Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I'm beginning to think my cockatiel is going to outlive me...

Bella the Neurotic Cockatiel
Is it just me, or are pets living longer these days?

It certainly seems like it.  Take, for example, Britain's oldest cat [link].  He's 28.  Hell, I work with people who are younger than that cat!  There are people out there who are married with kids who weren't alive when that cat was born, just think about that for a second.

Are you as freaked out by that thought as I am?

I own two animals, or maybe it would be more accurate to say they own me.  You all know about Gypsy the Feline Dictator, but my other animal is a cockatiel named Bella who is completely insane and lives in my spare room ... and no, I didn't name her after the vapid main character of a certain vampire novel series.  I bought Bella long before those books were published, back in 2000.

And there's the thing, I bought Bella back in 2000.

That means, if my math doesn't betray me, that she's at least 13 years old.  When I bought her, the petshop owner told me that most cockatiels only live 7 to 10 years.  So, naturally, the very next day a workmate told me all about her niece's 'tiel that was about to turn 30.  That'd be right, tell me after I've bought the bird, why don't you!

But it was well and truly too late by that point, I'd already bought the perch, the cage, and a three decade commitment I didn't even know I was signing up for.

I know it sounds like I don't like Bella very much, but that's not true.  Back when I first got her she was wonderful, if a little skittish.  But about five years in to our co-habitation she went a little crazy.  Started getting unpredictable to the point where I could never tell if she was going to smooch me or try to peck my eyes out.  Eventually I just had to accept the fact that my bird was a complete nut job ... and that I may very well have to put up with another twenty years of her insanity.

I do know someone who had a 21st birthday party for their cat, so maybe it happens more often than I'd realised.  Could it be possible that one day I'll be planning a "Coming Of Age" for Gypsy the Feline Dictator"?

Hmm, much more likely I'll be planning a 40th for Bella The Neurotic Cockatiel, I'm thinking.

Crap, I'm never getting my spare room back, am I.

43 comments:

  1. Maybe the Twilight people named their character after your bird. I totally think about my pets' longevity. Both my cats are 13 this year and I don't see any health problems yet. After these two cats, I will never get any new pets as the odds aren't in my favor to last longer than they would. Mortality sucks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have some friends who feel the same way. They don't want to get new pets when their current ones go because they're genuinely worried about leaving them behind.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Maybe I should try and crush up anti-psychotics in her water dish.

      Delete
  3. My barber has a cockatiel and I think they're such beautiful birds. Did you know that some parrots can live to be almost 50??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know that the bigger ones can live that long. Cockatoos can even live seventy or eighty years.

      Delete
  4. Sounds like you may have to put Bella in your will. I know a family who have willed their turtle down.. Creepy..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The next time I'm getting my will updated I'll have to remember it!

      Delete
  5. I was thinking about getting either a cockatiel or a parrot and the chap in the pet store said he wouldn't sell me one because I'm too old and the creature would outlive me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You certainly got your money's worth for that bird!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, thirteen years of insanity all for the bargain price of ninety dollars.

      Delete
  7. This is the reason my husband doesn't want another pet, he's afraid it will outlive us!

    ReplyDelete
  8. M's first cat lived to 19 and only went then because he had an inoperable tumor. I'm on Twitter with lots of cats and Dogs (@Mariodacat) and every now and then we run across a kitty that is 17, 18 or 19, but it isn't the norm. I have heard tho that birds of your breed do live a long long time. Wonder what turned him nutso? M says she really doesn't know much about pet birds - just the wild ones outside. Hope you can figure out what to do for him so he doesn't drive you nuts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Bella's fine in her room. I've got her set on a stand in front of a large mirror and she spends all day talking to herself.

      Delete
  9. The cat may be your solution to the whole long-lived cockatiel situation. Just sayin'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! I'd be afraid of what Bella would do to Gypsy, to be completely honest.

      Delete
  10. Like Debra said leave the cat with the bird in the spare room...let's see what happens. My cat sometimes cat the lifespan a little bit shorter of my hamster..sigh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd never leave them in a room together ... Bella would kill Gypsy, no question!

      Delete
  11. I've heard that these birds live a long, long time. People actually write it in their will as to who will look after the bird if the person dies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should probably do that, just to be on the safe side.

      Delete
  12. Pets generally get better health care than they used to. My vet loves me, I am sure she has had a couple of vacations that I paid for!! Anyway, I have a cat that is 16 (she needs daily meds) and we had a cat that lived to be 19. I have heard of parrots that have lived 60 plus years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been very lucky so far (touch wood) that neither of my animals have had major problems that required going to the vet.

      Delete
  13. You can kiss that back room goodbye. I hear these birds live a very long time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably. Oh well, at least I can still store stuff in there.

      Delete
  14. I haven't had actual pets in over half of my lifetime, however, I have the kind that don't need to be looked after.

    There's the local ranga cat that comes to visit every afternoon about 4pm, he strolls down my path, says how do by going potty under my front tree, and then runs off after the birds attack him.

    I have magpies in my yard all day every day, I had a cockatiel who used to sit on my washing line for about a year and got used to me coming and going with washing until he left and never came back.

    There's all the colourful members of the parrot family who do fly bys or eat my front trees, there was the pitbull that someone dumped over my fence about ten years ago. I had to call the RSPCA on that one.

    I have plenty of pets that thankfully I never have to actually look after.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have one of those too, the possum who still comes home to under my bathtub every night even though the ceiling was ripped out of the carport ages ago.

      Delete
  15. -chuckle- sounds like she's kinda banished. Do you let her out for meals?
    Seriously though you must keep us updated on her progress, that's a mature bird and she's lovely.
    (PS: how's that possum??)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to have her out all day long, but it's just not possible anymore.

      Delete
  16. Don't birds live for hundreds of years? I may be getting them confused with turtles.
    Also, isn't owning a bird the biggest middle-finger to nature? "I will own this creature who rules the sky and subjugate it! Eat it, Nature!"
    This is why I only have pet flies, they live for like a day.

    ReplyDelete
  17. When I met my husband he has a cat that was the same age as my son. They both turn 18 next year.

    You want a pet that lives long? Get one of those parrots. Your great grandchildren will be burdened with them. 70 years of SQUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAK! No, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ha ha ha, this is cracking me up! You have a crazy Cockatiel locked away in your spare room...it reminds me of Jane Eyre :)

    I would love it if my dog lived for 30 years. I am already worry about when he's going to die, and he's only 6! I did contemplate buying a parrot once, but after hearing their life span, I changed my mind.

    I must say, kudos to you for keeping Bella and taking care of her. Most people would have gotten rid of her long ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I could never do that. She's utterly insane, but she's mine.

      Delete
  19. "Bella - The Neurotic Cockatiel" is an awesome name for a sitcom. Just saying!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! An old fifties sitcom, with one of those peppy theme tunes!

      Delete
  20. On the other hand, I'd love for my dog to live at least as long as me. I've put down 2 great dogs....best friends, actually....already, and it almost killed me. I would have happily thrown either of them a Happy 21st Birthday party. Or even 30th. :)

    S

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have a cockatiel who is 15 now and am very much attached to.

    ReplyDelete