On occasion, I look around and realize that for the most part, my entire current existence revolves around my Greys. I schedule my flying around them. I have friends that are pretty much on call to look after them when I am out of town.
If my birds are in a rotten mood, so am I. If they are grumpy or loud, there I am. I get upset when they don’t finish their dinner. And I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time sweeping, vacuuming, spot-cleaning poop and changing papers in the bottom of their cages. I have to think about keeping newspapers in stock. I don’t have newspaper delivery so I’m always on the lookout for local community newspapers which fit conveniently.
My screened-in porch door is broken due to yet another wind storm. (This replacement will be my 6th…) I’m on the fifth floor and located on the south side of the building with no other large building around to break the windstorms. Not unlike flagpole-sitting, the wind up here can get fierce. This time it’s worse because not only is the door screwed up, the frame is shot. Consequently, the screen door takes a beating and when that happens, the parrots can’t go outside. Bummer.
To be honest, I get tired of it occasionally. I don’t want to get up every day having to face what they feel like dishing out that morning. They aren’t bad parrots. They are actually wonderful. But it is relentless. It never changes. It’s not bad every day. And some days are simply wonderful. But there’s no going back to the days when I would wake up knowing I could do anything I wanted without ever a thought of, “But wait. What about…?”
When people think about getting a parrot, I wish people would think about that. There’s no going back. You can’t undo what you have taken on. Yes, I suppose many people do, which certainly explains the existence of Phoenix Landing, Best Friends Parrot Garden, and many other adoption organizations.
What I don’t understand is how anyone could look at a parrot and not understand what a massive undertaking it is. They have a set of pliers on their face, they can fly, they molt tons of feathers and they can scream like a banshee. They throw their food, poop every 15 minutes or so, and their feet appear to have been the model for the dinosaur action figure in your kid’s toy box. Now you and I can look at that and think, “What’s not to love?” We get it.
But other people? Their first question is, “Does it talk?” And I hate the “It” word, by the way.
Not to worry. I have no intention of finding new homes for them any time soon. I love my Greys dearly. They are my family and I am so close to them. It’s not about that. It’s really not even about them. It’s about the mess they leave in their wake. And speaking of messes, I entertained the thought of having children for about fifteen minutes in my entire life. I don’t know why, I just never thought that having children would be particularly fulfilling. Or fun. Or satisfying. And besides, it’s not really an original idea.
Charlie seemed quite interested in hanging with me at the Parrot Garden at Best Friends.