Is a pet parrot just a pet like a dog or cat?

T-Bird

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Had a Citron Crested cockatoo and have a Yellow Naped Amazon
Recently we lost our 36 year old cockatoo to heart disease. We first got her at 6 months of age when we were in our early-mid twenties.
When I bought our citron and slightly later Yellow Nape, we were told they have long lifespans which appealed to us. We looked forward to having them most of our lives that is till our little girl (T-Bird the cockatoo) had a short but painful death from heart failure.

I was talking to my older brother-in-law today about grief from losing her and he replied by saying that she is gone and all you have are memories and that she was just a pet like his recently put down cat. I disagreed by telling him the parrot owners view their companions differently then other shorter lived pets as we see them as life long companions.

What are your thoughts out there?
 

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zERo

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So sorry to hear about the loss of your parrots, losing a bird is never easy.

I suppose a parrot may feel more valued as a pet than a shorter lived animal, though, really, it’s just about what the owner feels toward the pet.

The bond between a long lived parrot could feel more significant to a person, but it could feel just as significant to someone who owns a dog or cat, even if they don’t live as long.

It’s also hard for someone who has never owned birds to understand how intelligent and wonderful they can be.
 

LaManuka

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Recently we lost our 36 year old cockatoo to heart disease. We first got her at 6 months of age when we were in our early-mid twenties.
When I bought our citron and slightly later Yellow Nape, we were told they have long lifespans which appealed to us. We looked forward to having them most of our lives that is till our little girl (T-Bird the cockatoo) had a short but painful death from heart failure.

I was talking to my older brother-in-law today about grief from losing her and he replied by saying that she is gone and all you have are memories and that she was just a pet like his recently put down cat. I disagreed by telling him the parrot owners view their companions differently then other shorter lived pets as we see them as life long companions.

What are your thoughts out there?

I think this boils down to the individual human and pet. It sounds to me like your brother-in-law has not had the privilege of that real "heart" connection with an animal, irrespective of what animal that might be, if that was his attitude about his cat. Regardless of lifespan or species, there are plenty of people who find themselves completely devastated at the loss of a companion animal with whom they have forged that real emotional bond. It is SO very hard to lose such pure souls as these, who love us unconditionally and do not judge. Your BIL seems to be saying you should just "get over it" and that is wrong, his experience with his cat was clearly nothing like yours with T-Bird! The grief we feel at the passing of one with whom we have had that special connection is equal to the love and joy we shared with them in life, the loss IS very hard to bear and so you must do what works for you. I've lost "heart" birds both before finding this community and after, and I can tell you that it still hurts like hell but it is SO much better to be part of a community like this, where you can share your feelings with those who truly do understand 💝
 

Jcas

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I’m so sorry for your loss of T-bird. Some people don’t understand how an animal can truly become a part of the family. Dogs, cats, birds, horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, and many others; I’ve cried over all of them. As hard as it is, I think the pain of grief is a sign that you have loved an animal well. ❤️💔
 
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T-Bird

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Pets become part of our family and it is a great loss when they die. I believe this is the same for dog and cat owners too
But imagine having that pet for more than half your age. Our cockatoo was 6 months old when I got her and she was with us 36 years until this month. We were only away for 4 to 5 days, just two times. Other then that we never left for more then a whole day. We had a strong family bond with her that developed over all those years. I grew up with cats and they died and I grieved for them but not as long as we have for our little girl.
 

Free as a bird

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But imagine having that pet for more than half your age. Our cockatoo was 6 months old when I got her and she was with us 36 years until this month. We were only away for 4 to 5 days, just two times. Other then that we never left for more then a whole day. We had a strong family bond with her that developed over all those years. I grew up with cats and they died and I grieved for them but not as long as we have for our little girl.
How about when people have children die young? By your mindset it wouldn't be much of a loss at all because they weren't very old.

Your also forgetting the fact that small birds don't live as long either. Your assuming that all birds live over 30 and that's is simply incorrect.

A person can also have a cat or dog "half of their life" as you said if the person is young.

So I find your view to be flawed on several levels. Birds are pets just like dogs and cats and when they die it's emotional no matter how long you had that pet for or what kind of animal it is.
 
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T-Bird

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How about when people have children die young? By your mindset it wouldn't be much of a loss at all because they weren't very old.

