My parrot is almost an adult. His head used to be entirely gray, but now it’s growing in bright sunny yellow, which is a sign of sexual maturity.
These are the words he can say: “ABE! I’m ABE!” “Silly Beak” (his nickname); “Step up,” “Cock-a-doodle doo!” and “Toe-orrist.” It used to be “terrorist” because he chases after me and gently bites my toes of they’re painted red, like a game, but I started calling him my little Toe-orrist, and it stuck. He also imitates the sound of my sneezes and the microwave beep.
Oh, a jerkola parrot at birdie daycare in the next cage taught him something new: “Hey, Baby!” He loves it. So, now I have a catcalling bird, and I feel like his friends are a bad influence.
Anyway, I have a bad thing that I do to him every now and then. It’s cruel but I think it’s funny as hell.
Abe LOVES peanuts in the shell. He likes to hold them in his little dinosaur foot, upon them and fling the shells all over my floor, and then devour the nuts. If he could, he would live off of peanuts. I have to ration them to one or two a day, because otherwise he would become a malnourished bird fatass.
The joke is: I take the peanut bag out of the fridge and put it on top of his cage. It’s made of heavy-duty transparent plastic.
Abe crawls up there, and when he sees a huge bag of his favorite food, he goes nuts with excitement, like he won the Parrot Lotto. His eyes pinpoint and dilate, his beak drops open, and then he raises his wings up from his body and starts dancing back and forth. I’m a leprechaun with a pot of gold! BONANZA!
He runs over to it and immediately tries to grab a peanut.
Thing is, he can’t: the bag is transparent but the plastic is too strong for his little beak to penetrate.
Peanut heaven so near, Abe. So near, yet so far away.
He crawls madly over the bag for a few minutes, trying to find/bite a way inside. When he can’t do it, he starts squaking in frustration and glares at me (can’t tell whether he’s asking me to help him, since I AM the provider of food and peanuts, after or, or whether he’s hating my guts).
Abe doesn’t hate me. Abe LOVE me every single day. We hang out for hours together whenever I’m home, and I take him with me when I go to visit the Collector. On the airplane, he sits with me in his travel crate. The vet gives me drops to put in his water so he is sleepy and doesn’t make noise. Collector is a bit jealous of him (who can be jealous of a little bird? I never play with Abe when the Collector is home; I only make sure he’s fed and watered and put him to bed….and I neurotically dust-buster the floor because God forbid Abe molts or flings a few pellets on his furniture). The Collector says Abe needs to be “more independent.” I told him that is not how parrot psychology works; they need to be near their “flock.” Leave a parrot alone too much, and it starts to develop the anxious, neurotic behaviors you see in animals in shitty zoos (and human felons in solitary confinement, I will add) : relentless pacing and self-mutilation.
I only torture Abe with peanuts once or twice a month, because it’s funny, but sometimes I do the opposite: I let him into the ENTIRE BUCKET of pellets for a few minutes, and he dances and swims around like Scrooge McDuck in his gold coin money vault.
Love that bird. I don’t have much in my life that loves me, but he does.