(San Antonio, Texas)
Growing up I always loved chickens and had around 60 of them, but no one ever compared to Waffles.
At 14, my mom only allowed for a certain amount of eggs to hatch, so I picked which ones to lay under the eager hen. I felt right about each of the eggs I picked, and who knew that one of them would end up being one of my best friends.
Waffles was beyond special, he was the sweetest boy from the beginning and I taught him several tricks as a chick, such as flying up on my arm and shoulder. He was an Ameraucana and Rhode Island mix, with vibrant red and orange feathers and a comb that fell over one of his eyes. He was absolutely beautiful.
He would love to come up and give hugs, was definitely a talker and absolutely loved his watermelon, spinach, and fruit punch gatorade! I went through a lot of difficult times in my teenage years and he absolutely helped me through it. It made it hard leaving him when I had to move away from him when I went to college, but in my 2nd year due to covid-19 my school was transferred online and I was able to come back home. Which I’m glad I did because I was able to be there for Waffles’ last few months.
While studying he would lay on my lap, it made me so happy. Soon however, he had some sort of respiratory infection. He couldn’t crow or bock and then started sneezing. The earliest appointment I could get was in a week but I was scared he wouldn’t make it. My gut told me to take him in as an emergency just in case, but my family convinced me I should wait till his appointment, that he would be fine.
I wish I listened to my gut. Just a day after I was recovering from cervical disc replacement surgery, I heard Waffles wheezing so hard he was falling over and over. I was scared he was going to break his neck but I couldn’t lean over due to the fact that this was the day after I had surgery and my body was stiff and I couldn’t bend down to get him, let alone pick him up.
I started screaming and crying for my boyfriend to come in the room and pick him up for me. When he did, he laid him in my arms as he took his final breaths. I was already in so much physical pain due to my neck surgery so him dying in my arms sent me over the edge.
I broke down and felt one of the worst pains I have felt in my entire life. My boy was gone, and all I could do was blame myself at the time, wishing I had listened to my gut and took him to the doctor when I wanted to.
I try not to blame myself, I know he was old for a rooster (6 years old) but I wish I could have given him more years because he deserved it.
I miss and love you Waffles so much, I will never find another rooster like you. I hope you are happy in heaven, scratching up bugs and getting all the watermelon you want.