Sunny Days Which Aren’t So Sunny…

Today is Girl’s Day (Hina Matsuri) here in Japan.  I was all set to write about some of the history of the festival and how people celebrate…

… and once again, life threw a curve ball.

One of my friend’s pets (a parakeet, to be exact) died today.

It would be a sad thing if she had called me up to tell me the news, but the fact of the matter is, I’m taking care of her pets for her.  And this is the third parakeet to pass.  😦

My friend and her husband are WAY up north in Hokkaido right now.  She’s originally from that area and both of her parents are in the hospital right now.  Before they left on the 9th of January, they asked if I could take care of their three cats and eight birds.  No problem!  (Had done that for them in the past when her husband was admitted into the hospital and she was having to be there with him most of the day and night.)

It was about a month ago, I guess.  One morning, I went into the room where the birds are and noticed that I couldn’t see the birds in one of the cages.  (The cages are all hanging from the ceiling.)  I stepped up on my step-ladder and looked inside… one bird (later found out it was the mother bird) was lying completely still and the other one (the child) was standing nearby, looking at her.  My heart sank and I took the cage down to take the one bird out.  I put my hand in and the other parakeet hopped into my hand… as I spoke to it, saying I was sorry about the loss of the other, the bird snuggled low in my hand, started shivering and became still.  It had died in my hand.

I sent my friend a text message right away and she called me back, saying not to worry… that the two birds had had health problems in the past.

That was tough enough and now this.  I know all things which have life must pass some day… I just wish my friends’ pets would stay alive at least while they’re at my house… 😦

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Cats and birds and a dog… oh, my!

I’m currently taking care of a mini-zoo… or that’s what it feels like most days!  🙂

I have three cats of my own.  Used to have five and now there are three.  Two of them understand only English… one understands my facial expressions.  (That one is deaf… has been from birth.)

Then there is one dog, Tostito.  He belongs to the ex’s sister’s family.  (Are you confused now? 🙂 )  She and her husband are missionaries and are currently Stateside.  I’m taking care of their beloved puppy dog while they’re there.

Then there’s the rest of the “zoo”.  A friend of mine is currently in Hokkaido to be with her parents who are both in the hospital.  She and her husband went up there at the beginning of last month and asked if I could take care of their pets… three cats and five birds.  (Well, there were originally seven birds and two of them died.  Talk about feeling TERRIBLE!!  Later found out that those two had been sick and it wasn’t my fault… still felt bad about it though.)

There are days when things get totally crazy taking care of all the animals.  Then I begin to think about my friend who’s with her parents.  I have it easy compared with her.  So, on this day (as on many other days), I count my blessings and think of all the ones who care and love me and am thankful… thankful for life, for love and for all the furry creatures in the house!  🙂