through the forest, foraging for food, playing with all the other birds and playing in the rain. I love the freedom, the flying, oh man, the flying, the flying makes me so happy. I can’t wait to do it all over again tomorrow. Good night Mom, Dad and flock.
The Alarm Call……… MOM, DAD, WHAT’S HAPPENING?????? Mom, where are you??? Dad, help me…… MOOOOMMMMMM…….. What is happening, I’m scared. What is that noise, where are you Mom, Dad????? Oh NO…… Screech….. I can’t see, its dark, I’m trapped, OH that hurts…. MOM, DAD, HELP!!!!!!! OUCH!!!!! That hurts…. I don’t understand, is this some sort of box? Its dark and I can’t get out. Something has me. HELP ME!!!!!!! I can’t move, I can barely breathe, I can’t see, it hurts. I’m SCARED…. MOMMMM…… Please help me, I can’t see you. THUD, OUCH, that hurts…… I can’t get out!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOO……
Where am I? Where is my Mom and Dad? Why don’t they help me???? OH NO……. It is our greatest fear…….. being poached, trapped, thrown in sacks, then in cages for the pet “slave” trade. My life is forever altered, I have no choices. Everything has been taken from me. I am in a small cage with several other birds, all scared, biting, clawing trying to get out. We are trapped. We watch as some are killed, some injured beyond help, no one cares. Our lives as we know it is over…….. I miss my Mom and Dad. Where are they, are they alive or dead???? What is going to happen to me now?????
I’m scared, hungry and thirsty. I am unable to sleep or even perch comfortably in the horrible cage. More birds are dying all around me, no one cares…….. I’m exhausted from trying to escape, but no one cares. I miss Mom and Dad. I hope they are okay and maybe they will come to help me……
The bad people are back and they load us up on a truck, then its dark again….. Many days later, still hungry from almost nothing to eat or drink. More birds are dead and no one cares. There are more bad people looking at us…… Talk of smuggling for the breeding trade. What does that mean???? I just want my Mom and Dad….. More cages and I get shoved into a small cage by myself. I am alone, no one cares…..
Now I understand what “breeding” means……. I don’t want to…….. So I go from breeder to breeder to breeder……. I don’t want to so I kill my “mates”……. No one wants me…. I just want my Mom and Dad……. Many years pass, many times I move, many times I am hungry….. No one cares……. I start to rip out my feathers and chew on my leg out of frustration and hopelessness. I’m bleeding but no one cares……
Finally someone comes, a nice lady, she says she will take me home. Oh you don’t want that one….. He is a killer……. She takes me anyway…. I hate humans, I just want to go home to my Mom and Dad…… This lady says she loves me and she will take care of me forever. What does that mean???? I am over 25 years old and no one has ever cared about me. I was only used to try to make money. No one cares….. But she is nice and gave me food and fresh water. She talks nice. She gave me toys and put me in a clean cage. Maybe she won’t hit me like the others. She put something on my leg to make it feel better. She talks to me and tells me I am home? I don’t know, my home is in the forest, not in a cage. But the lady is patient with me and we become friends. She loves me….. she really does…… I get good food, fresh water, new toys…… I love her…… For ten more years I am loved……. But then things change……. I start to bite my leg again……. The lady says I must go live at a rescue because she can no longer care for me. WHAT, I thought she loved me……. My leg hurts and is bleeding again……. I don’t know what is happening but there are a lot of strange people and I want my Mom. I can’t find her……. They told me I was going to a “foster mom”. I don’t know what that means, but I’m scared. My leg is bleeding again…….
My foster mom opens the door…. She looks nice and talks to me in a soft voice. I can tell, she likes me already. I will give her a chance because I saw something in her eyes when she looked at me. She said I was her first “mutilator” and she will try to help me. She takes me to the doctor and gets my leg fixed. I had stitches and it hurt. Then I had to wear some sort of stupid collar. But my new mom said it would be okay. I think I like her….. She makes me special breakfast and gives me kisses. She says she loves me. I’ve heard that before……. But there is something happening that I don’t understand. I special bond that I have never felt before. I think I am finally HOME. She said she was supposed to find me a new home. WHAT???? I can’t stay here????? I want to stay with my new mom but there is something called an “application” to adopt me. NOOOOOOO, I want to stay with my new mom…… She is crying and talking on the phone and she says she is a “FOSTER FAILURE”. What does that mean???? When she gets off the phone, she tells me that I will FOREVER be hers and I do not have to leave. I am so very happy. I love my mom. We go everywhere together. She lets me sing with her friends in the band, I get to go on a boat, I get to meet so many people and sing and dance and play. I have a wonderful life. My mom has other birds, but she loves me best, I just know it. We are best friends.
I am one of the lucky ones. My journey started out bleak, but after years of torture and heartbreak, a kind soul took me home. Many of my flockmates died before ever knowing love or happiness. So many others live a lonely, horrible existence longing for freedom. Such is the life of many many cockatoos. Many mistake us for aggressive, destructive and mean birds. We are flock animals. We should never have been taken from our native habitat. Our needs are great and mostly misunderstood. We love to snuggle and be with our flock whether it be human or avian. We don’t understand when you leave us and develop behavior issues. It’s not our fault. Please do your research before getting a cockatoo. We are very complex creatures and are very needy. All we want is to fit in and be loved.
My journey on earth is over as I am needed at the Rainbow Bridge. I will be there to greet the others that have lost their way. My Mom is totally devastated and I miss her so much. But I see her everyday and know she is doing what she was meant to do. I send her signs from time to time and help her as she rescues and saves the lost souls that “somehow” find their way to her. I wonder how that happens?? I send them to her…… I know she realizes that they are a gift from me because I know she will take good care of them. I am very proud of the work that is being done on earth as I take care of the ones at the bridge. I will wait for my Mom and we will be together again when it is time. But for now, I will send her “General”, a blind wild caught, beautiful, misunderstood Umbrella Cockatoo, whose life mirrors mine. My Mom will know he was sent with love and take special care with him.
Until we meet again, I love you Mom,