Parker with his Girlfriend, Maria

If you have parrots or birds of any sort, you probably know by now that it is not for the weak. I’m sure the uninitiated most likely think that keeping birds is a delicate hobby, not unlike growing orchids, or stuffing ships inside bottles. Au Contraire!

I am constantly getting up and scooping Parker or Pepper off the floor while they meander around the home and putting them back on their play gyms. Drop a pan in the Kitchen and I have a fly-off of three parrots all zooming in different directions.

Keeping birds involves getting up in the morning, every morning whether you feel like sleeping in or not. I haven’t gotten up later than nine a.m. in almost eight years. And that nine a.m. get-up was only because I didn’t get in until 3:30 in the morning due to a diversion to the Bahamas that lasted 7 hours.

Cage cleaning is easier for me because I cover the substrate with newspaper. All I have to do is gather up the paper, throw it away and replace. Of course I’m always wandering around to the neighbors begging for their Sunday editions of the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, but still, it sure beats scrubbing down grates.

Making my “Chop” recipe in my big-ass stockpot is a four hour exercise of being on my feet in the kitchen, but I only have to do that every four months or so. Same with my frozen bean mix.

I try to “fly” my birds on my hand every once in a while so they get exercise. A few repetitions of that and you get a nice little work out.

And of course Parker gets a little rambunctious now and again when he’s supposed to be sitting on my shoulder while I type and he occasionally decides to jump down and explore the couch. And I have to retrieve him. Or he jumps on to Peppers cage and bangs the photo on the wall. So I have to get up and retrieve him.

Or the little sucker decides to go and harass Nyla, which she hates. She’s a feisty little sucker and won’t put up with it, so she fights back. So I have to get up and retrieve him.

I think I’m going to change my name to “Fetch.”