During the weekend we adopted a very unlikely new family member.
I place the blame totally on the shoulders of my eldest daughter. Whenever we go shopping together we simply must visit ever pet shop within a two kilometre radius of our destination. Just to check out the cute baby kittens and pups, she tells me.
My daughter already shares her home with the most beautiful male cat in existence (he’s from the same litter as my Little Miss Cutie Cat), and a dog who I am sure isn’t really an animal, due to his natural ability to converse with his people, (have you ever seen a dog smile? My daughter’s dog does!)
Regular readers here may also recall that I often refer to my own family of pets, my black velvet Rottweiler, my eleven year old queen cat, as well as the afore mention little cutie cat, who likes to help me with the gardening.
One pet I have never owned, and one my family has constantly requested, is a bird.
Now let me set the records straight. As opposed to popular opinion, it’s not that I don’t like birds; when they come to visit me while I am gardening, which they often do, (much to my amazement!) I talk to them and we co-exist quite happily in amongst the foliage.
I’m just not fussed on little, fluttery, twitting birds; I find them smelly and boring. (No offense to anyone who owns such a bird…that’s just me).
Anyway, back to the shopping expedition with my daughter. Our shopping list wasn’t too extensive ~ some wool, a couple of stationary items and a new pair of ballet tights and leg-warmers for my daughter, a ballet dancer since age six.
Although neither of the pet shops had any kittens at all, nor any ‘goo and gar’ worthy puppies, we still had a wander around to admire the huge array of pet toys on display.
Our wandering may have been a huge mistake, or else a stroke of sheer luck, depending on how you look at it.
In a huge cage, smack bang in the middle of one of the pet shops, sat a large bird. Not the little flapping variety, nor one as big as an eagle…but a pastel coloured parrot. I bent down to say hello to the bird, perched all alone in a cage which would have no doubt been large enough to hold four birds his size.
When I bent down to say hello to the bird, he walked over to me, tilted his head, and listened…I talked some more. Continuing to tilt his head from side to side, he listened some more.
After I left the pet shop, I continued to think about this bird. It had a personality, something I had never noticed in any bird before.
Each day, throughout the week, I thought of him. I spoke to the family about him, who in turn gave me the strangest looks, asking “You actually liked a bird?”
On Saturday, I phoned the pet shop; I had some questions. On Sunday, after the delicate operation of having one wing clipped, he came home with us.
At the moment I am referring to him as “he”, although we won’t know for a while yet as to whether he is a boy. It doesn’t matter though. We have named him “Charlie”, a name suitable for either sex.
Charlie is apparently only one year old and once he has settled into his new home we will train him to be handled and to come out of his cage. Thanks to the World Wide Web, I am now in the midst of taking a crash course in owning and training a parrot!
The initial personality displayed by Charlie was only a glimmer of things to come. Having lived with us for less than two days, we already know he enjoys munching on pieces of apple and raisins, he prefers toast to bread sticks, and likes to lick the salt off Ritz cracker biscuits.
He favours gentle music over heavy rock and roll. He bops along his front perch, swaying from side to side and nodding his head up and down to songs he enjoys, moving to the back perch and sitting quietly when the song is over. (We have decided his favourite song is Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody).
Due to his age, which is apparently likened to being a teenager, he is prone to biting any finger which pokes itself into his cage! I have discovered that, by calmly pulling my finger back and saying “gentle”, he then licks my finger…gently.
It has been an interesting two days, to say the very least. Who would have thought…me, owning a bird!
Only time will tell how this new relationship will develop.
To be continued…. 🙂