He does. He owns me. As soon as he hears me stir in the morning, no matter how quiet I am, he starts calling for me. He wants attention, fresh food, a cuddle. He does not like me to focus on anyone but him. It’s always about him.
It wears me down. He thinks I’m his. He becomes noisy when I’m on the phone, distracting. When I get visitors, he may go to them, but it’s always on his terms. And if you move too fast, or think he’s your friend, it will be clear in a matter of seconds, he’s not.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I will stop the suspense. It is not a man or boy. It is not a person. It is a bird. A small parrot that I adopted from the Animal Rescue League. He was quite young when I got him and he used to sing beautifully.
I taught him to say “pretty bird” and do a wolf whistle. When he’s in the mood, and it’s always contingent upon him, he might utter the words, “Wolf Whistle,” before doing one. He charmed me. Okay, he still does.
He’s a white-faced Cockatiel. Most, if not all of this breed, have yellow and orange cheeks. Not this one. It was bred out of him. It pisses me off when breeders do this. They breed in recessive genes. They often eliminate the important dominant ones that fuel the immune system and fight disease, in order to get the right coloring and characteristics. It’s tweaking and fine tuning a living thing.
He is chronically ill. After spending several thousand dollars taking him to 2 aviary specialists, a unique field of its own, he was diagnosed with one of 2 things, neither of which is good.
According to the vets, if he had PDD, he would be dead by now, but they don’t know how good I am at keeping animals alive beyond all odds. If he has Macrohabdus, he will be on and off medicine and chronically ill his whole life. So far that’s been true.
He’s needy. It has and can drive me crazy. He has to be with me at all times, except bedtime. Then he goes into his cage and when I cover him, he becomes quiet. Thank God. I have a few hours of peace before I retire.
He is either on my shoulder, at my feet, or foraging next to me. If I get up to leave the room, he follows me. I’ve stopped clipping his wings so now he flies after me. He will find me anywhere in the house if I could ever get that far.
Most people are not aware of how intelligent birds are. I am an animal lover. I’ve had dogs, cats, hamsters, a rabbit, an Iguana, red belly newts and of course fish. I was big on Guppies as a kid, because I liked to watch the pregnant female bellies get dark and then give birth to the tiny fish who came out swimming.
The vet told me birds are smarter than dogs and cats. He has the IQ of a 2-year-old. Can you imagine ? At least a human 2-year-old keeps growing,. But my bird never grows up. Imagine being with a 2-year-old constantly ? I bet you can’t. I couldn’t either.
I have no idea what happened to him or how he got loose and ended up at an animal shelter for adoption. He was very young at the time. He wasn’t my first bird and I know this breed well. In fact, I know birds well. I have an intuitive connection to them. A very close friend of mine calls me the bird whisperer.
I initially went in looking for a dog. I wanted a small one because I lived in the city. I found one. There was a big problem. She hated men. So, I had to say no. Sometimes you don’t know the story behind the animal, but you can only imagine. People that mistreat or abuse animals, (or a defenseless living being) have a special place in hell waiting just for them.
When I first saw Lexey, (his name) and asked if I could hold him or have some time with him out of the main area, she put me and the cage, with him inside it of course, in this floor to ceiling wired pen a little bigger than a closet. It was in the area of the other animals. He just couldn’t escape or get injured. I slowly put my hand in the cage near his perch and said step, with one finger out.
He effortlessly jumped on to my finger. I took him out of the cage and close to me. The bird had been hand raised. He was used to being touched and felt no threat at all. That was apparent. I fell in love. He was so sweet. Aren’t they all at the beginning ? He really charmed me.
At times I wonder if I’ll be able to deal with 15 years (their life expectancy) of him and his demanding personality, but then, the other day, I was sick and fell asleep on the sofa. When I woke, it was dark. My immediate reaction was, where is he ? And there he was, quiet as could be, on my shoulder, sleeping peacefully with me. He’s mine. I love him and we belong to each other.
I believe when you get an animal, whether you buy one, which I’m totally against when so many wonderful animals need homes, or adopt one, you sign on. You sign on to be with that animal, take care of that animal and give him/her the best possible life you can for the duration of their life. Animals, like anything human, are not dispensable, tradeable or returnable. They have feelings, they attach, they bond and need to be loved and cared for. Just like we all do.
Many people are arrogant, thinking they are much better than animals and above them. They think animals are their possession to be used, made money from and exploited, they need to re-think this. What we do in this country should be illegal. Especially factory farms. What an oxymoron that term is. Farm ? Hardly. Check out these farms and the torturous day-to-day routine of them.
We like things pretty in this country. We also are great at blocking and tuning out. We choose ignorance to those things we just can’t bear to deal with. We justify. I just say, look at the facts. Look at reality. Get the truth.
You’re right, I don’t eat meat or chicken of any kind. Nothing with legs. I’m working towards nothing with a face. Not there yet. The higher up on the animal intelligence chain we go, the more alike and connected you will see we are. The next time you order a pork chop, just remember, pigs are more intelligent than dogs.