Hao and Mon – two very different personalities

I just checked on Mon and instead of early-morning sleeping on the top perch in her usual spot, she is sitting near the entrance, awake. I think she is looking for Hao.

I’m going to have to spend extra time playing with her.

Hao had a very different personality from Mon.

Hao was very smart, knew his name, and would come when called. Although quite tame on my finger or hand or even eating food from between my fingers (he had great eyesight!) he hated being petted or touched and would make his dinosaur sound and try to peck or bite if I tried to touch him anywhere. Except the last day when he seemed to take comfort from it.

Mon on the other hand is, well there is no kind way to put it, dumb as a doorknob. Almost as dumb as a cat. I’m not convinced she knows her name. There’s no way to call her and get her to come. On the other hand, she has a very amiable personality and never pecks at me and doesn’t mind being petted.

I have less photos of her overall because she’s very camera shy, while Hao actually seemed to like posing for pictures.


Back from the Ekoin in Ryogoku

Hao-chan passed away at the early age of 5 and 1/2 years in the early afternoon -coincidentally on the same date my father passed away three years ago.

It was obvious this morning that Hao was in an irrecoverable decline, and I made the decision to stay with him in peaceful, comfortable, familiar surroundings until the end.

Most of the day he was either sleeping in the palm of my hand, or sometimes resting on my body, like in this photo.

Recently, in a 1903 travel guide to Japan I read about a temple called the Ekoin (http://www.ekoin.or.jp/history_e.html) which is in Ryogoku and happens to be near where I live. The temple was well known as a resting place for pets back then, and still is today, 109 years later.

At the Ekoin we held a short service for Hao and other pets brought in today. I left Hao in the mortuary, where he will be cremated, and I’ll pick up his urn on Wednesday. This is a photo of Hao before the service. I normally wouldn’t take a photo like this, but I think Hao’s many friends want to see him at peace.

I find it hard to believe that more than 5 years have passed since Hao first came home with me. It’s like he was here one day and gone the next.

And now I’ll light a candle for the memory of the 3rd anniversary of my father’s passing.



I think Hao is dying

I think Hao is dying. When I checked on him at 4:00 am he was sleeping on his perch.

I came down for some cold medicine at 6 and he was on the floor of his cage. He made a couple of attempts to reach the lowest perch but was unable to. When I tried to pick him up he fell over sideways and was unable to right himself. He seems to have trouble opening and closing his wings.

He’s sleeping now in my other hand as I write this, but having little convulsions. Even Mon has gotten quiet and is just looking on.

There’s really nothing I can do given his condition and the hour. I’m just going to sit here with him.


Back from the pet shop with stuff for Hao

I’m back from the pet shop. I got two new foods:

(1) A commercial egg food and

(2) a “green food” which are teeny pellets including rape leaves and lots of vitamins and stuff. I put both in a separate dish next to the calcium chips and set Hao next to it and fortunately he seems to really like both and is nibbling away!

Also, all day long, instead of sitting on one of the perches, he’s been sitting on top of the pet heater (even though it’s turned off). I think he might be having some balance problems and so finds the larger, almost flat surface of the pet heater more relaxing. So I also get a small wooden “staged rest” surface thing meant for little rodents, but which can be affixed at any height to the cage and I set it next to the pet heater. He’s currently scared of it, but I’m hoping he’ll use it and find it more comfortable than the metal casing of the pet heater.