You Are Sick With No Caique Caregiver – Now What?

You Are Sick With No Caique Caregiver – Now What?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Hi Mitch! 


I hope that you, Catherine and the birdies are all well.  I just found out that I need to have kidney stone surgery (August 4th) that in the past it has always been ambulatory (one day), but this time it might turn into a 2 and possibly 3 night stay if it turns into invasive surgery and if I encounter any complications (fever, chills, infection, etc.).  I live alone and am not sure how I will manage afterward.  

I will not be able to lift or bend for weeks (stitches) if it is invasive and even if it isn’t with having a stent in me, it will be extremely difficult. 


‘Seymour likes to bring her food to the edge of the kitchen counter and it’s all over the floor (as I am sure you know). ” 


If I step on it, it goes onto my carpet, etc. and I track it all over.  I tried putting her in my sizable kitchen sink to eat from her bowl (a cereal bowl which she perches on top of), but she wants OUT so back to the countertop she goes. 


 I figure if she is hungry enough she might eat which she actually cooperated for one day in the beginning, but by the second day, she pretty much let me know she wasn’t keen on being in the sink.  Her little head was peering up at me from the bottom of the sink. So, I have to always bend to pick everything up of else I am crunching with her seeds wedged into my socks and bare feet…ugh.


I am asking a neighbor to watch Seymour during my hospital stay.  Her cage is pretty heavy and I have no idea how I could fit into my neighbor’s car.  


He also is very fussy about his car so I don’t think he would be all too happy to have to transport her birdcage.  Do you think she would be able to manage with only her travel carrier and sleep outside of her cage or use the carrier’s handle as a perch?  


Unfortunately, desperate times call for desperate measures.  Also, can she be caged in her carrier for a few hours? It will be the weekend so this guy won’t be working, but I don’t know if he runs a lot of errands over the weekend. 


 If he leaves he needs to keep her caged although she is very good about remaining in one spot.  He can leave her out on his kitchen sink which I do for an hour or four (as well as ALL day) and she stays put.  Usually, where I left her (usually sitting in the faucet) is where I find her when I get back home as she is very comfortable on the sink.  It is her play area.  

While I am home, she stays put and is content on the kitchen counter (with her toys) all day for hours.


I am afraid if I mention the cage and the hassle of transporting it, he may not want to help me out.  He is also charging me a nominal fee dependent on how much effort he has to put forth so we will need to negotiate.  


It is a tough dilemma.  I don’t know him well enough to ask such a huge undertaking.  As it is, he’s owned one or two parakeets in the past which he kept caged.  Keep in mind. This may all be a moot point if I get released the same day, but I need to have Plan B in place.


Please share your thoughts with me, Mitch.





Sorry to hear of your situation Susan


Have you checked with 


  • avian vets that board
  • bird sitters in the area
  • local rescues that board


Hi Mitch,


A vet will keep her in the cage all day and not play with her.  I called and asked. She would be so unhappy if she can’t get out of the cage.  I am going to put trust in this neighbor of mine to take care of Seymour. He will play with her and give her attention when he is home. 


I will call and speak to her on speakerphone so she won’t think that I abandoned her.  I am sure it will be OK. It is much better than boarding her. Do you think she will be OK in her travel carrier for 1-2 days and perhaps sleep outside of the carrier?  


I am trying to avoid the hassle of him having to transport her cage.   It is not for certain that I will incur a hospital stay. The doctor just told me to make preparations just in case.  There is a 50/50 chance.





She will be fine Susan – Mommy can’t always be there but Seymour knows mommy will be back for her soon. 


It’s more important for your recovery to incur less stress. Focus on your own health and everything will fall into place. The universe want the two of you to be fine, and that you will.


Yes, thank you so much for your encouraging words.  I feel much better now. It’s funny…my sister and I are very different and Seymour hears her bickering with me on the phone as my sister is extremely excitable.  My voice then escalates and you should see how Seymour becomes very vocal as if to say “Knock it off!” She is too cute (not my sister at that particular point in time)…LOL


You’re absolutely right, Mitch.  I need to focus on my health. I now have to get cardiologist approval prior to any surgery ever since I collapsed last July when I lost my job.  The finding was severe anxiety and dehydration on a 98-degree day. I have no AC because my landlord ( the first out of the previous 3) refuses to fix the freon leak in my Central AC unit so water leaks all over in my clothes closet… a stupid place for an AC unit to be installed.


I honestly have too much going on right now.  My landlord NEVER fixed the damage from the flood to my apt and it’s been 16 MONTHS since the flood.  I left all my stuff in the center of my living room as it was when the guys he had come in to work on the soaking wet carpet just grabbed my stuff in their arms and threw it there.  I lost a lot due to water damage. He wants pics of my apt, he says, for a new insurance company, but I think he’s lying. I do not trust him.  


