For those of you who don’t know, I am not just a crazy cat lady. I also have birds.
Birds enrich your life in a number of ways, including unmatched hilarity and/or awkwardness when they start furiously masturbating on their food dish (depending on your company) and the unsettling moments when they imitate something unexpected. Case in point: Years ago I was rooting through The Dad’s change for laundry quarters when I heard him say “What are you doing?” I leaped away from the jar as if someone had burned me, only to discover that it was not The Dad, it was his African Grey. She then proceeded to laugh at me in a very Blackadder The First way and I considered the possibility of parrot fajitas for dinner.
My birds are especially nice. They’re cute and compact, one being a cockatiel and the other being a budgerigar named Rudy and Andrew Bird, respectively. They make sweet noises (most of the time) and are rather affectionate (most of the time), and they don’t judge me when I have to run from the bathroom to the bedroom without a towel (most of the time).
Most of the time, you get birds kind of the same way you get ants. You never asked for them, you can’t get rid of them, but when you get used to them they’re kind of cute. At least, I think they are. Every bird – except one – I’ve ever gotten was because someone didn’t want or couldn’t take care of them. My first bird was purchased at a shop and then died for some reason and it broke my heart to the point I swore I’d never get another. Then THEY happened.
The first bird that came to me was a Quaker and extremely violent until we bonded, followed by two lovebirds whose owner couldn’t take care of them anymore, then a budgie we found in a parking lot, then my current ‘tiel, and finally my current budgie. As such, I have a number of bird cages that I swap out as needed and a lot of chewed up toys.
Rudy belonged to a girl I worked with who was moving to another state. She was worried that she wouldn’t be able to take him on the trip in spite of me informing her over and over that birds can easily be transported. It killed her to give him up but she knew he’d be in good hands with me. I’ve had him for about five years, which makes him either nine or ten years old, and he’s a good boy.
He’s definitely the affectionate one of the two, giving me “kisses” every night before we cover his cage and pretty much anytime I put my face near his. If I set him on my shoulder he leans his head against me, and he alerts me to the presence of kittens on the windowsill by wolf-whistling at them. He also whistles at my cats and makes kissing sounds, which just goes to show that birds are weird.
Andrew Bird was named after a song by the singer of the same name called “A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left,” because when I was called by the people at the clinic where I used to work, they told me he was exhibiting some neurological symptoms. In other words, he was twitching. Often to the left. His nickname is “Tinybird.”
Andrew is the singer. He spends all day warbling out little songs that make him sound like one of those bird-shaped water whistles, barks whenever the horrible little dogs in the courtyard get started, and just recently he’s started whistling like Rudy. He’s not terribly affectionate with me but he loves Mister E to rub his chest, and we hope that someday we’ll be able to let him out of his cage to chill with us like Rudy does. I don’t think he’ll ever be a kisser, but he’s super-cute.
Just because I’m a crazy cat lady doesn’t mean I don’t love my birds. I can’t imagine life without them, and occasionally I think I’d like to own another Quaker sometime. They’re noisy, noisy little birds, though. I wouldn’t be able to have one in an apartment without getting murdered by my neighbors, but they’re very sweet. Once you get used to the screeching and the biting, that is. I miss my Quaker so much.
Because I love you, I’m leaving you with the video for the aforementioned song. Enjoy!