It was known for three months, but it's still always hard. Back in early November 2009 a vet gave Pinto a "death sentence" for an inoperable tumor and told me to put her down. I refused and took Pinto home instead.
Pinto has been active, happy, flying around, singing, laughing, and enjoying life since then. But last night (Sat) we got home from my birthday dinner with my parents about midnight. Pinto was sitting at the bottom of her cage, looking worn down. It was a fairly quick transformation from her being happy and content yesterday morning. I knew the end was coming.
Even though I was exhausted, I took Pinto gently out of the cage and brought her into the living room. I leaned back on the futon against a pile of blankets so she could lay on my chest and nuzzle there. I put some fresh lettuce and millet near her head. Every ten minutes or so she'd wake up and take a bite of something, but mostly she nuzzled against my hand and rested. Her breathing was getting more and more slow.
Bob took a turn too. Pinto was always "his bird", she would let him nuzzle her head and would go to him much more readily than to me. Bob was really exhausted, though, and fell asleep.
Pinto passed away in her sleep about 10am. She had a long, happy life, and compared with how Santo passed away a few months ago (in a doctor's office, being put under for xrays by strangers) or how Hammy passed away last week (in serious pain from a blood clot in his hip) I am very grateful that Pinto had such a peaceful ending.