Today was a busy day. Two special times were memorable for me, though. The first was in the morning. Those of you who know that I’m not a morning person may find that hard to believe, but perhaps you will be reassured if I tell you that it was in fact late morning. Very late morning.
I had breakfast with Huey. No, he’s not a boyfriend who slept over, he’s a parrot. A shy and nervous parrot, in fact. There is quite a trick to getting him out of his cage, where he feels he is safe as well as lord and master of his domain. Up until a couple of days ago any attempt to pluck him from his sanctuary would be be vigorously resisted, with shrill screeching, biting, furious flapping and evasive maneuvers. Today, however, was a much quieter and simpler process. Distracting him with one hand and gently but swiftly picking him up with the other worked like a charm. He cuddled on my chest as I scratched his itchy head feathers, the ones he just can’t reach. There’s a little spot about half an inch back from his eye that’s wired directly to the pleasure centre in his brain. Just the right gentle massage of the pin-sized feather roots there will make his eyes close and his little tongue go lalalala in ecstasy. Okay, he’s only a parrot, but it’s pretty neat to be able to give him that kind of pleasure.
Breakfast was starting to get cold, so I perched him on my shoulder, where he sat for the entire meal. I put him back in his cage and he was quite happy to be home.
Later that evening the twins came over for the night. Huey’s owner was very hesitant about holding him as he’d bitten her on the cheek a couple of days before. “No, maybe I’ll hold him tomorrow. Not now.” she said. But after a bit of persuasion and cooperation, she held him cuddled onto my chest and I showed her how to stroke the feather roots and where to scratch him so his eyes would close and his tongue would go nuts.
It was a three-way moment of caring and bonding. Those are pretty rare and special.