The Dearest Dozen

Thanks to the IRS, we will be able to catch up on our rent for January and most of February. This will allow us to stay where we are through April, I believe. And the more time we get, the more likely a permanent solution will happen.

With the possibility of having to move with a short time frame in my mind, I considered my flock, and who must stay at all costs. How could anyone choose which child can stay and which ones must go? Assume none of the “children” are old enough to be on their own. Also the choices would be made on a short time scale.

I don’t mean to imply in any sense that the need to rehome parrots is at all the same as children taken out of the home by protective services or given up for adoption through necessity. Nor is this like having a teenager who moves out or runs away. But the emotions are similar in these situations.

Jake, my violet love bird, hand tamed and my darling, has already been rehomed once. I could not do that to him again. Maynard, too, has been passed from home to home. An Amazon parrot is not going to be easy to sneak into another house or apartment. Most of the time, he’s quiet, but if I am home and not where he can see me, he screams. Also, he chose me. How could I throw that away?

Our two African Greys are special needs birds. Bo Dangles is starting to open up to more touching, but she has gone backwards with jealousy over Maynard. Io, being blind, hasn’t been too upset over Maynard’s arrival, and he has started allowing gentle touches on his feet. Moving alone would upset him and set him back in trusting us. Having to adjust to new caretakers would be nearly insurmountable.

Dani is also special needs, an orange front conure with serious splayed legs. She requires special modifications to her cage, and slowly is adjusting to a better diet. She has always been sweet, only fussing a little and doesn’t really like to be handled. She can fly but the landings are always heart-stopping. She’s smart enough to aim for the couch, usually. Again, our little Dani was given to us from her second home, so rehoming again would be detrimental to her mental well-being.

Creamsicle, known as Creamy, is a beautiful lutino (yellow phase) cockatiel with the softest feathers I have ever felt. He loves to be with people, and can’t understand why he doesn’t get to come out all the time. He loves to put his head in my ear and sing gently. He is the offspring of a pair of my breeders, and was hand raised by my friends. Mallory is an albino cockatiel, hand raised by another friend and from very different blood lines. She likes people, but doesn’t really want to be handled that much. She didn’t stay tame for long. She also has a chronic need to create wind storms. For no apparent reason, she will grab on tightly to a perch, and flap her wings as hard as she can for several minutes. A pause, and then she’s off again. Such a silly girl.

Sun conure Zazu lost his first home due to the untimely death of his caretaker. The woman’s husband gave him away, and we were lucky enough to be in a position to take him in. I’ve told the story before, that even though I was the one who pulled the strings to pick him up, he hates me and adores Mike. So I found Sunny, a sweet sun conure who loves everyone. I don’t know much about her history, only that she was 10 years old when we adopted her, and she had been surrendered by her elderly caretakers . She was my first close bonded parrot, and I won’t give up any of the time we have left together. I nearly lost her some years back when she laid an egg. The process nearly killed her, and I couldn’t believe I could save her. But somehow, through the emergency measures of heat and calcium, she recovered in a couple days. Spending a whole day at work thinking I would never see her alive again is one of the hardest things I have ever experienced.

We thought our Indian ringneck parakeet was a girl, and named her Wraith. Then at a year, he showed us his ring and we knew we had a male. This summer he will finally be old enough to mate, and I am hoping to find a blue female to match him. And that alone is not enough to reserve his spot on this list. The relationship he is developing with Mike is. Hand fed and tame when we got “her,” Wraith did not like finding himself in a new house with new crazy people and lots of other birds. He would not come out of his cage unless he flew out in a panic. Now, Mike talks to him every day, there is a response that he looks for, and I would not destroy that growing bond for anything.

My cockatiel breeders, Ash and Mombird, Elmer and Zippy, cannot be extracted from each other, like conjoined twins, without endangering the life of the other. So they count as two more, making my dozen. And if I could make it a baker’s dozen, I might add Ethel. A rosey Bourke parakeet, Ethel has foot problems. But they mostly are visual, not anything that prevents her from perching. Bourkes are so gentle, and really not aggressive as long as there is no nest for them to defend, that she resides with a cage full of zebra finches and society finches. She is content, and so if the finches go to another home, she may go with them.

But luckily the decision can be put off a while longer. Things could happen at any moment to make it all unnecessary. If you are the sort who prays, I would be thankful for any prayers on our behalf you may care to send. See you mid-week with a short post!

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