Dusty Springfield said it best. What tiny part of my heart that wasn't owned by a cute boy residing in my house or in Mark's is now in Oregon with Sasha.
We drove to Oregon on Saturday, hitting Powell's and Torrid in Portland for some tax free shopping before spending the rest of the day with aunt Marianne and uncle Gene at their place in Molalla (and watched Little Children, which is not a movie one would normally watch with ones father's sister. We have an unusual family). At Powell's, we found a used copy of the seminal macaw book with an author annotation and signature. I really do wonder who would sell a book that was a gift from a famous author with her signature and personal note inside. I think I'd carry it around with me and work it into conversation. We're good at doing that with bird topics. I'm sure none of you have noticed, we're so subtle. It's like a Jedi mind trick.
We drove to Eugene on Sunday, checked into our $50 Priceline hotel (woot!) and contacted the intake coordinator at the Eugene Exotic Bird Rescue, at whose house Sasha is living. Being whiny city folk, it seemed like we drove forever to get to her country house. Oh my God, why can't people live in the city?? We pulled into the drive and saw why they can't live in the city, namely the rows upon rows of donated cages waiting to be needed for surrendered birds. The sound was unmistakable, the cockatoo scream that you can hear three counties over coupled with the stream of Amazon chatter and giddy macaw chuckling. We could see one of the loudest perps through the window of the bird room as we walked up as he ran back and forth on his perch and shouted at us, like a white, fluffy guard dog. And she had those too, five of them, from the tiniest, squishiest little Chiahuaha EVER (squee) to an enormous, elderly shepherd who had the saddest face ever put on a mammal. And 22 birds. Say that with me. 22 birds, seven of which were the coordinator's own pets. She fosters some of the birds that are surrendered or rescued and socializes them to the best of human ability before they are adopted or given to rescue aviaries. 22 birds. And y'all think we're nuts.
The coordinator got Sasha out of her cage with a handheld perch as she, like many birds who have passed from hand to hand (most parrots will have an average of eight owners in their lifetime), is cage aggressive. However, once out of the cage, she was the sweetest, prettiest little muffin head I've ever seen. She was fairly tolerant of us on that first day, and we spent about two hours holding her and talking to her and bribing her with treats.
Mmmm...carrots, lucky girl.
The coordinator graciously offered to give us the class required to adopt when we returned the next day so we wouldn't have to drive down for it later in June. We had a take home test and an application to fill out together. We did quite well, I might add, and better than most, apparently. Thank God the hours of reading all the contradictory literature in aviculture has served some purpose, because my vet doesn't agree with most of it.
We returned to the coordinator's house the next morning after checking out and eating breakfast at the Original Pancake House (mmmm, coconut pancakes), next to a famous UofO athlete who had little boys clamoring for his autograph as we left and after a visit from the Oregon Duck and his girl, who are supposed to look like Donald and Daisy but actually looked like the Mexican knockoffs we saw on our Mazatlan shore excursion from the cruise.
Anyway, we returned, took the test and spent more time with Sasha, where I found that I am only a mere incidental compared to Christian. I'm quite jealous, actually. She showed such an obvious preference to his broad shoulders and manly scent that she would leap off my hand and onto his if he got within feet of me. Well, Cyril likes me better. Nyah.
After the test and visit, the coordinator told us that we were just the kind of people who should have Sasha in their home. We were thrilled, and only have the home inspection hurdle to overcome before we can get her and bring her home. As it turns out, one of the board members/home inspectors was in Seattle over the weekend and could have seen our home and allowed us to take Sasha with us when we left. Sigh. Regardless, the inspector from Olympia should be calling us soon to arrange a time to run over our house with a white cotton glove. Thank God we're mostly tidy. I can't bear to think of what would happen if they decided we just seemed too sketchy to have the little fluffy bunny head. However, I think we're keen. We can provide written testimonials.