Well, the parrot poop is hitting the fan in the economy and I’m feeling the pinch just like everyone else. I don’t have to worry about the bigger things because I don’t have any debt. Everything and I mean everything is paid off. The only bills I have are the utilities and I pay off my credit card every month. I’m eating more beans than I used to, I’ve become a financial vegetarian due to skyrocketing meat prices and it’s better to lay off the meat anyway. I’m big on stocking up on “BOGOs” (Buy one, get one free), but for the most part, I’ve always been kind of a tightwad when it comes to certain things. In other ways, I spend money like it was water. I’m big on bartering: “I’ll cook for you, you clean my house.” was one deal I had for a while, and I trade homemade bird food to get my birds groomed. I’m thrilled today because there is a cold front coming from the North and I don’t have to turn on the air conditioning. As a side venture, I also make dog biscuits for friends and neighbors that are all natural, wheat and gluten free, and the packaging is nauseatingly adorable.

I worry about the animal rescues. When somebody’s house is in foreclosure, they aren’t too concerned about making a donation to the Humane Society, (Yup, here’s a link:) http://www.hsus.org/, Phoenix Landing,  http://www.phoenixlanding.org/ or the Gabriel Foundation http://www.thegabrielfoundation.org/.

I read an article that the rescues and adoption organizations are becoming inundated with animals who are being given up due to the overwhelming number of foreclosures and bankruptcies. People have to move, or they simply can’t afford to keep their animals anymore. This “Sucks all the way to Cleveland”, as Whoopi Goldberg once said. I just find it sad and depressing that the first ones to take the hit are the pets. They are innocent and did nothing wrong except eat, which of course costs money. I feel bad for them and I feel bad for the Humans who are put in this position. Here us just one example of the dozens of stories written about this:

subject: http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/2951921/

I don’t see this going away any time soon, and I’m just “hunkering down” as it’s said before a hurricane. Of course, I attempt to do extreme things like unplugging my coffee maker and other appliances when I’m not using them as it is the “green” thing to do, as well as saving on my power bill. I’ve switched all of my light bulbs to the compact fluorescent “curly-q” variety, I watch my paper towel usage, (tough when you have parrots) and I feed my birds as much as they want, but they get their fresh food a tablespoon at a time which tends to cut down on all that food throwing. There’s simply less waste. I’m also recycling their toys more.  I was planning on installing wood floors in my Condo.

My Favorite Great Depression Photo:


So my neighbor Nan and I joyfully ripped up the carpeting that has been a pain in my rear for a while now. I just couldn’t face having to steam clean it yet again. I simply cannot express how hideously wrong it is to have carpeting when you have parrots in the house! But the carpet was here first, so it’s not like I did it the other way around. I kept up with it using my carpet steamer, but Jeeez what a pain. So I am now walking on cement floors and while it’s not particularly attractive, it has its simplistic charm; Nan calls it “the industrial look”. I call it living on paint-spattered cement. If this goes on for a while, I swear one of these days I’m going to pull a Jackson Pollock and paint the floor:


Until I am certain that I have enough cash to have the job done as well as enough money in my emergency account and to pay what will be a heinously high assessment on my Condo Association’s building repairs next summer, I shall remain on this cement. I can tell you this: it’s a hell of a lot easier to clean than carpet.

I plan on getting bamboo flooring, a very “green” sustainable product. Ann Brooks, Founder of Phoenix Landing has bamboo and loves it. She also put PVC shower pan lining material under her bird cages to help protect the bamboo. Ann said it’s a snap to sweep and mop (it behaves like Teflon) and it’s sturdy as hell:


So that will most likely be an option for me. My parrots are total slobs and while cleaning up after them is fairly easy, (I put newspaper on their cage floors. To clean I simply remove the paper and replace with clean ones. I’m not big on scrubbing cages, and scrubbing the cage is hard on it. Better to protect the cage with paper, I think. Parker also likes ripping it up.

So much is going on with the economy and we tend to forget that it’s not only affecting us but animals. I’m hoping people will try and hang onto their animal companions if they can. And if worse comes to worse, they should foster them to a friend until they get back on their feet. If you have friends that find themselves in a tough financial bind, try and offer to foster for them until they can get themselves together. It beats giving them up entirely. Families and friends have to stick together in times like these, and to open your home to the animal companion of a friend is one of the kindest things you can do.