So I called the guy in Houma, LA, to check on him after Rita.
He built the birds' cages. A Cajun he is, and a roofer who breeds Gouldian finches.
He is fine, as is his family. He sold the cage business, and no longer has his big birds. He had seventeen. He has grandchildren now that he likes to spend time with. He and his ten-year-old grandson go fishing every other weekend.
He didn't remember me. He told me he sold thousands of cages.
But he kept his African Grey, Zeke.
"Did you ever teach Zeke to say 'Don't worry, be happy'?"
"No, he still says 'Birds don't talk' when I bring it up."