Why in God’s name are my Greys such hellishly awful slobs? Seriously. I can clean up the place, change the papers in their rooms, dust and tidy up on Tuesday and by Thursday my place is a wreck again. What is inherently wrong with these little suckers?
I really try so hard and pull it together to really scrub the floor, wipe down their cages, wash their cage covers, (read: old sheets) I get it looking like the approximation of a regular home and Wham! Two days later, it looks like a damned dump. I console myself with the fact that I’m at least still trying to make this place look normal…
I know, I know…it’s just the way they are. They can’t help the molting feathers and that inner burning desire to feed the slate tile little bits of their food. But Good God, these guys are pigs with wings.
And how in the hell do you explain it to someone who does not have birds? “Heh, heh, heh…birds. Gotta love ‘Em!” I truly marvel at my small flock’s ability to slob-out our home. And such little creatures! I’ve written about this burning issue in my column at BIRD TALK once or twice. I thought it would help. It didn’t.
Maggie, my “Guest Amazon”
Between Pepper throwing water out of her dish like it was the rainy season festival in Vietnam and Parker heaving crap over the side of his play gym, my place looks like “The place the circus was yesterday after they packed up and moved on.” I’ve learned that you simply have to lighten up or you’re going to lose it. But I must state for the record that there is a big difference between, that lived-in look, and Holy Mother-Plucker, look at this dump!
So I have decided to devise a fun and light-hearted test to see just how bad things get at your house in regard to “Keeping up with the Psittacines.”
1. On the floor of your bird room there are…
A) One or two stray feathers lying around and maybe a a couple of toy shreds.
B) A pile of sweepings consisting of feathers, dander, food pellets, some dried poop and a piece of dried mango.waiting to be picked up with a dustpan and some newspapers that need to be thrown away.
C) “I am not sure there is still a floor under there…”
2. When you notice you are procrastinating, you…
A) Wander around the house staring at the cages and the dust tortured with pangs of guilt, torturing yourself for your lack of will to clean things up.
B) Mesmerize yourself with Facebook and answering every post, flip through the TV channels without finding anything real interesting and assure yourself it will be just a few more minutes before you REALLY get cracking.
C) Go out shopping, you are not getting anything done with their cages anyway…
3. You decide to finally clear out that pile of used toys when…
A) There are so many extra broken toy parts piled up that you don’t feel you have enough room to get anymore toys.
B) There are so many extra toys piled up that you feel you don’t have room for any newspapers you need for the cages.
C) Am I supposed to take care of this at some point?
4. Your bird supplies are organized by…
A) Species specific / cleaning supplies / food / toys / enrichment items / foraging items / treats / supplements-medication
B) Big bird stuff and little bird stuff
C) Things that are semi-bird related.
5. When you see someone approaching you at a bird event who’s name you’ve forgotten, you…
A) Avoid the subject and fake it as long as you can
B) Call them by the wrong name, and when they correct you, you say, “Yeah, that’s right! It’s just that you look like a Brenda!”
C) Simply admit you haven’t a clue and say, “I’m sorry, I simply don’t know who in God’s name you are. Little help here?”
5. When you know you won’t be able to meet a deadline for work, because trying to clean the bird room up is distracting you, you…
A) Call in sick with the “bird flu.”
B) Turn in an approximation of a rough draft telling yourself it’s fine.
C) Move out of the house until the whole situation blows over or someone sneaks an and cleans that hell-hole up.
How did you do? If you answered mostly A’s then you are heavily in denial of your inner slob. You have been lectured for so many years by Dominican Nuns that it is not okay to be disorganized, that you simply can’t live with yourself when you are. You forget to have fun, because you are too busy worrying about that perch you forgot to scrub.
If you answered mostly B’s you’re still a pretty well-organized slob, but your inner slob could use some rousing choruses of the song, Embraceable You. You have a miles to go before you can truly express the slob you are inside. Welcome to The Slob Side…I hope you you can live with a little dustiness.
If you answered mostly C’s, well, you might want to give that bird room another look-see. You are already a very content slob, but you may want to tidy up from time to time and look for ways that are easier to keep the place clean: like installing a floor drain. . The organized world has not yet entered your door, and while you have complete control of your own “inner slob,” “Keeping Up With the Psittacines” is going to require a tad more effort.
April 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm
I’m a pretty solid B. I did well when it was just Giblet, now that there’s 3 of them it teeters on the edge of pointless to even try to keep everything clean. As an apartment dweller again, I can say losing my access to a garden hose is a real drag. After about a month, those cage bars look like, well, $hit.
I find shoe boxes to be a blessing, they help me keep things as organized as possible and hey, I have an excuse to buy more shoes! I keep food, treats and small toys in empty Goldenfeast containers. I also reuse my moving paper as cage liner. With all these things being about the same size, they stack nicely on shelves and it doesn’t look as bad as it could.
The loss of that hose though, it’s a killer.
April 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm
Yeah, but just look at that face!
April 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm
OMG, Rust my african grey will take a talon full of food and just drop it on the floor..then laugh.. he is a trip!
April 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm
I have no response as to why they do this! But they do!
