James first met The Bird after she completed filming of the epic, PeeWee's Big Adventure, in which she had a pivotal and demanding role in the famous Pet Shop Scene. Exhausted and drained by the difficult work she'd just completed, she fluttered her way into a neighbor's yard on Chandler Street. She remained silent on the subject of her difficulties, but it was clear she'd had her fill of Hollywood and its attendant lifestyle. James offered her the comfort of a new home, and she gratefully accepted.
James and The Bird lived happily and peacefully together on Chandler for several years, then moved to Thousand Oaks, where they shared many, many more creative and satisfying adventures.
The Bird always had a peculiar palate. Among her favorite gourmet treats were cheese and cooked oatmeal. She became a real fiend for these items, often forcing herself onto the plates and bowls of unsuspecting diners. Too shocked to resist, they would sit back in amazement while The Bird scarfed up their cheese or oatmeal. The grating of cheese (actually, any activity involving cheese) would often elicit a most unladylike fluttering and carrying on by The Bird. So violent would these outburst sometimes become that the humans felt compelled to release The Bird so she could feast on fresh cheese.
I was fortunate to get to know the bird when we became housemates. It was a calm and undemanding relationship. We got along so well because The Bird, like any good feline, was a creature of habit. In the morning, while I had my morning snooze, she would spend time with the humans, eating oatmeal and wandering around the front of the house. After pecking around on the kitchen floor for awhile, she would usually find a roost. This was often in the top of James' antique clock, but a good head of hair was also a favored spot. After a good nap, she would fly back into her cage, where she quietly spent the rest of the day.
The Bird has now flown off to bluer skies. We all miss her very, very much, but she lives on in our memories. Outside the window where she spent her last days, there are now flocks of birds of all sorts who come to eat at the feeders and splash in thebirdbath that have been placed there in her honor. Among them are a family of brown doves, gentle reminders of a gentle soul.