the end of the road

midori's glamor headshot

midori in macro

[10 September, 2012]

A bit of a segue: I’ve avoided writing about a situation that was present during the road trip. My lovely lorikeet, Midori, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma earlier in the year. She survived dangerous surgery performed by my awesome vet in Austin in late May to remove a throat tumor that threatened her breathing and ability to eat. All appeared well for a couple of months, but in July a new bump began to form, this time in an inoperable location in her jaw.

The tumor appeared to be growing back so slowly that it wouldn’t be a concern for many months, so we went forward with the plan that my parents would take care of her while we were gone. But at the end of our visit to California, her condition took a sudden turn for the worse as the tumor began growing back inside her mouth, so fast that there was a visible difference from one day to the next. By the time we were in Oregon she was having difficulty biting into solid food.

At that point I made the tough decision to euthanize her when we reached Washington. She only had a couple weeks left at most and I wanted to be there for her when it was time for her to pass. So, we took a day off from trip preparation to give her the most awesome day we knew how to, and then the next morning took her to a gracious vet in the area. Midori pulled a fast one on me in the car and I ended up having to chase her under the seat to get her back into her cage, which was just like her.

At first the vet seemed ready to make sure I wasn’t rushing into anything but when she took one look at Midori’s tumor she saw the severity of her condition. I chose to hold Midori while she was injected, and tried to make her as comfortable as possible while Heather and I whistled goodnight to her.

This was certainly not how I envisioned our road trip ending, but I am also grateful that I was able to be there for her through to the end. She was with me for all but the first few weeks of her fourteen years. I still miss her companionship every day. Over the last couple of months that has mostly shifted from deep sadness to fond remembrance. I still think of her frequently, especially when I see little birds.

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