Monday, February 11, 2013

Oh Henry!

WARNING: Kelley's Dog Blog has gone to the birds! 

Hubby loves birds like I love dogs. This is not good. It’s not that I don’t like birds. I do! I enjoy watching birds. I’ve had various bird feeders throughout the years and I've spent hours in the aviary at the zoo. It’s just that I like birds outside. I really don’t trust anything that can’t keep from shitting on me. I’ve had birds over the years -- mostly cockatiels, but there have been parakeets and finches too. I guess they were too small for Hubby; he likes BIG birds. A few years back Hubby brought home Max, the evil red lory. Max was 16 years old. Her owner was moving and couldn’t keep her. Hubby felt sorry for the bird so she spent her twilight years with us. Apparently her previous owners went through a nasty divorce because Max could use the phrases “Oh Shit”, “Bitch”, and “Fuck You!” in perfect context. That bird swore like a sailor and bit the crap out of everyone, including Hubby. Even worse, she didn’t eat solid food. Lories only eat pureed baby food and nectar. It was liquid in and liquid out. That bird could -- and did! -- projectile poop through the bars in a 3-foot radius of her cage. yuck! We had to line the walls with plexiglass to keep them clean. Max was mean and filthy and lived with us for over 3 years before quietly passing away in her favorite box. Is it wrong to say that I wasn’t overly sad when she died?

Frodo and Pepper circa 2003 (Pepper wasn't impressed)
You would think that it would be me, the Animal Control Officer, who was always bringing home strays and rescues. You would also be wrong! Hubby has a soft spot for sad stories. Currently we share our tiny house with several animals, including Mr. Frodo, a gray cockatiel with a birth defect. Frodo was literally freezing to death at the flea market 10 years ago. As we passed by the pet booth Hubby said “Honey, look at the bird.” I said “NO.” (I know how this goes). Well, he persisted, I looked, and that feather-plucker has been in my house ever since. Mr. Frodo is allowed to stay because first thing every morning he wolf whistles and tells me I’m a pretty bird. Honestly, I know I'm not a pretty bird before coffee and make-up, but I succumb to the flattery. House rule: Make Mom happy or you’re outta here!

So this brings us to Henry. Several months ago a friend mentioned that her son had bought a parrot, he couldn’t keep it, and it ended up at her house. Did we know anybody looking for a parrot. Uh, NO! I made the mistake of going to my (ex)friend’s house for the Super Bowl. Hubby spent a good portion of the night on the back porch talking to Henry, the yellow-headed Amazon. Dammit. Last week he broke out Max’s old cage and rearranged the living room. Then he said he wanted to “foster” the bird until we found it a good home. Long-time readers know that we are horrible foster parents, as in foster animals don’t leave (i.e. Roxy and Spike). I fought the good fight -- and I lost. While I was at work yesterday, Hubby picked up egg-laying Henry. He promptly changed the bird's name to Hermione. (Not a good sign!) Today Hubby hit all the pet shops in town buying a whole lot of parrot paraphernalia. I think he’s the only one who doesn’t realize that this thing isn’t going anywhere. Friends, say hello to my new bird. -- K

P.S. Today we learned that Hermione will screech -- LOUDLY -- for attention. She doesn't want to be held, but she doesn't want to be alone either. Anyone have bird tips? I'm listening!