A friend asked us about possibly taking their pet canary as Grandma, who was allergic to feathers and had an intense dislike for birds, was coming to live with them. There was just one small catch, the bird didn’t sing! You would be mistaken to think that this would make any difference to Sylvia and before long I was putting a large hook in the kitchen ceiling to accommodate a bird cage.
The canary was dubbed “Squeaky” because his chirp sounded more like the squeak of a small rodent than a bird. The cats, Misty & Patches, loved to watch him flit about his cage and would perch themselves precariously on the back of a kitchen chair to get as close as possible. About a month after his arrival, Sylvia turned off the vacuum cleaner to hear a faint little trill coming from the kitchen. She went to investigate and, you guessed it, Squeaky was singing! Underneath the cage the cats were going crazy trying to figure out where this strange new sound was coming from. Our dog, Blackie, thought this was a new game and was jumping about and adding his voice to the excitement. Before long Squeaky was trying to out-sing the vacuum or dishwasher. He would also break into song whenever he heard the birds outside the kitchen window. He developed quite a repertoire of songs, but two were especially pretty. Callers on the phone often commented about hearing him in the background. Once, when calling Sears to place an order, the lady on the line actually asked if she could listen for a while before she hung up. We often wondered why he refused to sing for his original owners. We came to the conclusion that it must have been the environment. His cage was in the middle of their kitchen table and moved whenever it was mealtime. His cage was also easily accessible to curious little children and their fingers. In our home he felt secure and rewarded us by singing his little heart out which he did until he passed over to the Rainbow Bridge
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