Penny the quail passed away suddenly, though not unexpectedly, on August 18, 2010. I was in PA with my family, when Kat of My Paws and Claws petsitting called with the sad news. She had died suddenly between 7:00 and 7:30 AM.
Penny had a rough July. She developed watery diarrhea and stopped eating. The vet found she was anemic, and I hand fed her for over three weeks, syringefuls of food mixed with meds. She was a sick little bird.
When she finally got back to her normal self, we’d go for walks. I’d carry her to a nice grassy spot. We’d sit outside, and she’d dust, eat grass, and do other quail stuff while I kept a close eye on her. We’d find ants on the sidewalk, and she had great fun chasing them, in a very ADD fashion. She’d see one ant and go running after it. Another ant would come from another direction, and she’d head off after that one!
In August we (Penny, the parakeets, and I) took a road trip to Michigan to see an old high school friend and her family. The girls enjoyed Penny.
Penny was a cheerful little bird, and I miss her early-morning progressive alarm clock noises and her energetic, cheerful, and sometimes goofy personality.
Life Lessons from Penny the Quail
Penny was patient and gracious with children. She was very easy to handle and never really put up much of a fuss about anything, unless it was getting more romaine lettuce. She ate her vegetables without complaining. In fact, the first time I gave her chopped veggies, she started scratching happily in them, and they went all over the floor! (She later cleaned them up!)
Penny was unapologetically quail. She was always herself, even though that meant being goofy and offbeat sometimes. She was always very clear about what she wanted: greens, dirt, ants, a little more time in the grass. She gave back in big ways: 16 eggs to make an omelette. And she was always willing to snuggle. There is much to be learned there.
Because Penny was a Japanese quail and because she greatly enjoyed hanging out under the ferns in the backyard of the folks who sold me her cage, I bought a Japanese fern for her grave at the Oak Park farmers market. The purchase was also fitting because the guy who sold me the fern keeps quail. A coincidence? I think not. She is buried under the fern in a lovely garden plot. She is greatly missed.