Your also forgetting the fact that small birds don't live as long either. Your assuming that all birds live over 30 and that's is simply incorrect.

A person can also have a cat or dog "half of their life" as you said if the person is young.

So I find your view to be flawed on several levels. Birds are pets just like dogs and cats and when they die it's emotional no matter how long you had that pet for or what kind of animal it is.
You have the right to your opinion
 

LaManuka

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But imagine having that pet for more than half your age. Our cockatoo was 6 months old when I got her and she was with us 36 years until this month. We were only away for 4 to 5 days, just two times. Other then that we never left for more then a whole day. We had a strong family bond with her that developed over all those years. I grew up with cats and they died and I grieved for them but not as long as we have for our little girl.
@T-Bird, I'm so sorry this thread has taken the direction that it has, and that your search for validation of your feelings and a little solace in your grief has not been treated as it should have been. I simply cannot imagine how devastated I'd feel if I had lost a companion parrot with whom i had shared my heart for so many years and you have my every sincerest and deepest sympathy. I hope that you will not be discouraged and that you will remain as part of this community, you have much understanding and empathy to share. 💝
 

Terry57

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@T-Bird , I'm so very sorry for your loss of your feathered baby. 36 years is such a long time, and I truly can't imagine it. I echo LaManuka's thoughts that you stick around, we'd love to have you.

I have dogs right now, and had cats until we lost our last one a couple of years ago at the age of 21, and for me their loss was felt just as much as when I've lost my birds. However, I have a friend with a dog as well as birds, and I know she will feel more pain at the loss of her birds. Another friend hurt worse over her cats rather than her dogs or birds.

Everyone has opinions, and should feel free to be able to share them here.
 

LoveMyFids

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Recently we lost our 36 year old cockatoo to heart disease. We first got her at 6 months of age when we were in our early-mid twenties.
When I bought our citron and slightly later Yellow Nape, we were told they have long lifespans which appealed to us. We looked forward to having them most of our lives that is till our little girl (T-Bird the cockatoo) had a short but painful death from heart failure.

I was talking to my older brother-in-law today about grief from losing her and he replied by saying that she is gone and all you have are memories and that she was just a pet like his recently put down cat. I disagreed by telling him the parrot owners view their companions differently then other shorter lived pets as we see them as life long companions.

What are your thoughts out there?
Very sorry for your loss. It's very difficult. As others have mentioned on here, it really depends on the person & their own feelings no matter what "pet" it is, or how long their lifespan is. There will always be the ones who you bond closer to, that have personalities that just really touch you in deeper ways than others. I've had many pets in my lifetime since I was a child & though I loved them all, there are a couple who were just "extra special" in my heart that I felt super connected to. I assume you felt this way about your bird & I totally get it. I think when you have a larger parrot that has a long lifespan, you do tend to just take it for granted that they'll be around until you retire or something-I felt that way about my beloved Grey whom I lost in a tragic, unexpected accident last Aug. She was my "soulbird", my best bird friend & like my daughter. I too had her since she was around 6mo. old & we did everything together. She even went w/me to work for several yrs. Never saw the loss coming, as she was healthy & vibrant. The loss absolutely gutted me & I will never get over it. I miss her terribly every single day. I think of her every single day. It's been very difficult & it's not something you just get over. You just are forced to adapt to the new, unwanted reality that your buddy is not there in physical form w/you anymore & it SUCKS. So, I totally understand your pain & what you mean here. I think one thing is non bird people, or those who have never owned a bird don't really "get it" most of the time. They don't understand the bond because many don't know how smart & how much personality a parrot has. This is also true for how people view reptiles as pets. I think it's just because they haven't had the experience, but if they did, they would probably see it differently. I think only bird owners really understand how it is & that's ok. If you don't know, it's not your fault-so it's not a reason to debate it. My husband NEVER owned a bird or was around any at all his whole life until we met. Once he got used to my beloved Grey, he instantly fell in love w/her & totally became a bird person! Haha. Her passing has affected him so much. I had no idea how much he loved her. It actually makes me so sad to see how much he is hurting over our loss. I've never seen him cry like that, or pray like that when she was in the hospital. Then when we got the call that she passed at the vet overnight he let out a sound I have never heard & I'll never forget it for the rest of my life. I've got PTSD from the whole experience. Still, we must go on as hard as it is. My deepest condolences to you. One day at a time & always remember how blessed we are to have had the opportunity to have such a special kind of love in our lives. We learn so much from the experience about ourselves & the beauty of animals in general. Sending you a hug.
 

hiriki

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If someone said something like "just a pet" to me re: losing any of my pets of any species, I would block them and never look back, I don't care who they are. My birds occupy a very special place in my heart. But so do my cats. I mean, a cat can live as long as a conure with good genes and loving care. I just lost a rat yesterday and I was devastated--I had him only a little bit over a year but I loved him with all of my heart.

