I can laugh about it now but this morning I was crying. I was on the net and then decided to go out for a smoke. Took cyp with me. Like I always do. We stood at the door and made our noises, and antics... When he decides to move to my other shoulder. Getting all caught in my hair. And started flapping and when I freed him, still flapping, he flew.
At first I was calm, I see him flap a few strokes and headed down into the horses paddock. Ok good... And then he went up. And gained speed. And he was gone.... I mean gone. I have never seen such an awesome sight. But I was shocked, then devastated. Oh my what just happened.. HE literally flew up into the air over the trees an acre away. Slash pines that stand 40 ft high. Cleared them without a problem. And that was it. I figured never to see him again. My whole experience with him just poof gone. Over. ...unbelievable. I hear these stories and I can't imagine it ever happening to me. I don't panick but I am so sure I am never going to see him again.
I get my thoughts in control. I figure he doesn't know how to fly. Has NEVER done it before. He can't land or manuever. So he is going to fly as far as his body can go and then stop. And be too scared to keep going. Nor is he going to come back. I live in the woods for christmas sake...He's going to fly in a straight line, and that's it.
So I get in my truck, after visualizing his route. And headed off in that direction. I went one street over (is aprox. 15 acres) and started ringing bells to see if I could go onto their property. Each is an acre or more of woodlands, horse acreage, homes, etc... Canals, and swampland. Wholy moly, if he kept going in the direction he was headed I was NEVER going to find him. I live two streets from the everglades. Literally. Corbett starts at the end of my street. And that's the end of the universe.
In my mind I couldn't figure out go home, saddle the horse? Or keep driving and knocking on doors. If I knock on doors what if he flew further into the woods. If I saddle up, I can only get a couple miles into it, before heading home. But neighbors are more forgiving when your on horseback. And I can get into the woods easier. Ok tomorrow I will start at dawn get the horse and do all the back roads, today I'll stick with my gut and do the front roads...
This went on for 5 hours. I went up and down all the streets. Stopping my car shutting it off, and whistling. And calling. And thinking I heard him. Or did I? And doubling back to take another look, and dealing with fences and dogs, and canals. Because of course if I thought I heard him it was on the other side of the canal. And I aint going thru it... Not with all the gator scares right now...so back in the car. Down the road. And up the other side....
At 6 I came home, was giving up. I called all my neighbors I knew, thinking they would help in the search. Nope, what? All this fuss for a bird? Its not like a hunting dog or something valuable... Ugh... So, I came home, got my thoughts together again, and made up flyers. And made up huge posters. 20x20 and mounted them and got stakes, Pulled fresh from the yard. And I'm thinking this is all a waste of time, he's gone. And its sinking in, HE'S GONE..
I lashed out at my neighbor, and yelled at her kid. I moved his cage outside, and put water and food, and all that.. Just waiting for evening because I know he will respond, and the woods will be silent. I couldn't tell you how many millions of birds I noticed thru the day. And I know it all goes silent at night. That is my last hope of finding him. I know I can get him to respond, and hear him for acres.
It's 7:15pm, I take the remaining daylight to put a few of the flyers in the mailboxes. I started to work only the area I saw him fly into. On the 1st street over and about 15 acres away from my house. We stop to put a flyer in the mailbox. I hear a faint but totally man made whistle... But slow. And I wonder... And I shut off the car and call. And I hear the whistle again. But faster. Ok I run to the property line and ring the bell. No answer. Hmmm. Can't go in. don't know how many dogs could be in there... So I walk back to the property line edge. Luck would have it the home next to it is still being built. I walk that line. And call. And a wolf whistle greets me. O man... I am looking and looking and all of a sudden there he is. On the fence sitting the property line. Just sitting there. He saw my car from the street. He whistled to me first. I heard it but thought no, it must be my imagination. NO he was poised in such a way to SEE the street, to know my truck. Brite red. And I'm sure he knows the sounds it makes. And he whistled to me first. And I heard it.
When I finally got to him, I got so excited but I was frozen, thinking if I moved is he going to take off again? Or be happy to see me. I walk to him, ask him to step up. And he obliges. I grab hold of his toenails for dear life and start walking the trek back thru rubble and mud to the car... He's biting my hands because I probably was cutting off his circulation I was holding him so tight.
I get in the car put up the windows, and then let him go, he jumps to my shoulder and starts to do his gimme kisses chatter, and starts kissing me. And talking. And matching my speech...acting like nothing ever happened.
I can't believe I found him. In the nth hour in total denial and desperation. Sticky and sweaty from searching all day long, lucky I didn't get shot for trespassing, or worse. I FOUND HIM.
Once in the car I didn't want to get out again. So I took off my shirt and toweled him. Great! Half naked and my neighbors are in the yard, I forgot I left them there in case he came home...
He is now in his cage, exhausted and now angry... interesting. He's mad at me. So be it. I will try again at 11 to see if he forgives me. He likes to watch tv with me late at night. And always steps up for that. But I figure he is sore, beat up. Doesn't look the worse for wear, but I'm sure mentally just totally whipped. He drank lots of orange juice and some water, went for his favs, but not as hungry as I thought.
I am still going a mile a minute. The jubilation I felt when I saw him. Its really a little miracle. My little pudge ball sitting on the fence. Like he hadn't a care in the world. He flew at least 20+acres away? Maybe more. Not sure if he did what I thought, which is fly in a straight line, till he tired and then drop, and stop. Or did he fly around all day. All I know is he was in a direct line from where I saw him go.
Calling the vet in the morning. We have a problem now, he's got a taste of flying. And will he resent me for clipping him? Or should I try recall training. I did realize when we stopped clipping that we would have to come to this juncture. But so soon? Its only been since february he had all those wing problems. And falling and dropping like a brick. This just hit me by surprise....When I saw him go, he was gone. I could have yelled my heart out he wasn't turning around. Nor did he stumble. He FLEW..
But I got my pudge ball back... Cool huh? And he is never leaving the house again without a clip or a carriage...
Wow this Is pretty long, but I had to get it out before the gravity of it all sinks in...