Sometimes life gets really weird…
And it seems like things are progressively getting weirder and weirder.
That’s how I’d describe the last year.
Not only are we all facing a global pandemic, we’re also facing some strange personal struggles we could’ve never imagined back in March 2020.
It’s really been a whole year, believe it or not, and things never stopped getting stranger along the way.
Somedays it feels like the strangeness will never end.
That’s where the story of Bendito comes in. I thought I’d already experienced all of the strangeness around me, but I guess that doesn’t make sense given the current situation. I was definitely wrong.
I believe that there is a strong and silent side-effect to the pandemic that is making things seem so much stranger than normal. The things is, we’re not just in quarantine and adapting to a new physical world…
We’re in a whole new mental space too.
With so much more time spent at home, time alone, and with so much less to do outside: we find ourselves looking inside more. More at our family and friends (especially the ones who aren’t near us) and more at how we live our lives in general.
What does this have to do with Bendito? Everything.
Like I said I couldn’t imagine things getting any stranger than they already have been.
I never expected myself to fall in love last year, get a full time job, a license, a car, a new hobby, and a total shift to how I live my personal and creative life. And I surely didn’t expect to meet a bird who would make me overthink everything as I try to figure out a way to care for the little guy.
But all that aside for now, let’s get into this story.
It was a pretty normal Sunday night. My girlfriend and I had just finished moving some of her belongings to my place (she’s moving in with me right now), and we were planning to eat the dinner we had just got and get ready for bed soon. I had court early in the morning.
Things were normal enough until we got the door of her apartment. I didn’t even notice the bird until she said “oh my gosh, is that a bird? Should we go look at it?”.
I didn’t interpret that it was a house bird until about 15 minutes later, but since my girlfriend seemed excited I said “sure why not” and we got closer to the little guy.
He was puffed up on the middle step of the staircase that led to the basement floor she lived on. I thought it was a wild bird so I was a bit confused when she suggested bringing him inside. But I love a good adventure, so I pulled out my camera and started filming the encounter with the intention of sharing the video with my family.
I expected it to fly off as soon as I got close, but he just stayed there. It wasn’t until my girlfriend got really close that he attempted to fly off, but only made it up a few steps to the staircase right above us. That’s when my girlfriend seemed to confirm it was a house bird, but I was still pretty oblivious to the fact.
She went inside for some food and we ended up using an oven mitt she grabbed from the kitchen to hold him for the first time. Looking back it I think it’s pretty comical how scared we both were that he’d bite us or something, his bite is entirely painless and he’s a soft bean who will let just about anyone hold him. But at the time I didn’t know that so I guess it’s fair we were afraid.
I’m saying that so I don’t feel like a weenie.
Once Ela, my girlfriend, informed me that he was a house bird, we decided we’d take care of the little guy for the night until someone could come claim him.
This is one of the first pics we got of him.
Once we got him inside we decided to take a moment and make some facetime calls to show off our new friend.
Ela called her best friend/ roommate and I called my mother. We all had some good laughs and everyone seemed cool with the idea of us taking care of the bird, which only egged us on in our new bird endeavor.
We didn’t have to say it aloud to each other to know how we both felt: we wanted to keep this bird.
We aren’t rich or anything, but we knew that supporting a bird wouldn’t be that difficult, so we set-out to make him a temporary home while we took some time to think and make a plan for our new friend.
Of course, that’s when a big question came into our minds, what should we call him? I use the term “him” loosely because I don’t know or really care if the bird is a boy or a girl, but based on what I read online I think “he” might be most accurate for now.
Anyways, the first name we gave him was snowball. Ela thought of it because of his color, but after texting my family the name “Peach” came up.
After a way-to-long convo about the bird’s name, we came up with Bendito. It’s largely because of our son Ángel (we want to give our kids sweet Spanish names).
So Bendito it was and is. And once he had a name, our love for him started to grow more and more.
Now we were on to step 3, making sure he had food and water in his temporary set-up.
When we first met him on the steps we tried to give him some fruit, it was all the food we had that would be considered bird friendly, but he wouldn’t take it. We ended up finding some nuts, but he wouldn’t take that either. And based on the fact that he kept trying to eat my necklace, we knew we really needed to get him some food that he would eat.
Late night Walmart trip anyone?
We used a plastic bin (and a mesh top to an old home of Ángel’s) to make a safe space for the guy while we left, but we knew that it was lacking so we did some quick research and headed out to get him what he’d need for a few days.
We ended up getting him…
- a cuttlebone
- a food and water bowl
- food (of course)
- a toy
- and textured grips so we can make some perches in our room
It would have to do for the time being.
To make a long story short we ended up bringing him over to my place and now he’s chilling in my room with me while I work.
I’ve made a flyer (the one above) and we’re going to see what happens.
Yes, we do want to keep this little guy, but we have a lot to consider.
First and foremost, is he even up for us to do that? If he has a loving home looking for him I hope they find us. But if he ends up not having somewhere to go, we do want him, but we’ll still have to consider if we have the space and capacity to give him the best care possible.
I’ve been doing some research on parakeets and found that the setup isn’t too far out of reach, and I think his care is definitely manageable. But it’s not an easy choice to make.
Life has been a lot lately. We’ve spent the last month moving my girlfriend into my place and working full time. We also have a little vacation planned soon and Ángel to consider (not to mention we’ve also always wanted to adopt a dog at some point, and my current apartment doesn’t really seem big enough for a lot of us to live here).
So as it stands right now… we’re torn.
I’m enjoying having my work buddy. He makes me smile a lot and he’s really helped me through some of the emotional struggles I’ve been facing lately (which is why I want to document our time together, just in case it’s not forever).
I do love him, but that isn’t enough, we have to do what’s best for our little furry friends (and the not so furry ones like Ánny).
I’ve always wanted a dog, and I just never thought a cute little bird would bring me the same kind of joy, so I’m incredibly torn.
Random side note: Ángel and Bendito have made me realize something real fun about nature. Pets are just like us in so many ways.
It doesn’t really matter what “kind” they are, they all have personalities too. They’re all a bit different and you shouldn’t judge them based on their “breed” or whatever alone, especially before you get to know the buddy. I know this, but there are definitely still some people in the world that need to learn this lesson 😉
Yes, I’m calling out racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, etc., (basically any kind of unnecessary and untrue judgment people have towards any group). Neodiversity, look it up.
To the people who judge too much: Get a dog and a bird, fall in love with both, and get over your preconceived judgements. Oh, and learn how to love. Love is the key to the universe. I’m pretty sure ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’ll update you all on what happens with Bendito but…
Until Next Time,
P.S. I have a really funny video of Ángel and Bendito that I’ll be posting on my YouTube Channel along with the video of us finding Bendito. So if you want to follow more of our story, you can follow my blog and YouTube channel for part 2 of the chronicle.