Day 12 – what’s in my toy stash.
I have to admit, toy stash is a bit barren at the moment. We have a couple wooden toys for large parrots (Mavi prefers the big toys to small ones, as does Ptak), an acrylic foraging chest that no one likes, a couple boxes and some loose paper, a garland of wooden ‘flowers,’ a fluffy ring toy, a leathery one with beads, a swing, a bell-shaped seed treat, a veggie skewer, a carrot holder, and a round, clear foraging toy with slots in the bottom. We get away with not having too many on hand by swapping everyone’s toys around. Depending on the bird, we can just swap cages.
Day 13 – First memory with my birds.
Charlie and Pip: I had a viola lesson the day we found Charlie and Pip in a local pet shop. I had to go to the lesson, but sent O. with strict instructions to buy them and their supplies. I’ll admit, I spent most of the lesson waiting with bated breath to see if he actually would. Later, I got a text with a picture of them in their new cage. I did a squee dance right there in the practise room.
Mishka: When we brought her home, we thought she’d never be friendly with us. After around one week of letting her cling unhappily to the bars of her cage, we decided to let her out. At that point, we were still wary of her beak, as she’d already proved that she knew how to use it. Tiny cockatiel? Doesn’t matter, that beak draws blood as easily as a knife cuts through soft butter. Mishka spent several hours clinging to the curtain rods. Occasionally, she dive-bombed our faces to test our will power. Somehow we got her back in. I don’t actually remember how – but am pretty sure it involved clumsily towelling her. It was another 6 months before she willingly began to come out. Not a great first experience.
Ptak: We picked up our parrotlet in one of those plastic Pets at Home rodent tubs and caught a train back to Glasgow. Sitting at the table across from us was a family with a teenager who was too cool to look (but desperately wanted to), a chatty two-year-old girl, and their mum. The little girl plopped herself down opposite O. and peeked into the tub. She looked back at us, made a finger gun, and said, ‘KILL KILL KILLLLL.’ It came out as ‘keel.’
As her mum apologised profusely and called her back, the little girl then spent the rest of the ride repeating this until we disembarked. To this day, Ptak has a call that is – I swear – ‘keel keel keeeeeel.’ Possible? I don’t know. It certainly sounds like it.
Mavi: Maverick let himself out of his cage in the first few days we had him. He is a genius at working the latch on his feed cup doors. All of a sudden, I heard ‘HI, MAVI,’ (his signature escape phrase), and looked up to see a certain Senegal parrot lifting his foot for an up. His food door swung conspicuously below. There have been many repeats of this since, including attempts at releasing the other birds as well.
Bobo: Speaking of escape artists, he most certainly was one when he was with us. One day, O. was off at work and I just happened to look up in time to witness Bobo lever open the top of his cage. I promptly padlocked this shut, but the next I knew one foot was working on his cage lock. He flipped it right open and let himself out. Once I’d got him back in, he promptly set to undoing the food bowls. Thankfully, he couldn’t escape through either of those. He did eventually take his entire cage door off, though. That was when he moved cages!