Monday, July 24, 2006

A Parrot Pictorial

We brought Charlie/Chloe/Cyril (heretofore known as C3 and "she", which may or may not be wishful thinking) home on Saturday. I had mixed emotions (not about buying her, but about taking her away from EVERYONE she knows) as the poor peanut has never been out of the shop, having been hatched, hand fed, weaned and raised there, and I was terribly concerned about the heat and stress involved in moving from an air-conditioned shop to our broiling hot house. Fortunately, we were home almost all weekend, so we could closely observe C3's behavior in minute and obsessive compulsive detail. We picked her up at about 11, did our food tutorial (the shop has its own bean mix that Fritz went nuts over; his little beak was covered in grain and he snarfed it for a solid hour before we took it away), read our paperwork, bought more stuff for the cage (suckers) and let the staff say goodbye. That was tough as they really love her, and have cared for her since she was an egg. The poor girl who was helping us was quite sad, but it does mean the pooper was loved, which makes me happy.

We packed C3 up into the carrier we had purchased the week before, a fun acrylic cage that will make for excellent transportation for outings, and strapped her in the car. I sat with her in the back seat to keep an eye on her and make sure she didn't flap herself into a tizzy. It was a bit traumatic, the drive home:

The noise, the sun, the movement...she thought that the bottom of the carrier would be a little safer, but she just slid and slipped like a little kid on ice skates for the first time.

Once we got home, she was very anxious to get into her cage, and didn't seem to have any problems with the size or amount of toys, as many of the books say new birds can:

She saw the cage, spread her wings and leeeeeaned in, grabbed the rope perch with her beak and hauled herself up:

She seemed to approve of her surroundings, especially the opening top, from where she could eat:

and adventure over the entire double cage, sometimes dangling precariously from the side in an effort to scrutinize every square inch, just to make sure that nothing was going to jump out or trap a toe. She was very thorough in her examination. Her grip is not the best, and she would periodically slide down the bars and have to grab with her beak to hang on, but I had to restrain myself from rushing over and picking her up and setting her back on top of her perch. One has to let ones children discover their surroundings, as long as the surroundings are safe. We've given her perches of various sizes as her feet need to be strengthened, due to the missing toe, but she's fairly dexterous already.

The first night was trying. She was frightened and had night tremors. I heard her flap desperately and fall from her perch at about 2 am, so I went and sat with her for a while, talking to her softly and scratching her head. She did eventually relax enough to sleep, but didn't seem terribly at ease. We covered her cage to keep headlights from coming in the window and waking her, but the street noise may have been too much. It was so hot, though, that we had to either keep the windows open or perish. She was very chatty on Sunday, but wasn't as willing to step up. She wasn't handled all that much in the shop as this species is not as needy as, say, a cockatoo, and there were so many birds that needed more attention sharing the space with her. She seemed to enjoy watching us from her perch and let us feed her and scratch her, which was a hoot, as it's amazing to me how far a bird is willing to contort itself to get us to scratch that ONE SPOT. She didn't eat as much as I would have hoped and she didn't find her food and water bowls, so we had to hang two more by her top perch to make sure she was eating and drinking.

She will go to the vet on Wednesday to have her well bird checkup, get her baseline bloodwork drawn and get microchipped.

I'm having a hard time with this situation. I'm so terribly worried about her health and well-being, and I'm so concerned that she's OK today while we're at work, and she didn't want to step up this morning, and it's so hot in the house, and the housekeeper is coming today (although bless Christian for reminding her of what not to use for cleaning) and I won't be home for hours and what if something happens, and what if she doesn't eat, and what if she hates me, and what if she's sick and we don't know it, and and andanandnadnadnandnandn.....

I'm very concerned. I sure do like her, though. She just breaks my heart.


Christian said...

Our little peanut, how I do love him/her! Squack! Step up!

ible said...

HEY ! I gotta nydea . Teach her a down home honky tonk for Mom's b-day when you come up.

"Honky Tonk Woman '' would do it Y'All .

Or maybe " Act Naturally " .