Well, it’s hitting the fan now. I’m packing. Oh God. Sheets, a pillow, a blanket, shoes and boots…It’s like I’m packing a miniature version of my life and moving to Cincinnati. My friend Jennifer is taking my dog Mattie and Beverly is helping with her as well. My friend Shari is taking my Greys.
I got together with Jen and Bevy last night for a cooking lesson for Mattie. Not a cooking lesson exactly, but Mattie is on the B.A.R.F. diet, which stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It is kind of barf-y because it can be pretty gross; raw meat including green tripe which smells awful, but she eats it like it’s caviar and the diet has done absolute wonders for her. I was showing Jen and Bev how much of what, which includes raw vegetables and salmon oil.
And that’s when Jen brought out the pants. Jen went to New Zealand a few years ago and got these absolutely amazing pants for the trip. Made by “World Wide Sportsman” they are parachute nylon with cargo pockets, they zip off for shorts and they are light as a feather. She didn’t want them anymore and gave them to me to wear at the Zoo. I’m never taking them off. They are incredibly comfortable and appear as though they dry in about 2 minutes. Just the thing for shoveling penguin shit, feeding an Emu and cutting up food for an Andean Condor.
I got some emails yesterday from the Aviary Curator at the Zoo. He wanted to firm up my dates and Flight Schedule because he’s picking me up at the airport. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I’d be grabbing my 80 pounds of stuff and finding a cab and telling the driver to take me to the zoo. My close friend Lynn is from Ohio and when I told her this, she said, “Well, that just what we do.” Welcome to Ohio.
I asked Steve the Curator if it would be okay if I got a “back of the house” tour of the zoo to meet some of the other residents. I really want to get a look at a few of the other animals while I’m there. They have an amazing bunch of residents including bonobos, giraffes, an array of cats, a manatee, a Mexican Wolf, an an Asian elephant. Well, here, take look for yourself: http://www.cincinnatizoo.org/animals/default.html
I’d hurt somebody to get up close and personal with a Bonobo. They have rhinos, a wide variety of snakes, some bats, even a wallaby. Steve assured me I would get the entire “Zoo Experience”. I’m nervous, but I’m trying to focus on the work at hand: getting myself together for what is going to probably turn out to be the most amazing experience of my life. And I have my traveling pants! I’ll keep you posted.
Patricia Sund is a Free-Lance Writer residing in Florida with her three African Greys. She has been published in About.com, Bird Talk Magazine, Birds USA, In Your Flock Magazine, Good Bird Magazine as well as numerous websites and newsletters. She is currently doing research for a book titled "Parrot Nation".