June 30, 2009
My prayer companion died this morning. Each morning as I prayed, Sam faithfully and quietly sat with me, joining in my time of silence and meditation. This would not seem like much until you realize that Sam was our cockatiel.
Sam was a member of our family for almost 16 years. He came into our family one Labor Day weekend, after an extensive search for a hand tamed, hand fed cockatiel. He was the last one in the pet store. The pet store owner didn’t seem to want to sell him and tried to offer us a lovebird instead.
Literature described cockatiels having a sweet demeanor. Sam never read the literature. He was often loud, demanding and opinionated. He had specific likes and dislikes and wasn’t afraid to express them. He insisted visiting family members greet him shortly after coming into the house. He liked fruit, vegetables and pasta, particularly if it came off of your plate.
Each morning he sat with me as I ate my breakfast, drank my coffee and read the paper. When I prepared to leave the table and go to my home office, he’d recognize the signs and begin to lobby to be taken with me. When I would enter my time of prayer, he quieted down until I was finished. I think he prayed with me (or maybe even for me).
Sam believed he was a human. I think he considered us kind of slow, because we couldn’t fly. He loved to fly, including buzzing his grounded family members.
He liked his head rubbed by selected family members and was willing to sit on the shoulder of knee of persons he chose for that honor. He was content to sit in his cage in the room with a family member. When we’d forgotten this, he’d scream until we remember and brought him into our room.
He liked classical music and didn’t like Tobymac.
Sam died this morning and I’ll miss him. He was my longest living pet. But even more he was my different specie friend who was always glad to see me. His absence leaves an empty space in our home and in my life.