When You’re Under the Weather (and You Own Parrots).

Personally, there is nothing worse than when you’re feeling crap – maybe a migraine coming on – and you know you have to take care of the birds, but you seriously don’t feel well enough to do it. Not even just ‘feeling bad, wish I could skip for a night,’ but more of a ‘I’m going to die if I move.’

That was me last night. O. is away, and so I had decided it was the perfect moment to catch up on tv work. Just as I was thinking about actually working, I started to see flashing lights. Shortly after, my hearing went all funny. I knew what was coming, but I ignored it anyway (it was too late to take my preferred migraine cure, Alkaseltzer XS, which, as a marketed hangover remedy, has caffeine, paracetamol, and aspirin wrapped up in two effervescent tablets) and hoped perhaps it would be mild.

It wasn’t.

The birds still needed their nightly routine completed – it was shortly before 22:00, and just about bedtime for us all. I trudged through paper swaps, water changes, and the covering-up-of-cages. Sometime afterwards, I made it into bed to die, erm, sleep. This usually cures me for some reason, but I woke at 03:45 feeling no better.

I stayed in bed hoping to fall asleep again until about 04:30, when I decided it wasn’t happening. Then I gave in and went for the Alkaseltzer. Mishka was apparently waiting for this moment, because as soon as the bedroom light flicked on, she hopped onto her spiral rope perch and ran up and down it several times, causing it to jingle merrily.

I stumbled out and she rushed to her door, giving me her best good-morning chirp (which admittedly usually happens mid afternoon). When she realised I wasn’t going to let her out, she went to her bowl and had breakfast, eyeing me hopefully all the while.

After drinking my cure-all and eating a fistful of Honeynut Cheerios from a ceramic mug like some kind of university student or something, I went back to bed. Good owner that I am, I even left the light on for a bit so Mishka could finish eating and return to her chinchilla sleeping perch in safety… And it should have worked that way, only she decided that it was the perfect time for a song and another snack. I seriously considered making Mishka soup for breakfast.

Anyway, now that I’m feeling a bit better, I decided to dedicate the day to some actual work before crashing. I plan on playing with the birds, sketching out a family friend’s tattoo, and then working on my books. I’m excited, as I’ve just begun a new one. The birds are very keen on preventing this, as technology is not allowed unless it is for their own personal recreation. Ptak is particularly fond of chasing my fingers away from the ‘e’ key as I try to type. Even he knows it’s the most common letter of the English alphabet.

Sometimes I worry the birds are too smart for their own good.


The only way to distract him is to flip him upside down and give him millet. Now quick! Type a letter while he’s not looking!


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