I don't think I ever properly introduced you to Michael, my pet finch. He's my second finch - the first was a white one, Elvis, & he had a short life. He actually died on my birthday, 10 years ago. That's when I got Michael.
Ten years is really old for a finch... and it's really starting to show lately. Just a month or two ago I would have said that yes, he's old, but the only way it's showing is in his feathers. He's a bit whiter than he used to be. But he was still active & vocal, chirping when I came home, splashing around in his bath & eyeing anyone who came close to his cage.
But lately... lately he's been a bit slower. He hasn't been on his swing in the longest time & doesn't jump around as much when you approach. And this last week he's been spending most of his time sleeping, curled up like this, next to his favourite toy & water bottle:
He just chirped now, as I was writing this - his "cash register," a signature tweet he picked up from the little shop I got him from, where he was sitting next to this old register. "Ching-ch-ch-ching-ch-ch-ching".... so cute. He doesn't make that sound very often anymore & it made me jump up. I don't know how many more times I'll hear it & I'm afraid I won't be able to reproduce it in my head anymore either. I went to talk to him for a few minutes. I changed his bath water & he didn't jump right in as usual. He hopped around 2 or 3 times, pecked at some gravel & then went back to sleep in the very spot he's sitting in the above photo.
I'm afraid he isn't going to be with us much longer. The very thought has made me shed a few tears already & I must admit the text is a little wobbly as I write this. He's been my constant companion, accompanying me from the country to the big city & providing a little brightness in my empty apartment. It makes me really sad that he won't be able to journey with me as I move onto the next step in my life. He'll forever be a part of my student years.
I love the little guy.