He had me take pics focusing on my windows, the bathroom and showing that I have a smoke detector installed.  He said that he has to show that the windows are level (and that there is no structural damage)??? I sent him several pics and now he said he rather needs “entire room” pics.  I did them and left the floor (where all the stuff is) out of the pics.  


He had the tenant above take apt pics too.  Jose (tenant) said he has been getting strange calls on his cell (for the last two months) from people wanting to speak to the landlord in reference to selling the building so you can imagine all that I have on my mind right now.  Jose is a nice guy, married with three kids…one about 3 years old. He took very professional pics of his larger (2 bedroom apt) like you see online advertising an apt for sale and I can’t match them. He hosts parties upstairs just about every weekend and they dance on the wood floor if you can imagine what that sounds like all night (playing Mexican music).  He hardly has any furniture up there and wide open space. I, on the other hand, have accumulated A LOT of stuff in the 29+ years that I have lived here and inherited ALL of my deceased fiance’s Dean Martin memorabilia…framed pics, CD’s, DVD’s, etc.) which was A LOT of stuff. He had them in storage when we moved into this apt together and gave me it all when he was dying from liver cancer.  I could not afford to keep them in storage. We were both HUGE DM fans and that’s how we met.  


Therefore, I am living in an apt that is cluttered.  (I need a bigger place, but cannot afford one.) These brand new pics I took yesterday exclude the floor where everything was tossed.  I e-mailed that I did my very best but am afraid he is going to badger me for better pics. I would have to move all that stuff off the floor, relocate it, take the pic and put it all back.  I cannot risk going against 2 doctor’s orders. He doesn’t know about my job loss (or he would really jack my rent and force me to move) and I cannot afford to have someone come in to do this.  He needs to back off. He LIED about it being for insurance purposes.


The landlord NEVER fixed the hallway lighting in 5 years that an electrician needed to be called in.  I pay less rent than what I am hearing in my neighborhood for a one bedroom apt so I did not want to report him and create waves.  He would have kicked me out. Living in this apt was what I could afford and be able to sock some away for retirement. Long story short…I put up with a lot of crap. 


About a year and a half ago, I fell down several steps early one morning when I missed a step as it was difficult to see them even with a flashlight.  I messed up my back and could have sued, but again…apts are going for $1500+/month here for a one-bedroom. I know I will NEVER find decent rent again.  I also have a washing machine which is unheard of around here so I did not want to lose that.  


Only homeowners have one.  By the time you add my utilities, cable, etc. I pay close to that rent and it was tough to pay more on a private school teacher’s salary.  I had back x-rays taken and that was when it was discovered I had 5 golf ball-sized kidney stones all in my right kidney that was blocking off my urine flow causing left leg edema.  God does work in mysterious ways. The light is now repaired because 2 months ago Jose’s son fell on the stairs.


So now, I have a really bad lower back and if I make even the slightest wrong move my back goes out.  I have a double whammy in that kidney stones (upper region) contribute to back pain. This is also why I didn’t lift all that stuff thrown about to relocate it long before now.  Two weeks ago, the pain was very severe and between seeing a neurologist and a new urologist, I was told ABSOLUTELY NO LIFTING. My kidney stones are contributing to a significant degree of pain and that’s why I need the surgery.


My primary concern has always been to be able to take care of Seymour.  I can’t do that if my back goes out. It’s not easy when you live alone.


Last night, my niece informed me that my brother-in-law (age 54) who was married to my younger sister who died 2 years ago from lung cancer was moved to Hospice.  He has Stage 4 prostate cancer and fell several times over the weekend.  


What do I do???  I don’t have the $$$ to pay air fare to NE.  I am on zero income and am struggling to meet my rent each month.  His kids have no support and I am their Godmother. I have 4 doctor appts next week (pre-surgery) and I can’t get another surgery appt with this urologist until late-October.  I will lose my kidney by that time.


Way too much pressure, Mitch.  Please keep me and Seymour in your prayers.  Thanks.


Be well,



Please post this for Susan who is going in for surgery:

Hi Susan,

Seymour’s safety is more important than having her regular routine while you are away. Send her in a travel cage or carrier if she can reasonably move around.

Since your neighbor isn’t used to having a bird lose, let him keep her in the cage so she isn’t accidentally hurt.

Birds are flock animals and will adapt to him as her current flock.

Ask him if she can be moved next to him during his routine and to eat together.

Ask him to talk to her frequently and hand feed her some treats.

Give him a backup plan, such as the vet’s to board her should a situation arise.

She will sorely miss you but a vet’s office won’t give her much attention or let her out, so he will surely do better in his home.

Good luck.

You will be back home together soon.

Suzanne Pritchard 

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