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Saturday, 10 November 2012

I'm not actually the kind of person that keeps a parrot ...

I was -okay, still kind of am- the kind of person that crosses the road to avoid pigeons, the kind of person that trains friends and family members in the art of shooing pigeons away... So what am I doing with TWO cockatiels?

We've always wanted pets, especially that all elusive pet doggy, but unfortunately the matriarch of the household had declared a very decisive and resounding 'no' on that matter. Dogs were messy, too much work, blah blah, blah, blah, etc.In her opinion parrots would be perfect (lol), they weren't messy (lol), they weren't too much work (lol), they sat in their cages and sang sweetly and softly (major lol).

Fast forward a major meltdown from me at the very thought of living with a flying colourful pigeon in my own house and I had to say yes because it was either a parrot or nothing. And my little brother and sister were not going to settle for nothing.

I did a lot of research, I researched day and night, read up on almost EVERY parrot breed, read up on the noise levels, aggressiveness, talk-ability, cuddliness, longevity, haunted blogs and parrot forums, egg-binding, nearby vets, medical problems, pellets vs seeds... everything. Phew. And I finally settled on either a cockatiel or a Quaker, small cuddly parrots with small beaks - perfect, I hoped, for beginners.

Gumtree and Preloved got a lot of hits during those times and I finally got into contact with a lady who wanted to sell her 1 year old Quaker, but it was about a 3-4 hour journey and I was a bit worried about the fact that it wasn't a baby - could we handle a 'pre-teen'?

Sadly that fell through, and then I found a lady who wanted to sell her male cockatiel, a pretty little grey who could whistle and beatbox. She was ill, and getting sicker, and didn't feel like she could keep up any more, and it was about 10 minutes away from where I worked so we set up a time and decided to go visit. I then got an email saying that she had changed her mind, but when I emailed her back I found out that it had been her son who had sent me that and that she still wanted to sell him.

So off we go, we arrive at her house - we're early in fact, and we're sitting outside waiting. Another text. She's sold it just a couple of minutes ago to another viewer. Feeling gutted we sent her another email and decided we just can't keep up with this drama.

A couple of weeks pass and I've already bought them a cage, a couple of perches, food, accessories and some toys off Zooplus, even sterilized it, when my dad talks to a couple of his friends and finds out that an old couple are breeding cockatiels in Birmingham. Which is a good 3 hour trip for us, we go there anyway and arrive at 10 pm.

The house was small and clean (thank god) and they had a disabled male of their own who couldn't walk properly but would sing if you put a cone over his head. he looked well looked after, clean, healthy and immensely friendly and so did the babies - apart from the fact that four of them were kept in a cage I wouldn't even keep a single finch in, it was smaller then a computer screen, and they had no toys apart from curtain hooks.

But they were adorable and the one we had come for, a pretty little white one, climbed straight up my arm and perched on my shoulder with her sleepy little red eyes. I admit I shook quite a lot. 

My dad was so taken with them that he decided to buy two instead of just one - in fact he wanted all four but the other two weren't weaned yet - so we forked over £100 and came home with Alex and Japhrimel.


The process of getting used to them was hard for me, I was too scared to even go in their room if I was by myself and when one of them landed under the dining table once I had to wait until someone came home and then make them deal with it. It sounds stupid now but back then, in my eyes, they were as big as macaws.

But get used to them I did, and love them I do too. And this blog will be a written testament to that. 

A testament to how I became the kind of person that keeps a parrot.         

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