Speaking of pets, this is Chuck, the cardinal:
Let me blow up the important part:
I feel a little bad showing Chuck without his crest. He's bald in this photo, molting I suppose. He was much less demonstative without his head feathers but no less endearing to me.
I starting feeding him last Spring. We went through two litters together. His mate nestled their eggs while he searched for food. (She built her first nest in a white azalea bush right outside our window, weaving big white azalea blooms throughout. What a sight!) I called him Charlie. When he twerped, my husband would say, "Chuck's here." I was at Chuck's beck and call.
A hurricane passed through in August. The day after there wasn't a twerp or peep to be had. Where do birds go during storms? I feared for Chuck. Then in the windy, rainy birdless silence ... "twerp! twerp!" Chuck made it through the storm! I was deep-down joyful. I gave Chuck some organic walnuts (I usually gave him really old millet). I bet he thought he died and went to heaven.