Two years ago today I brought home a very skinny, very scared and very mistrustful pigeon who’d been through the SPCA as a welfare case. Loa was not in fantastic condition when she arrived to the flat, she was worryingly skinny and couldn’t fly because someone had cut most of her flight feathers to the coverts.
She was so scared of everything at first. She wanted nothing to do with humans and it took about a month before she’d lie down with any of us in the same room. I never expected her to become affectionate and my only real goal was to give her a safe place to recover and if she never settled into flat life she could go back to more traditional pigeonkeeping once she could fly.
And yet, here we are. Every morning she’s on my shoulder so we can have a morning preen and every night she sleeps on my chest while I study until it’s bedtime for both of us. If I take a nap she takes one with me (on my face), she is a fantastic companion and I couldn’t ask for more.
I’m astounded at how far she’s come in the last year. It feels like everything went so slowly and then suddenly, all at once. Loa wouldn’t even talk to me until I’d had her 6 months, it took her ten to even approach me on her own. Now, she’s constantly seeking out my attention, as I write this she is dozing on my shoulder waiting for me to start my studying in bed so she can spend at least an hour relaxing on my chest while I pet her. She talks, she makes choices, she goes where she wants to do what she wants and it’s amazing. I am constantly surprised by her resilience and adaptability.
Two years ago I never would have dreamed she’d do well coming to school with me for the whole day and last week she spent the day talking to me whenever I was in site and asking for scratches in a completely different environment.
Loa isn’t without quirks of course, any interactions are on her terms and we have rituals to follow, but I honestly never thought we’d be here.
Here’s to you Loa, one of the most incredible little birds I’ve ever met, the light of my life, hope we have many more to come 🙂