Tuesday, January 29, 2008

An Ode to Hamilton

Two weeks after getting married, I decided our house was too quiet. Only being allowed to own fish or birds in our apartment, we decided to get a bird. We drove to Muncie, and picked a crazy, wild, and beautiful cockatiel. They thought he was probably close to a year old and he had been given to them by people who didn't want a wild bird. We proceeded to name him Hamilton (after a road sign I saw on the way home, but if you ask Ian, he was named after a reformer). Hamilton hated us for a while, but we forced him to love us by keeping him with us in a confined space where he had to be on us or touching us for about ½ an hour everyday. Then he realized we were pretty great, and so would only hiss if we were too overbearing or he was feeling grumpy. He was a very smart little bird. He figured out how to do all kinds of things in his cage, like build a bridge by getting his swing stuck in the bars of his cage, and wetting his food first so it would stick to his perch while he took bites. He was very polite and always chirped a ‘bless you’ when someone sneezed (though he did prefer Ian’s earth-shattering sneezes). He loved when we came home and would start calling for us as soon as he heard our feet on the stairs in the hallway. He even helped me clean the house fairly often by riding around on my shoulder and pooping on me. We loved having him but soon realized with our ever-busier schedules, he might need a friend to keep him company. About a year after we got Ham, we ended up with Harvey (affectionately known as Harvster).

The two of them were very entertaining and offered us all kinds of fun everyday. Sadly, it turned out we were leaving the country for Ian to go to school and could not take the birds with us. So, Aunt Melissa, Uncle Steve, their three boys, and their dog, were kind enough to take them for us for this year that we are in Scotland. (We also found out recently that he may have actually been Hamiltina.. Yes, though the vet told us he was a he, there has been some dispute, but he will always be a he to us.) Hamilton died about a week and a half ago from causes completely unrelated to his caretakers and we thought we should do a little tribute to the life of our first pet. He was an excellent pet and we will miss him.

Hamilton Montgomery Church


  1. Aww. Poor Hamilton. I'm sorry to hear that he died. How is Harvey taking it?

  2. All I've heard about Harvey is that he is being very affectionate. It's actually pretty typical that when a bird is by himself he will bond closely with his 'humans' as opposed to bonding with another bird, so he may end up being even more fun now that he's on his own. Hopefully he can handle living in a cage by himself. (this is Corrie too, even though it says I'm Ian)

  3. We are so lucky to have such cool friends like you! You guys always have the most interesting stories and tidbits that we continue to learn about you!