I don't even know where to start. My beloved Butterscotch passed away yesterday and I am moved to sadness whenever I think about it. Of our three "chicas' Butterscotch was by far the friendliest. She loved to be petted and she was always the first to run up and cluck, "hi" when we stepped into the backyard. Lone Chicken and Flicka are at a loss today without their fearless and humble leader. They are walking slowly around the yard clucking and chirping while cocking their heads waiting for her reply. It is such a pitiful and tear inducing sight.
Her passing has also shown me what an amazing family and group of friends I have. Silly, I know since really she was "just" a chicken. But if you had been in my kitchen when Josh came in after finding her permanently roosted in her nest box you would have seen what I saw on his face and known that he was the man for me. My son at nearly 14 years of age openly cried when I told him and spent the better part of the evening in his room saddened. When I asked him what it would take to keep him out in the living room with the rest of us he simply replied, "An alive Butterscotch."
As for the friends involved, just moments after Josh found her our dear neighbor arrived with beer in hand for a leisurely post work drink. When he entered and found us in our state of shock, he stayed and helped to make the removal of her body and the cleaning of her box more tenable for Josh while I left to go get our son from practice. He even stayed as we finished prepping dinner (ironically BBQ chicken caesar salad...of which I couldn't bring myself to eat) and kept the tone in the house light as Josh and I prepped ourselves to tell our daughter. His wife, one of my dearest friends, even messaged me from her vacation on the East Coast to check in on us and that says a lot because she is not an animal person at all--yet she accepts it of us and knew that it would be an emotional loss in our world.
The friend I called immediately shared her own remembrance of her first lost chicken and talked me through the stages of "I should've could've" that came washing over me in guilt as I wracked my brain for what could've taken our sweet 1.5 year old Butterscotch from us.
Then there is our dear chicken/dog/cat sitter and family like neighbor whom cried with me on the phone when I told her about it. I dreaded telling her the most because if there is anyone that feels as close to our animals as us, it is her family.
Ah, sweet Butterscotch, I hope it was quick, painless and peaceful. You died in your cozy bed atop your last eggs. There will never be another you--our first, boldest, most social lady! We miss you terribly.