I can't say for certain that my pet cockatiel, Tenshi, is alive or not. He went missing on Monday evening and I feel solely responsible. We live near a wooded area where wild animals roam. I've hiked the woods multiple times, put fliers in the mailboxes of every neighbor in my area. I've posted fliers on street corners. I've posted on all the missing pets sites and facebook pages. I've signed up for pet Amber alerts. Not even so much as a sighting of my baby yet.
Temperatures have already gotten into the 40's the past couple nights and are going to drop to near freezing tonight. I don't want to give up hope...but at the same time, I know the odds of his survival are extremely slim.
My 11 year old daughter and I have gone through so much this year. My boyfriend whom we lived with broke up with me in August, leaving me and my daughter devastated. I was forced to stay with my mother as I haven't any money saved. After about a week staying with my mother, and crying myself to sleep every night, my mother forced me out of bed and took me and my daughter to a pet store. My daughter went straight to the cockatiel enclosure. All the cockatiels ran away from her hand...except for one.
We had no idea that we would be taking home a bird that day. My daughter bonded instantly with this little bird and he fell asleep in her hand. As I stood by my daughter, enjoying the moment with this little bird, I watched my mother walk to the register. I didn't know what she was saying but I saw her pull out her credit card and hand it to the clerk. I said to my daughter, "I think your grandma just bought this bird for you." Her eyes widened and she said, "WHAT?!" and started to tear up. I started to tear up too seeing the happiness on her face that had been long gone since my breakup.
Little Tenshi, which is Japanese for "angel", became so attached to us and we to him. Since my daughter has been primarily staying with her father since my breakup, Tenshi became more attached to me. Every evening after work, I would take him out of his cage and lay down in bed to watch TV. He'd stroll around the bed exploring and then come up to my chest and lay there and close his eyes. This was our nightly routine for nearly a month. Some nights he would perch on my finger and I would hold him close to my face and whistle songs to him. Everytime I did this, he would freeze and stare at me in wonder. Whenever I had to get up to walk around the house, he'd be firmly planted on my shoulder. If I left the room with him in his cage, he'd squawk and go crazy until I return. Tenshi was my little ray of sunshine in these dark times of my life.
Monday evening, I was walking around the house with Tenshi on my shoulder. I noticed that the pumpkin I had carved the night before was sitting in the kitchen and starting to wilt. I thought it might last longer outdoors so I went to the front door. The thought hadn't even occurred to me that Tenshi would leave my shoulder. The second I opened the door, he flew off my shoulder into the yard. I tried to catch him but he was too fast. He turned the corner around the house and vanished. I heard a few more chirps from him and then nothing. I didn't even know what direction he flew. My mom's house has a wooded area behind it and I figured he would have taken interest in that area. I ran around the steep, muddy area in my pajamas whistling for him but no luck. I searched and searched until the sun was completely down. I was devastated. How could I have been so thoughtless?! The next day I called into work and spent the whole day hiking the woods, walking up and down our neighborhood, going door to door with fliers. Eventually the sun went down again. The quiet in my bedroom since Tenshi's escape has physically pained me. I've barely slept...barely eaten. All I can think is how I don't deserve to eat and be warm if my baby Tenshi can't. He was my responsibility. He trusted me to take care of him and it's not his fault that his curiosity got the best of him. It was my fault that I didn't take proper precaution. It's my fault that he's either suffering or dead right now. My daughter is distraught as well but I think she has forgiven me however I don't think I can ever forgive myself. I've had to leave my desk at work multiple times to go into the bathroom and cry or else I'd be crying in front of clients. I just don't know what to do with all this heartbreak.