KSWI’s Personal Stories Wednesday – Birds! Birds! Birds!
April 25, 2012
Happy Hump day and things. I mean I hope you’re humping. I do. I really do. And I hope for other things for you besides the humping, but I hope for those things and let’s not make a big deal about it. It’s not like I’m ever invited to these humpings or other things you’re all so busily involved with, so don’t get all bent out of shape I didn’t throw an exclamation point mark after the hump day. There’s only so much exclaiming I …
Well, I was typing about something up there, but that was about 10 minutes ago. While typing that paragraphita about hump day excitement or lack of it, someone rang my doorbell (not a sexual innuendo, but could be). I open the door and there is a woman neighbor who informs me that the reason she is handling two grocery bags of herbs at my door is because she’s going on a 3 week vacation to Minnesota and she would like to know if I wanted any of these herbs because they’re going to go bad in her refrigerator and she’s giving away some to everyone in the neighborhood. Honestly, why would I say no to the most absurd request ever? Can you take my herbs? I guess I can.
White people, am I right?
Black people wish they had these problems. I’m going on vacation for a month and I’m worried about my herbs.
That’s literally whats going in OG, NJ. What a country?!
Also, there’s a 99% chance these herbs will go unused in this household. They will die here! Anyway…
I guess it’s about time to get on with the post.
I was at one time a bird owner.
Yes, it’s true! I swear to you on the herbs!
Actually, it’s partially untrue because the birds were never in fact mine, but they were my sister’s. At the ripe old age of maybe second grade, my sister fell in love (probably for a week) with the idea of owning birds. Yes, birds! And as my parents liked to do, they fulfilled they absurd request of my sister. Mind you, we owned a dog. We owned one of the greatest dogs to ever dog in all of history – Nikki, a West Highland white terrier. Regardless, the Newmarks – with zero experience as a whole – were now going to entrust the life of a bird in the hands of maybe a 7 year old who has a well documented history of flights of fancy.
The short story is our family owned 3 birds over the span of less than 6 months and never again.
Prepare yourself for the little bit longer story of these three birds…
This is not a picture of Pee Wee and he/she’s also androgynous sex slave. No, this is a picture of an African Lovebird, which was the type of bird Pee Wee was… he/she so shortly was. This fixation with birds all started for my sister on a trip to the Pittsburgh Aviary with her Brownies troop.
Upon entering the Aviary, an African Lovebird of similar look as the picture above would swoop in and land on the shoulder of a person entering the building and would greet the people. All very Disney and worked all too well on my sister who shortly thereafter pronounced that she wanted an African Lovebird and my parents found that to be A-OK. I’ll never understand this weird fascination of ours (Americans? Maybe the world over?) to allow small children to rear a wild animal they have no business being in charge of. From chameleons to ant farms to guinea pigs to African Lovebirds – a small child will be a terrible master for these creatures, but we love the idea of giving them one. … … and shortly thereafter cleaning up the mess of the animal that child neglected and killed.
The first bird was Pee Wee. My mother researched – PRE-INTERNET – African Lovebirds and found some person who was a bird breeder of sorts and bought a miniature African Lovebird and brought it home and my sister named it Pee Wee. Let me also emphasize the “it”. I don’t know much about birds apparently, but what I’ve been told is that until they start mating it’s difficult to tell which is a male or a female. Anyway… Pee Wee came home to our abode in Pittsburgh where a bright eyed family quickly fell in love with this bird that could fly and sit on your shoulder if you called to it. It was magical. We were the Pittsburgh Aviary entrance hall in our house! We were communicating with birds! We were creating a bond with them! It was Pee Wee! The first of the bird kind to open this world to our middle class white mixed faith suburban family! It was absolute paradise … for a week until Pee Wee died in the middle of the night from a pre-existing digestive problem.
WHY?! PEE WEE! WHY?!
Yep. Pee Wee died pretty much the week we bought him.
Unfazed, the Newmarks looked onward to a second bird. One bird dying in their household within the lunar cycle wasn’t going to deter us – NO! So, my mother returned to the breeder and got…
I don’t know what Snuggles looked like nor do I know what type of bird Snuggles was. Snuggles could have been another African Lovebird, but it really doesn’t matter too much for this tale.
Snuggles was greeted with open arms into our family to replace the cherished Pee Wee. Right away, Snuggles wasn’t exactly looking to “snuggle”. The person who interacted the most with the birds is who you can imagine – my mom. As our doting father was away in the wild world of buying men’s wear for Ross Stores, my mom tried her best at raising two children and the prized Westie. As I was only 3 or 4 or so at the time, I was not in charge of the bird. I mostly looked up at the cage in the same inquisitive awe as Nicki. Meanwhile, my sister had little interaction with the bird as well because she’s in elementary school and too busy playing with Barbies and playing with her friends. Snuggles was left to mother.
Snuggles liked to bite. That was Snuggles’ first problem. Apparently, the breeder told my mom that she needed to play with Snuggles more and create more of a bond with the bird. How does one go about doing this? Releasing said bird into the confines of one’s bathroom and trying to “play” with it. Oh, I’m sure that would have gone very well. An aggressive/bitey bird flapping around crazy like in a bathroom with my mom screaming along to the terror. Sure. Great advice.
What was the real kicker with Snuggles was it’s obsessive masturbation.
Yes, you read that correctly. Snuggles enjoyed rubbing itself back and forth on it’s perch at a frantic pace. My mom had enough of the sexually deviant biter and returned Snuggles after a couple weeks to the breeder. The breeder apologized profusely and gave us a third bird that would solve all of our problems.
Freckles had a few dark spots around its head and neck and my sister called the bird Freckles.
I really don’t have too much to say about Freckles. He/she was a decent bird. Not the cartoon-like Pee Wee, not the sex predator like Snuggles. But Freckles was a decent bird.
After a few weeks of owning Freckles, my mom went to a pet store and decided to upgrade Freckles living arrangements. A water feeder bottle with tube and similarly a food feeder with bottle and tube were purchased and attached to Freckles’ cage. What could possibly go wrong? Minus Freckles found dead the very next morning, everything was perfectly fine.
YEP! Freckles died. From what? Maybe it killed itself with its new contraptions is probably the best guess, but either way Freckles was dead and so was the era of being a bird owner for the Newmarks. Three birds, all gone, all within 6 months.
Just for your edification, lovebirds are known to live well over 10 years old.
I don’t understand bird ownership.
I don’t want to lock one in a cage.
I don’t want to try and form a bond with it in my bathroom.
I don’t get it.