Some people regard their pets like family members.
Indeed, sometimes the only thing which can help people get through their day is coming home to a loving dog, cat bird or the like, which they love equally in return
But not everyone is cut out, or has it in them, to take care of pets.
Some people can’t have pets because of allergies, while others might simply have lives which make giving a pet all the necessary care and attention they need difficult, if not impossible.
Redditor msewthrowaway was one of those people, and thought they found a good solution when they were unexpectedly tasked with caring for a pet.
But after their solution was met with blowback from family members, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for giving away dad’s scarlet macaw?”
The OP first shared the rather sad circumstances which found them responsible for a pet.
“My dad passed away suddenly from a heart attack last year and left no instructions on who should take care of his scarlet macaw, Rainbow.”
“She’s approximately 20 and he’s had her for nearly a decade.”
“She was a rehoming situation from his friend who gave her up.”
While wanting to respect their father’s memory, the OP revealed that they were in no way prepared or capable to give Rainbow the attention and care she needed.
“I have no idea how to take care of a parrot nor am I in a stage of my life to take care of her.”
“I live in a rented apartment and work all day, and all the research I did online makes it seem they are a lot of work and requires more space than I have.”
“I’ve asked my extended family to take her but no one wants her, especially since she’s likely to live another 30-40 years.”
“Rainbow been living with my aunt, since my landlord won’t let me take her even temporarily, who isn’t happy with the arrangement and wants me take her.”
“I also contacted the friend who originally had her but he wouldn’t take her either.”
The OP thought they found the perfect solution as to where Rainbow should end up, but their aunt disagreed.
“I told my aunt I was going to re-home her and she wasn’t happening, saying since she was my dad’s pet it’s my responsibility to take her.”
“I made it clear I couldn’t and invited her to take her permanently ,but she doesn’t have the space or energy to take Rainbow either.”
“I called a bunch of bird rescues and one was willing to work with me to help locate someone to re-home her.”
“It took a few months but we found someone with an African grey already who was willing to take her.”
“I bought her over and she had an enclosure ready.”
“The lady told me to come back and check on her so I felt secure in leaving her with her.”
“I said I would and hoped she would be happy there.”
“One thing did worry me was the lady was probably in her 40-50s and I hope she wouldn’t die suddenly and leave Rainbow to need rehoming again.”
“I hope I made the right choice but my aunt has been texting me to take Rainbow back saying I should keep her as a momental to my dad.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they felt the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community wholeheartedly agreed that the OP was definitely not the a**hole for choosing to give away their fathers macaw.
Many pointed out that the OP’s aunt was in no position to tell them what to do with the bird, particularly as she couldn’t care for it either.
“She wants him as a memory of your dad but wants you to take care of it.”
“NTA and your aunt sucks for trying to foist this responsibility and guilt on you.”
“If she wants to keep the bird as a memento of your dad, she’s welcome to do so but she doesn’t get to have her cake and eat it too.”
“I’m sorry about your dad.”- yourlittlebirdie.
“Unless aunt is able to care for it she should jolly well shut it and mind her damn business.”
“Hypocrisy at its finest, okay for her to not be able to care for it but not okay for you.”- denasher.
Others agreed that it was very big of the OP to acknowledge that they couldn’t give Rainbow the care she needed, and commended them for finding her a good home.
“I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.”
“Now let’s pretend for a second that Rainbow was a pony instead of a bird.”
“Would we still be having this conversation?”
“Unless you inherited your father’s home and the space to take care of Rainbow, I don’t see how you had any choice.”
“Your aunt can keep the bird as a monument to your father if it means that much to her.”-DisneyBuckeye.
“It’s not like you just set it free in the park.”
“You did your research and found a good home for the bird.”
“Good job! It sounds like an absolutely perfect solution.”
“I lost my dad suddenly several years ago and I am still dealing with his many, many possessions.”
“The pressure to deal with things well is so exhausting, and I wish now that I had been able to have more time to grieve before having to deal with all this stuff I never wanted.”
“I’m so sorry for the loss of your father.”
“And I want you to know that you are free to deal with his possessions however you want to.”
“Keep the things that actually give you happy memories, and that you have room for and like.”
“Don’t keep anything you’re only keeping out of guilt.”
“Just my two cents.”-oaktreegardener.
“NTA and if your dad cared for his pet I bet he would be happy to know Rainbow is going to be cared for by a bird lover with the time and energy to take care of her properly and give her the best life possible.”- balormadalor.
“You don’t have the means or desire to take in this incredibly complicated to care for animal.”
“You offered Rainbow to family, and they said they couldn’t do it, either.”
“Sure, you could keep ahold of the bird in your dads memory, but what if she begins stress preening her feathers? “
“Stripping herself naked from stress?”
“Suddenly you have a bird that is potentially thousands in vet bills who is now permanently naked, all because your family forced the bird to stay with you.”
“Tell your family that if they want to take photos with her before she goes, then they are free to do so.”
“Ask the new home if they can send updates to you for a while, just to ease your mind and your families.”
“But don’t keep the bird if you don’t want her.”- RatAndDogRhyme.
“NTA You did right by your father by making sure his beloved pet will be well taken care of.”
“Parrots are work, they need care and a lot of attention to be happy and to stay healthy.”
“So sorry for your loss and sorry your aunt is making things worse.”- VioletSkyeDreams.
“My deepest condolences for your loss.”
“I recently lost my dad too, and I can relate to how difficult it is to deal with these affairs. Especially when other family members are being difficult.”
“Death sometimes brings out the worst in people.”
“Hopefully with time, your aunt will gain some perspective and realize you are doing what’s best.”
“You did everything in your power to do what was best for the bird.”
“Maybe you can express your concerns to the birds new owner.”
“Ask her what her plans are for her bird(s) if she were to pass away. It’s a legitimate thing to be concerned about when rehoming a pet.”
“In my experience with pet rescues, they have protocols in place for displaced animals to help them be re-homed again, if for any reason the adopter can no longer take care of them.”
“So you could also ask the rescue that helped you if they have something like this in place.”-rellyy_fishh.
Though a handful of Redditors did sympathize with the OP’s aunt, thinking that maybe she saw keeping Rainbow with a family member was a way of holding on to the OP’s father.
“The best way you can honor your dad’s love for that bird is to get it a safe and fulfilling environment.”
“That’s exactly what you did! “
“You did your research and the best you could, it sounds like.”
“An important part of pet ownership is knowing your own limits of care, if you can’t give that to a pet, you shouldn’t keep it.”
“I think you did exactly right.’
“Maybe tell your Aunt that you can visit and get updates, that might help.”
“She’s probably coming at this from a place of grief.”
It is rather sad that the OP’s aunt doesn’t seem to notice that they were taking their father’s wishes into account by giving Rainbow the best possible home she could have.
Here’s hoping that she comes to realize this as she and the OP continue to grasp a handle on their grief.