Wednesday, January 25, 2012

There Is Nothing Like Being Owned By Parrots

I have a life besides being an indie writer. You know I paint, but did you know I am owned by parrots?

There are dog lovers and then there are cat lovers.  They both give reasons why dogs or cats are the best pet you can have.  And, of course, we have all heard that cliche "Dogs are a man's best friend".  Dog lovers go on and on about dog's loyalty and how glad they always are to see you.
Hmmmpfffff.  You don't have a clue to how close of a relationship one can have with an animal until you are owned by a parrot. People who don't know much about birds think they must be boring.  Not so.  Most parrots have the intelligence of a three year old human.  African Grey parrots and Cockatoo parrots have the intelligence of a five year old human.  Animal experts now say they are at least as intelligent as dolphins and moneys...maybe more so.

Does you dog talk?  I did not say mimic.  I said talk.  There are still some "experts" that say parrots only mimic.  They obviously have not lived with parrots.  Or watched the videos of Alex, the African Grey.  He is dead now, but learned colors, sizes, shapes and could pick them out when asked randomly.  Some greys are being taught to touch computer keys to call up different photos of parrots.  They think in 10 years greys can video conference.  True, it won't be as in depth as us...but pretty cool.

My parrots will look at me out of the blue and say  "I love you."  When was the last time your cat said that?  When they are tired, they say "Time for night night" or "See you tomorrow".  If I don't act immediately, I hear "Let's go.  Let's go."

Some think parrots are dirty and have bugs because they are always pecking at themselves.  Not so.  They are cleaning feathers and rearranging feathers to get warmer or cooler.  Parrots ARE messy.  They throw things and their feather dander gets on everything.  There is lots of vacuuming done in my house and we have air purifiers.  But guess what?  Their poop does not stink.  Not one bit.  Nice, huh?

Parrots are not for everyone though.  They are very, VERY high maintenance.  They need one on one time daily.  They need to legitimately be part of the family.  As flock animals, they like to be involved and included.  They can't be put in a cage and left there just because their feathers happen to match your decor.  Some parrots actually go insane because of bad treatment.  They are a commitment for decades.  Do you get rid of three year old humans when you tire of them?  That is what it is like if you "get rid of" parrots.

Don't get me wrong.  I love dogs and cats.  I also love snakes and other reptiles.  But there is no other animal in the world that can have a deeper relationship with you than a parrot.

We have a male White Capped Pionus named Kazoo (16 years old) and a female African Grey name Melanie (20 years old).  Kazoo could live 35 years and Melanie could live to be 75.  People ask why we chose animals that have the intelligence of human children and will live (one of them longer than we have left here) so long when we are childless by choice.

My answer?  Well, yes they can bite.  They are messy and can be loud.  They are demanding.  However, they will never do drugs, total my car, need money for college, or marry someone I can't stand.  That is more than a fair trade-off, if you ask me.

Oh-oh.  Gotta go.  My "bosses" are ready for breakfast.  Kazoo is saying "Wanna eat" and Melly is yelling "Good Morning."  I don't want to be written up.

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