Goodbye Tommy

Today was a difficult day. Due to a complaint by a local resident, we have been told we have to remove all of the cockerels from the site. As upsetting as this is, it is made worse by the fact that the complainant made no effort to speak to us directly. Instead they went online, complaining and encouraging others to join in. Many of the local residents have no problem with the cockerels, with several saying they like to hear them. It’s a rare sound of the countryside in an industrial town where the rumbling of traffic, screams of children, blaring music and stench of drugs are daily making far more of a disturbance than the birds. It really angers me that someone can behave in such a cowardly manner yet still get their own way.

I have been trying to find a home for Tommy for several weeks. Luckily, I came across Dusters Ark, a local animal rescue. Although Cat couldn’t take Tommy herself, she put out an appeal. Within minutes, a lovely lady offered to take him. Cat has done all the arrangements including organising a home visit to ensure Tommy is going to be cared for. Knowing that he has a home and that it would be sorted out before the deadline was a big relief.

Late this afternoon, I received a message from Cat who told me she was being interviewed on the radio tomorrow morning. Would we be able to drop Tommy to her tonight? Of course we said yes and as soon as my husband came home from work, we drove across to the allotment to get Tommy. When we arrived with the carrier, he was not impressed. He became steadily more unhappy as my husband caught him and shoved him into the carrier. It was our biggest carrier but rather on the small side for him. Tommy is such a massive bird!

For the car journey, I strapped the carrier down and placed a jumper over it. The theory was that it might help keep Tommy calm as we drove. Needless to say, Tommy did not stay calm. Loud thud and bangs came at regular intervals the entire journey. By the time we had finally found the right house, he was sulking at the back of the carrier and threw me a look of deepest loathing. I tried explaining that it wasn’t my fault but I seriously doubt that I managed to convince him of that. Cat let us in and showed us where Tommy would be living for the next week as he waits for his new home. It was a medium-sized hutch with an area for him to roam about during the day.

We left him to settle in and Cat took us to see her other rescue animals. I was incredibly taken with her pair of female turkeys. They were so tame and followed us around demanding cuddles! Aside from the adorable turkeys (yes, they are now on my animal wishlist!), she has Shetland ponies, donkeys, horses, sheep, pigs, chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs and guinea pigs. It was a wonderful oasis filled with animals – I was wildly jealous!

I asked to have some photos of Tommy when he’s settled in his new home, just so I can see he’s happy. To some it might seem silly to get upset about rehoming a bird, but Tommy was our first cockerel and very special. Quirky might be more accurate – his very camp crow and fear of the ladies are two examples which spring immediately to mind! All of Tommy’s girls will miss him. I will too…

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