I recently came to a bird. Actually, it’s not mine, I’m just living with it. In the beginning, I was indifferent ― I love animals, but have only been acquainted with furry ones (cats and dogs basically). My grandparents on my dad’s side used to have two budgies. I remember they left their bird droppings everywhere (the birds, not my grandparents) until they (grandparents) laid out newspapers in the entire room when the birds were free to fly around.
I knew nothing about birds. I was told “yeah, she bites”, but didn’t think it to be that bad and reassured myself “I’m sure, she just nibbles”. Nope. She. Is. Furious. Or excited. And she doesn’t hold back.
In her free time, the little parrot practices everything she has ever learned. Ever. And she doesn’t stop. Until someone puts a sheet over her. And even then, there’s the occasional begging “good morning?” in an attempt for us to remove the cover.
There has got to be a way to get close to that animal without her wanting to bite me. I read all the blogs and avian vet websites and pet store advice columns. Whenever the bird so much as coughed, I googled if there is anything I should be doing. Can’t pet her on the back, after all. Turns out she is just imitating me coughing. Sneaky bird.
I tried a lot. We all have. She gets to sit on people’s shoulders, fly around the room, nibble on fresh fruit and play with her toys. We teach her new words, which she doesn’t learn or brings up when you LEAST expect her to. Like when you just scolded her for biting you (again) and you walk away and she thinks it’s funny to say something. Yes, she has the last word.
I learned that after she had her wings clipped, she is much quieter. Not quieter per se, but she talks less often. And falls off the perch quite a few times while making a sound that closely resembles and angry bird being shot out of its sling. She never hurt herself and by now has learned to catch herself mid-fall. She’s still pissed at me for taking her to the vet.
I understand how some people like to be close to their pets. They take them everywhere, even to bed on occasion (or regularly). They eat with them (hopefully not out of the same bowl, but we’ve all seen a lot…). A pet is a member of the family. With this one, we’ve really tried. After I invited her to sit on the couch with me so I could pet her and have her closer, she now constantly yells “COME HERE”. That’s what I get. I put her on a mobile perch and carried her over to the couch (we put her on the ground a few days before that; she was surprised, angry, and outraged. She bit us until we put her back in the cage.) The mobile perch worked up to a certain point: She sat on the couch, left her droppings and stared me down like “What the F you think you’re doing?” I put her back. We’ve never spoken of it again.
The first story that came up when I googled “Weird News” was a lady with her pet snake caught in her earlobe. Again, I understand how some people like to be close to their pets. But sometimes, you just have to let animals be animals. Give them their space and don’t expect them to do anything that you would like them to do. They’re not human. The closest I came to this situation was having a stare-down with the bird. And her clawing herself into our shoulders whenever she hitches a ride on one of us. That’s all she gets. No earlobe experiments, promise!