Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Sunday Post: August 21, 2011

An Introduction

It occurs to me I've been remiss in not introducing you to the third member of the household. And, depending on one's viewpoint, he may well be the most important member. (Just ask him.)

This is Gandalf. He is a quaker parrot, and came to us as a rescue in 2003. This photo was taken shortly after he came to live with us; as you can see, he is fond of bathing in the sink.

The story of his arrival is a bit fun. Well, the first part isn't - I had a lovebird for 14 years, who died of liver cancer in late 2002. After a month or two, we got in touch with a woman locally who takes in and rehomes birds that people don't want or can't keep, and offered to give her my bird's cage and some other supplies we had, since we no longer had a use for them; we figured she could give the cage to someone else that couldn't afford one.

She said she'd be delighted to take whatever we could give her, so we gathered up some things and went over to her place.

And came home with this little guy, though we had no intention of taking a bird. Joe told me we had to take him, since he was purring at Joe when he held the bird. (Um, no. He was growling, actually. We still laugh about it.) And on top of everything else, we had to go buy a new birdcage, since he is much bigger than a lovebird and the cage we had wouldn't have been suitable.

Surveying his kingdom: the back yard
Over the course of eight years, he has gone from being a skittish, frightened, nervous little being to the nicest little bird you'll ever meet. He used to cower and scream if you pulled a chair out from the dining room table to sit down; now even the fireworks on the fourth of July don't faze him much.

We don't really know what happened to him at his last home; the woman who took him in told us the cage he came in had dents in it as if someone had been throwing things at it or hitting it with something. I'm sure you can imagine how I feel about that.

He likes peas, corn, broccoli, pasta...and butter and cheese and chicken, the latter three of which he really shouldn't eat, but he'll do it anyway if he can get to them. He likes cartoons, classical music, and sunshine (particularly sitting in it after one of those baths); dislikes horror movies, lawnmowers, and when Joe turns the music up too loud.

We believe he is about 14 or 15 years old, and will probably live well into his 30s.

He is a bright, opinionated, chatty, friendly sweetheart of a bird, and often sits on my shoulder while I'm working on this blog. And I'm sure he'd be pleased to make your acquaintance.

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