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Julia

"Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!"  -- Theophile Gautier   


                              




Julia's Story 

Julia is my Congo African Grey parrot whose life began a long time ago somewhere in Africa. Born to a parrot mom and dad to be free in the wild, life was looking good for Julia, but around the time when she was ready to fly out from the nest and start a life on her own in the beautiful African wilderness, the unimaginable happened. She was grabbed from the nest, squeezed into a crate with hundreds of other parrots and waited to be shipped somewhere to the world, so she can be sold for a few dollars. Through this horrible ordeal many of her friends died and it is a miracle that any of them could survive the horrors they have been through. 

Being in the wrong place at the wrong time changed her life forever! 



 


Finally one day the long and painful journey across the ocean ended and Julia arrived to the land of the free, but she was behind bars, as a prisoner of greed. She was deprived from her freedom forever. I can’t even imagine what went on in her mind! 

As far as I could trace back her story, I knew one day she was bought by a man who wanted to breed African Grey parrots, but he did not know much about breeding and perhaps did not care enough about parrots, since he put her together with another female grey and waited for the baby parrots to be born, which of course never happened. Then the man died and his wife couldn’t stand these birds and didn’t know what to do with them, so she temporarily placed them down in the basement. It was dark there and the parrots didn’t even have a cage, they were living in a nesting box for who knows how many years until a rescue group finally saved them. 

At that time neither Julia nor I had any idea that our paths will cross one day which will change both of our lives forever. 

One beautiful August day I thought I would take my little dog, Rumci, the Papillon, to the park for a dog rescue event, where he can meet with other dogs and have a good time sniffing around and 'reading' the messages what those dogs left behind. 


As we were walking around I stumbled into a woman who was holding a beautiful Macaw parrot. She was with a parrot rescue group passing out information and telling me all about the situation of captive parrots. That was the first time when I heard about what is going on in the world of captive parrots, the crisis which desperately needs our attention. 

Since I always wanted to have a parrot, an African Grey one, for the same reasons which so many other people want this particular species, their intelligent and exceptional talking abilities, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to sign up to become a volunteer, possibly foster and eventually adopt a parrot through this rescue group. 

To be honest, when I went home that day, I got a little scared and was thinking that I might just have acted a bit impulsively. I didn’t know anything about parrots and their care, and my life was well rounded and it might not be a good idea to disturb this wonderful comfort I was in. Then I said to myself they probably won’t call me anyway. But a couple of weeks later I got a phone call. It was a kind of emergency call from the director of this parrot rescue organization, who asked me if I could quarantine two African Grey parrots in my home. 

African Greys?! 

Well, it did not take long to make up my mind. I said yes and that was the day when my fate was sealed! 

On a fall afternoon Julia and Jane arrived at my house. When I first looked into Julia’s eyes I knew we had an instant connection and I knew she will stay with me forever, but what happened after that may sound bizarre, but not for someone whose work involves metaphysics, such as I. 




Both parrots were sick and for a few weeks we did not even know if they will make it or not. But the medication worked and after couple of weeks both parrots got a clear health check and they were ready for adoption. 

Julia stayed with me and Jane went to another foster home. But things did not go smooth. She was a wild caught parrot who has not been handled much and here I was with no experience handling parrots. When I put my hand there for her to step up, she always lunged at me and gave me warning bites. Eventually I became more and more uncomfortable with her, and of course she sensed my fear also and wasn’t comfortable either. But this was something which I knew I could work on with her. 

My biggest concern was my little dog, who started shivering, hiding and urinating all over in the house when Julia whistled. Her whistle was an unusually high pitched sound. 

I tried everything to help my dog, but nothing worked, so I had no other choice, but to give up Julia. 

Then a few months passed by and one day I noticed a lump on my dog’s behind. I got scared, he was everything to me, I rushed with him to our veterinary, who after the examination, told me that he needs an operation to remove this growth. The next day he underwent surgery, but then things did not look good, he was experiencing renal failure. I took him home and as a reiki healer desperately tried to help him; I wanted him to recover so badly. But when a couple of days later wasn’t any sign for recovery, I called my vet to ask him what else we can do to help save his life. I took him back to the clinic and they put him on I.V., hoping for the best that his kidney will start working again. 

When I left him in the hospital and went home alone, my heart was broken; I knew deep down that he doesn’t have much time left. 

That afternoon I decided that I’m going to bring him home, since there is nothing more my doctor can do for him. As me and my son were driving to the veterinary hospital we had to stop at a red light. While we were waiting for green, a car passed by us and in it an African Grey parrot was sitting on the driver’s shoulder. We looked at each other in disbelief, can this be true or are our minds playing tricks on us. The African Grey was there, it was real, we both saw it. That moment I knew that this was a sign, a message from my little dog, Rumci who was dying. I looked at the clock, which showed 5:30 PM. When we arrived at veterinary clinic, I could see on everybody’s face that something was terribly wrong. My dog passed away. 

I asked my veterinary if he remembered the time when Rumci died, he said it was around 5:30 PM. The message from his passing spirit was clear then, I have to get Julia back. But his untimely death broke my heart and for a while I just wanted to be alone with his memory. 





A couple of months later that parrot rescue organization had an adoption fair and I went. Julia was there sitting on a perch and when our eyes met we both knew that we were meant to be together. I went to her and put my hand there for her and she stepped on without any hesitation. 

I took her home that evening, and since then, 6 years, Julia and I are inseparable. For a while she was barking as my little dog did, but then the barks slowly disappeared and what remained is her trade mark high pitched whistle…and one day she said a word! 
I was outside with her, where at first she was curious and enjoyed looking around, but eventually I noticed she became more and more uncomfortable, to the point where she finally looked at me and said a word! -‘home’. I wanted to be sure that I'm not imagining so I asked her - you want to go home Julia and she said again ‘home’. We went inside and she shook her tail feathers and smiled. 

Julia is my beautiful, intelligent and very sweet African Grey parrot, whose vocabulary still contains no more than this one word. 

She calls our house in the middle of America a ‘home’ and that still brings tears to my eyes.