When I was living at home we had a variety of pets. This included dogs, turtles, fish, chameleons, frogs, hamsters, and birds. Now, as an adult and having children this list continues. The problem is that I found the cleaning aspect of all these creatures a lot of work. The girls were responsible for taking care of their pets, but we all know how having kids be responsible for taking care of pets go. Cleaning pets is not top on their list thereby leaving mom will the nasty task.
We have always had a dog, and have had all really special sweet puppies. But, in addition to having to have a dog, something I find that I really enjoyed was birds. When I was in grade school two of my friends who had a parakeet themselves purchased a bird for me. I named him Sparky. After playing with him on numerous occasions I got him to talk. It did take a while, but he did it.
When I had a family I thought this experience had to be shared with my girls. So, one Christmas I purchased a white parakeet for my oldest daughter. (The birds had to be color-coordinated with their rooms.) Then I purchased a yellow parakeet for my youngest daughter.
I used to go on at least a monthly basis to see a Mr. Peterman who sold birds out of his basement. We called him the birdman and it was fun to see all the new birds that he would have. One time he said that he had a bird that I would surely enjoy. He showed me a Gray Cheeked Parakeet. This bird was tame immediately, and Mr. Peterman assured me that this breed was really special and easy to train. I was sold. So, I purchased this bird which we named, “Oliver”.
He looked kind of like a larger green parakeet with a blue head. The size of a lovebird. Oliver loved to sit on your shoulder your head, or wherever and was a part of the family immediately. He enjoyed sitting on the edge of my Old Fashioned cocktail and sipping from my glass. Oliver also liked to share ice cream from my dish. He eventually would love to come in the bathroom with me when I took a shower and would talk, saying over and over, “Oliver, Oliver, pretty Oliver”. He would also like to suck the water out of your toothbrush when you brushed your teeth.
One time I had a girlfriend come over to bring something to me. I had Oliver sitting on my shoulder. Now, it is to be noted that not everyone is keen on birds, especially when flying around out of a cage. So, when Oliver proceeded to sit on her newly styled hairdo, she was sort of in shock. I thought she would probably never come to my house again.
As Oliver got a little older he became a little aggressive. One thing you learned not to do is make funny chirping noises at him if you didn’t want him hanging off of your front teeth. Just ask my daughter, Michelle, as this happened to her.
One funny happening was when my ex-son-in-law, Tom, was sitting in Lisa’s room. Oliver’s room, which was also our laundry room, was down the hall. He was sitting in a chair and Oliver came flying down the hall directly at him. As Tom said, he wasn’t used to animals flying at his head. So, he picked up a pillow and swatted at Oliver. The bird lay momentarily stunned on the floor. My daughter freaked out, saying, “You killed him”, but Oliver shook his feathers and proceeded to fly around unharmed.
He had a little wooden play yard that he would play on when he wasn’t in his cage, but what he liked best was tormenting whoever was around.
This was a fun experience and I am glad that we had an “Oliver”.