I get it. Some people don't view pets the same way I, or indeed many of the other members of this forum, do. To some, they're just kind of an obligatory part of the nuclear family. What's an American family without their golden retriever and 2.5 kids? So, I disagree with your idea that parrot owners view their pets differently. I think pet lovers view their pets differently.

I think that parrot owners--at least, the type of parrot owners who lurk these forums--tend to be more likely to be pet lovers than your average person, given how much work parrots are to care for and how much patience it requires to tolerate their quirks... but I don't think it has anything to do with lifespan.

Ahh, ETA, I can't believe I typed this whole thing and neglected to send my well wishes. I'm sorry for your loss.
 
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T-Bird

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Very sorry for your loss. It's very difficult. As others have mentioned on here, it really depends on the person & their own feelings no matter what "pet" it is, or how long their lifespan is. There will always be the ones who you bond closer to, that have personalities that just really touch you in deeper ways than others. I've had many pets in my lifetime since I was a child & though I loved them all, there are a couple who were just "extra special" in my heart that I felt super connected to. I assume you felt this way about your bird & I totally get it. I think when you have a larger parrot that has a long lifespan, you do tend to just take it for granted that they'll be around until you retire or something-I felt that way about my beloved Grey whom I lost in a tragic, unexpected accident last Aug. She was my "soulbird", my best bird friend & like my daughter. I too had her since she was around 6mo. old & we did everything together. She even went w/me to work for several yrs. Never saw the loss coming, as she was healthy & vibrant. The loss absolutely gutted me & I will never get over it. I miss her terribly every single day. I think of her every single day. It's been very difficult & it's not something you just get over. You just are forced to adapt to the new, unwanted reality that your buddy is not there in physical form w/you anymore & it SUCKS. So, I totally understand your pain & what you mean here. I think one thing is non bird people, or those who have never owned a bird don't really "get it" most of the time. They don't understand the bond because many don't know how smart & how much personality a parrot has. This is also true for how people view reptiles as pets. I think it's just because they haven't had the experience, but if they did, they would probably see it differently. I think only bird owners really understand how it is & that's ok. If you don't know, it's not your fault-so it's not a reason to debate it. My husband NEVER owned a bird or was around any at all his whole life until we met. Once he got used to my beloved Grey, he instantly fell in love w/her & totally became a bird person! Haha. Her passing has affected him so much. I had no idea how much he loved her. It actually makes me so sad to see how much he is hurting over our loss. I've never seen him cry like that, or pray like that when she was in the hospital. Then when we got the call that she passed at the vet overnight he let out a sound I have never heard & I'll never forget it for the rest of my life. I've got PTSD from the whole experience. Still, we must go on as hard as it is. My deepest condolences to you. One day at a time & always remember how blessed we are to have had the opportunity to have such a special kind of love in our lives. We learn so much from the experience about ourselves & the beauty of animals in general. Sending you a hug.
Thank you and you really hit the nail on the head.

Very sorry that you lost your 'child.'
It's the deepest grief my wife and I have ever experienced and it's going on 3 weeks now
 

junior98

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Oct 17, 2022
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Recently we lost our 36 year old cockatoo to heart disease. We first got her at 6 months of age when we were in our early-mid twenties.
When I bought our citron and slightly later Yellow Nape, we were told they have long lifespans which appealed to us. We looked forward to having them most of our lives that is till our little girl (T-Bird the cockatoo) had a short but painful death from heart failure.

I was talking to my older brother-in-law today about grief from losing her and he replied by saying that she is gone and all you have are memories and that she was just a pet like his recently put down cat. I disagreed by telling him the parrot owners view their companions differently then other shorter lived pets as we see them as life long companions.

What are your thoughts out there?

I would be devastated.. I've had my bird for a little over 25 years... Sorry for the loss.
 

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