Parrots will make you question everything Šsometimes even your sanity!
This is what is what happens after you live with parrots: Half the time you don’t know whether you’re talking to a human, a parrot or an appliance.
Parrots will often change your perception of “what is” in the world, as well as re-define what’s really important at the end of the day.
Here are a few things that you might begin to question after having a feathered child in your life for a while:
1) What Is “Clean,” Anyway?
Once upon a time, there was a gal who ran around her house all day long with a scraper in one hand, a spray-bottle of apple-cider vinegar in the other, and a shop-vac lassoed to her waist. Her job cleaning up after her parrots was never-ending.
Then one day, she stopped and asked herself, “What IS ?lean,’ anyway??lt;/span>
The general definition of “clean” is for something or someone to be free from dirt, marks or unwanted matter. Nowhere in that definition is there a requirement for a specific LENGTH OF TIME for this to happen. Clean for five minutes? Clean for a whole day? Well, if you have parrots, you hope and pray for the latter but you know in your heart it’s going to be the former.
Living with parrots has given me a much better perspective for “clean” and how the aspect of time is NOT related to it. It is the span of time in which something REMAINS clean that is relative, however. So because of that, I have learned to cherish the five whole minutes that the floor around my parrots is “clean,?because I know that as soon as my back is turned, my timneh African grey, Petrie, is going to fling a half-eaten grape out onto my formerly spotless masterpiece of a floor, just so he can see it splat.
2) Is That The Microwave … Or My Parrot?
This is how my morning goes:
At exactly 6:15am, my mastiff Miles hails the new day by flapping his ponderous and pendulous ears back and forth, which, by the way, is better than ANY alarm clock. I drag myself out of bed and sleepily give him his breakfast because if I don’t then will come the “My-235-pounds-is-going-to-starve-to-death-in-30-seconds?whine, followed by a sad-eyed 65 pound, dog breath HEAD staring a hole through my closed eyelids until open them.
So now that I’m halfway awake, I have coffee on my mind, so I head upstairs, pour myself a cup, add cream, put it in the microwave … and wait.
It’s the longest thirty seconds of my morning.
The microwave beeps, signaling the REAL beginning to my day and what is my response? Do I open the door to retrieve my lovely cup of “Good morning?”
Before I can catch myself, I “beep” back at that giant metal box.
This is what living with a parrot will do to you after a while: You don’t know if you’re talking to your bird … or to your appliance.
The author? timneh African grey, Petrie, often mimics her voice to thoroughly confuse her husband!
3) Who Is Entertaining Whom?
We bring parrots into our lives because they are beautiful to look at, they learn to speak our language and they are fun to be around. But after a while, one may start to ponder whether or not WE have simply become “entertainment” for THEM.
Petrie has mastered this art of causing me and my husband to run around in circles. Why? Because he enjoys controlling us like little puppets.
One afternoon my husband, Frank, was working down in the basement, while I was two floors up cleaning out one of the closets in the bedroom. Our parrots are on the main floor, and on that particular day, exactly in the middle of all the upstairs and downstairs activity.
Soon I heard the sounds of Frank coming up one flight of stairs, then the other, and then into the bedroom where I was working.
“What ARE you doing?” he asked. I could tell he was exasperated.
“What do you mean? I’m working in this closet where I said I would be.” I replied.
“Well, I have been waiting for you to come downstairs and help me for over 30 minutes,” he said, clearly annoyed.
“What? I never heard you call for me.” I replied.
“Oh, yes you did,” he said, “You answered me clearly each and every time.?lt;/span>
Hmmm. There appeared to be a troublemaker in our midst, and most likely on the main floor wearing a grey suit with maroon tail-feathers.
When I peeped downstairs, I could see Petrie sitting on his perch looking up at me.
When he saw me looking at him, he turned his back and started staring out the window, an unmistakable sign that he had clearly been up to “something.?lt;/span>
I asked Frank to go back downstairs to the basement and call for me while I stood near the bedroom doorway so I could listen and watch a very suspicious-acting Petrie.
Frank went down to the basement, and after a few seconds, I heard him call up from the stairwell, “Cathyyyyy…”
From the main floor came a very clear reply of “Whaaaaaat?“… only THAT response didn? come from me.
With perfect mimicry, Petrie had been happily sitting on the main floor responding to Frank’s multiple queries in my exact voice and tone, only with ZERO intention of going to help.
Upon questioning Petrie about did he think he was being funny, Petrie’s only reply was a smirky, “Hahaha… YOU’RE funny.?lt;/span>
The same is true for the answering machine.
There have been numerous times that I have come inside and heard the beep of the answering machine. Automatically, I walk over to check it only to find that there is no beep and no message. I walk away, and am usually downstairs before I hear the unmistakable “Beeeep!” once again. And of course, up the stairs I go to check the machine once again only to find the same result: nothing.
At first I thought I was losing my mind. Then I realized that I once again fallen under Petrie? little Pavlovian spell.
These days, I’m on to Petrie? little charade, When I hear that “beep!?and know full well that it? just Petrie trying to send me on an endless loop of checking that blasted machine, I’ll say, “I know it? YOU, Petrie!” Does that satisfy him?
He simply responds to my statement with the sound of the smoke alarm.
Clearly, he is not giving up on his mission.
Living with parrots often teaches us about how the simple things in life are the most important.
4) The Meaning Of Life
Living with parrots does make us question a lot of things about our life Šsometimes even our sanity.
But the two things that are never in question are whether or not we love them, and whether or not they love us.
With my parrots, I like to think that my birds love me enough to amicably harass me Š
Šand I absolutely love them enough to let them.