Birds are crazy. I say this not only as the daughter of a Crazy Bird Guy, but as someone who is currently listening to a budgie lose its mind at a pinata made of palm fronds.
I don’t have time to deal with big birds and their needs, so I have small birds. They snuggle, enjoy my company, and make pleasant sounds. Rudy, my cockatiel, gives kisses, adores my cats and enjoys Law & Order. Andrew Bird, the budgie, sounds like one of those little water whistles shaped like a bird, destroys everything and hangs upside down like a bat. They live in the living room so we can interact on a constant basis and have a set schedule because these are the things I can handle. The Dad, on the other hand, is a full-blown Crazy Bird Guy who collects discarded phone books so he can saw them in half to make foraging toys for his umbrella cockatoo.
See, The Dad thinks he’s Baretta. This is entirely my fault.
RJ and I used to live with The Dad, and we had three small birds that The Dad adored. When we moved out, he was terribly sad. I soothed him by offering a rescued African Grey because he loved Alex the super-smart parrot. That was when the Madness began. He wasn’t happy with the cage that came with Lucky, so we got one on Freecycle that was big enough to house three macaws and spent three hours disinfecting it at the car wash with bleach, vinegar and a high pressure washer. Lucky was a feather plucker, and came to the house almost nude. The Dad is a hippie, and his secondhand magical mystery medicines cured her in 9 months.
As I’m sure you can guess, he was heartbroken when Lucky was lost. The Dad has attachment issues; it took him twelve years to get a new dog after our first one was poisoned, and he never let it out of his sight. It took him several years but he started volunteering at an organization called Parrots and People, where he met Coco the Demon Bird. Of course it was love at first sight, and they bonded immediately.
Coco doesn’t like women. The first time we met, he tore a hole in my David Byrne shirt and bit through my wrist, hitting a nerve. He absolutely adores The Dad and Mister E, though. Little bastard even dances for Mister E. I’ve had plenty of bird bites, including ones from my own Quaker while we were socializing her (her favorite maneuver was the “Pinch and Twist.”) but this was the only one who did it out of spite. Coco also shrieks like a jet engine, fights like a hoarder to keep his shredded, beshitted cardboard boxes and throws enough food out of his cage to feed Somalia (his dog loves this).
The Dad thinks that when he dies, Coco is going to be super-happy to live with me for the rest of his spiteful, spiteful life. I think that depending on how things go, Mister E and I could be staying together for the kids. Seriously, this damn bird loves my fiance. I, on the other hand, will be perfectly happy to spend the rest of my life surrounded by tiny pleasant birds that arrange my hair, follow my cats on the floor making kissy sounds, and occasionally leave tiny poops on the couch (these things happen).
I do love The Dad, though, so I’ve been keeping an eye on Craigslist for a chain mail glove in my size. Maybe a goalie mask, too. I hear they go for the eyes.