Household will miss little friend

Published 12:00 pm Monday, May 2, 2016

The Rebman household is all about peace, love and harmony.

Well, and some wine, knuckle bones and spray millet. And if you have a handicap or two you’ll fit in better.

Life for the past several years has consisted of a household of myself, two perfect three-legged rescue mutts and a parakeet named Hemingway.

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Emma, my eldest three-legged, rules the roost. She’s the independent, bull-in-a-china-cabinet, confident, pushy, kind and obedient backbone of the whole family. And she is patient and smart too. So when I brought home the parakeet that was addicted to seed and wouldn’t touch the healthier pellets and would rather starve and hunt through the whole house pecking anything that looked like seed…Emma was forgiving when he landed on her and pecked at her yellow lab legs.

It was Emma’s demeanor that gave Hemingway so much cage-free time and allowed him to be a free spirit, flying wherever he wanted and perching on picture frames on the wall. When Sally, the discarded hunting hound, arrived to the mix, Emma let Sally know Hemingway was not to be eaten. And Emma didn’t even have to say a word …she led by example.

Hemingway had an open-cage-door policy that allowed him to chill on top of his cage, throw toys across the living room, enjoy a plastic playground, squawk at the mailman even when the dogs were napping and much more. I think he sometimes thought he was a dog.

It was always up to me to ensure ceiling fans were off, his cage was shut when outside doors opened and that he couldn’t get near the kitchen while cooking was ongoing. Teflon cooking pans? No way. The bug man? I was his worst crazy OCD hippie, no-chemical nightmare.

I had to ensure his safety because of his quest for millet. Hemingway once drove me to tears because I couldn’t find him. In his pursuit for his crack (yes, he was without for a couple days because I was horribly busy at work), he wound up stuck under my bed.

Hemingway would never let me pet his head and he wouldn’t perch on my finger. And the whole saying “pretty bird” thing? Nah, he had better things to do.

He got to go on Sonic runs with the family and be a night owl. He went with the flow and was a noon to 4 a.m. bird for eight years while I was working nights. Midnight movie time? Heck yeah, he’d chirp right along.

Hemingway was a fun, extremely proud little bird and will be missed.

Who knew something that weighs so little could spark so much heartache and throw off the balance of a household?

Here’s hoping there’s an endless supply of spray millet or very patient yellow labs wherever my little buddy is now. His almost nine years with us wasn’t quite enough.

RIP, my little Hemi.

Stephanie Rebman is editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact her at