April 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm
LOL !! I am a B leaning toward C 🙂
My Amazon is pretty good but this pair of Caiques are killing me !!! Your cages look pretty good for TWO DAYS??!! Mine don’t give me an hour. One of them actually tries to hang his butt out to the side & crap on the cage bars & all down the side. Drives me nuts. Nuttier. more nuts. whatever.That side of the cage has been scrubbed so hard that the finish is worn off. Unfortunately, THAT side of the cage is next to this table. What cleaner do you all recommend? I’ve just been using watered down bleach & brillo or scrubbing pad.
Right now I’m looking at them & laughing because there soaking wet from bathing in the water dish & grooming each others heads. They drink from a water bottle. They eat and drink a LOT. They especially LOVE throwing food out on to the floor. I have to keep newspaper on the FLOOR next to the cage & on ‘that side’.
Good thing that make me laugh with their antics & I love the little brats 🙂
April 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm
Uhhhh…TELL ME ABOUT IT. My Ekkies are hell bent on sending me to the loony bin. But, I think I’ve found a happy medium between finding the most efficient ways to clean up after them, arranging their environment to be easier to clean, and accepting that my house will never be pristine and that a little mess isn’t harmful for the birds or myself (I mean, hi, have you ever seen a sterile rainforest?). I guess that puts me in the “B” category, although I answered “A” for a few questions, “B” for a few others, and “C” for still a few others.
April 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm
It’s funny this is your post today as I just had a lengthy conversation with someone who decided she wanted a bird “that talks.” Until, that is, I discovered she gets down on her hands and knees on a regular basis to pick lint off the carpet and dusts her ceiling vents often. Uhhhh… probably not the pet for you, ma’am!
April 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm
I guess we are all in a program here, I’m Ann and I am a “BC”.
April 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm
Wow! No kidding and now that I know I have a slob flock out there….i feel better. And Franklin our Grey is an absolute joy junky when it comes to shredding newspapers…….ALL newspapers within his grubby grey reach! And everyone knows you throw the first beakful of food on the floor, an offering to the ancestors I guess.
I am a B- on the weekends. A B+ during the week.
I WAS an A back when we had one little cockatiel…..then came Kirby the IRN, and Butters the Macaw and Winston the other cockatiel and then Franklin the CAG….the florida room is full of day cages, the bedrooms are full of roost cages and rarely is anyone in a flippen cage.
My daughter added up the cash investment in cages and birds and toys and said, “ya know…..that’s my college tuition”
April 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm
An A during the week?! Who did you hire to clean?! At least in a Florida rm you can close the door. My 7 tiels live in the kitchen.
And while those little beaks will tear any paper in reach, they prefer whatever I happen to be reading! ;-D
April 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm
Solid B here still but I can C arriving. Its hard to explain to company about the plastic runners all over the place, like in the living room between the couch and the coffee table… Oh yea but I don’t have to because I don’t let humans in my house!
April 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm
i am between and a,b and c, lol I have Mikey a blue front amazon, who doesnt know shes a girl or that shes a parrot, and a Piglet a love bird a boy who thinks Mikey is his mate.. once a week i roll the cages out the front door down the wheelchair ramp(ty for that) and clean em, and hope they stay clean the rest of the week, no chance of course:)
April 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm
Mostly a B. I have 2 greys and crikey, they are such slobs. 2 greys, a toddler, and a newborn (oh and let’s not forget the husband). My poor house 😛
April 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm
What??? You’re supposed to clean that room? Who says? Mess makes us “one” with our feathered friends. Now if I could just teach them to make Chop for me…
April 14, 2012 at 6:40 pm
I have a grey and a tiel. When I clean the floor under the grey she is always asking me “What Happened?” I tell her,” You are what happened”!
April 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm
Today while I was on the floor cleaning next to his cage, Greyson was pelleting me with his food pellets. I guess he could see too much carpet. ; )
April 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm
I’ve cleaned up after animals for so long its just part of my day. I just have a rhythm in the morning to feed and clean the worst poopy papers up while getting my brekky and packing lunches. In the evening I sweep and do Poop Patrol with the Poop Off( best poop removal spray I have found and bird-safe. You can cut it 50/50 with water to make it go farther and it is still effective.) Once a week I do a deeper clean, wiping down cage bars etc. It is amazing how much stuff birds can scatter… my understanding is that it is beneficial in the wild for them to scatter seeds and such to keep the plant growth cycle going…not that I want millet growing out of my laminate flooring, mind you! My tiels are worse than my grey in that regard.
April 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm
Um… does this seem familiar?
July 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm
I have one baby budgie…one…who can turn a clean living room into chaos in under an hour. Heaven help me if my carpet ever gets wet – I’ll have to explain to my landlord why a lawn is growing inside the apaprtment!
August 1, 2012 at 7:02 am
I thought it was just me. Of all the birds I have and have had, my 3 Greys are by FAR the messiest. And my Alice, will even blame the messy, poopy cage (that you just finished pressure washing) on someone else. Shw will ask you “who pooped on my cage?” and when you respond with ” I don’t know. Who pooped on it?” She answers with either the name of one of the other birds or one of my friends.
One of my other Greys does as one of the birds above. He will stand in his food bowl when he is not eating, will look you in the eye, grab a talon full of food and throw it out of the cage.
Only the Quaker I had years ago matched my Greys in messiness.