20. April 2010

Adopting a pet is not at all what I had in mind

When I put "Adopt a pet" on my Life List, I thought about it more in a "get a dog" kind of way. Somehow adopting a pet meant having a dog in the end. At least for me.

But then the old bird died, leaving behind a young, blonde widow of 7 years, and it was so clear for the geek and me that she should not be lonely for long. She needed some time to adjust to him no longer being there, but after a couple of weeks, a new bird had to enter the scene, as she was getting quite bored. Parents, do not get pets for your children without thinking about the consequences. Especially if the birds normally reach a Methusalem age of 20 - 25 years. Or 28, as it was the case with Fritz.

So we went bird-hunting. Not hunting in a literal sense, but more like shoe-hunting. We visited different stores and tried our luck in animal shelters until we finally bought one last Saturday.

I was all "So we need a bird? Well, let's take the one with feathers." How much picking does it need to pick a bird? I mean, they need not master special skills or know seven languages or rescue hikers from snow drifts or something like that. They just need to sit there and be pretty.

Turns out, I was wrong. The longer we looked, the more I realized that these birds to have their own personality and some of them show that even within the 10 minutes we stood in front of their cages.

I think we have picked an incredible bird. I never thought I would ever say such a thing. He - or at least we hope that it is a he - is full of energy and not at all full of panic with all the changes in his young life. He never shies away from us hissing, but only kind of walks away and sits down on another perch. He does not mind Blondi and I think that they will get along very well. So far he does not understand the concept of a shower yet, but he is picking up on many things that Blondi does or allows us to do. He is learning. He started talking after about 4 hours in his new home, which the geek says he never experienced before with other birds. He has had quite a lot of them so far, since Fritz survived many partners over the year. 28, just to remind those of you thinking of getting one. Long time.

Having birds turns out to be more than just "having birds". We bond and they become - I will not say persons, as you will laugh out loud and unfollow my musings - individuals. More than just a mess of feathers. She is the most fearful thing I have experienced in all my 31 25 years and I have to laugh about her getting afraid of her own courage when she really wants to know what I am eating. It could be something good. That is so funny. And he likes to hang upside down in the cage. That is a good start.

I still do not like the idea of them being there, in the middle of our apartment, flying around the living room. No, we do not keep them in the cage all the time. They are mostly free to wander in and out their house. But they are not exactly potty-trained and they are especially fond of throwing their food around. And feathers. So basically they have mastered the art of mess-making to perfection. But can I blame them? Unfortunately: no. They just don't know better and I guess that I will have to make the compromise here and accept that the fun they bring is followed by a bit of work. And shit. On the couch.

So I guess, buying a bird qualifies as adopting a pet. Task accomplished.

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