251. Hector’s cockatiels
© Bruce Goodman 18 June 2014

When Hector decided to move house, the big question was, should he take his eleven pet cockatiels with him? There was no aviary to put them in once he arrived. So where would they go until he managed to build one?

He had bred cockatiels all his life. These were the descendants of descendants of descendants of the original couple. They were old friends. He couldn’t abandon them to some cheap pet shop owner to have them parcelled out to people as a passing fad.

He decided to take them with him; roughly three birds to a cat transport-cage. That meant four cat cages on the back seat of his 1999 Subaru Legacy. The rest of his furniture would arrive a few days later by professional carriers.

Five hours into the journey, his car broke down. He called the Automobile Association. Yes, the car would be towed to the nearest town and it would take four days to fix it. No, they wouldn’t tow the car with pets in it. No, a taxi would not transport them. A motel would not accept him to stay with eleven screeching cockatiels.

The car was towed. Hector was left standing on the side of the road with packets of bird seed and eleven cat-caged cockatiels. He built a “nest” for himself beneath a road bridge. He, and the birds, lived on water and bird seed for four days.

After that, he hitched a ride to town, picked up his mended car, drove back to the make-do nest under the bridge and gathered the birds. They went on their merry way. All twelve.

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