Tag Archives For: bird

24 Oct, 2015

Animal Updates

/ posted in: Pets

Paul Update

(Yes, I am aware this is the same picture I keep posting of Paul but he is elusive, like a trying to photograph a snow leopard….)

We adopted Paul close to 3 weeks ago now. The first week was rough. He hid constantly. I had to beg him to eat. Our only signs of progress was when he would move a little towards my hand if I reached under the bed to pet him.

I was really worried because we were heading on vacation for the next week. I have a great pet sitting service that comes in but I didn’t want to upend his world all over again. They ended up setting him all up in the bedroom and keeping him closed in there because he was hiding from them and they weren’t sure he was eating. They gave him as much attention as he’d allow.

The night we came home I walked into the bathroom and saw movement behind me. I turned around and there was Paul, standing up like a normal cat. I had only ever seen him move in a crouch. Here he was walking around the bedroom like he owned the place. That night he jumped on the bed but bolted when he realized there were 2 humans, a dog, and a cat already on it. I figure he’d been sleeping on it all week and was quite put out that suddenly we were all sleeping on HIS bed!

Now he’s pretty darn brave. He comes out mostly at night and hides under something during the day. He’s jumping up on the bed at night to get petting. He doesn’t stay long but that seems to be because he loses interest more than him being too scared. He likes to sit with the husband on the couch in the morning for petting. I think he’s starting to eat out of the communal cat bowl. He still gets overwhelmed by Freckles’ love especially when she hits him in the head with her tail but he seems more exasperated than scared.



Jules is our parrot.  She’s been here for 5 years.  She doesn’t talk.  On the first morning after her adoption she said, “Hello” to me when I uncovered her cage.  She has said nothing since.  She vocalizes all the time but no words.

The other day the husband decided to open a few windows.  After a while a strong breeze blew through on and startled her.  She fell off her perch.  (She gets dramatic when startled.)  She climbed back up, looked at him, and said clear as day, “It’s cold.”  He stared at her and said, “Sorry.  I’ll close the window.”  He did and she was satisfied.

I wasn’t home and he was quite put out when he relayed this story.  He said that she had been holding out on us.  Not only can she talk but she talks in sentences.  It seems uncharitable that she breaks 5 years of silence just to complain though. 

I went out and opened the cage.  She’s been being a complete b!tch recently about coming out of her cage.  She hasn’t wanted too and a few times I forced her out because I didn’t want her to get in the habit of being cage-bound.  That night I just wanted to pet her but she strolled right out onto my arm like it was normal.  I have a working theory that the real Jules died while we were on vacation and the pet sitters got us a new bird.  I’m ok with that because this bird is much nicer.

28 Mar, 2012

When good dogs go bad

/ posted in: Pets

One night I noticed Powder standing on her hind legs trying to look in the garbage.  That was weird.  That cat doesn’t normally acknowledge lowly things like garbage. 

All during the night Freckles was restless.  She was up and down off the bed.  I got up and let her out in the middle of the night.  It didn’t help. 

When morning came I saw the problem.  Someone had knocked over the garbage and spread it about until they unearthed a chicken carcass.  It was in the middle of the kitchen untouched.  The untouchedness led me to conclude that it was Freckles.  She had taken it out and then got so guilty that she couldn’t even snack on it.

I walked back into the bedroom and looked at Powder and Freckles.  Powder did not deign to acknowledge my stare.  She maintained her air of being so above petty concerns like humans and dogs.  Freckles, on the other hand, was a wreck.  She knew she had been bad and was busted.  She started whimpering and crying and snuggling up to the SO and begging for her life. 

We laid in bed and cuddled her.  She was punishing herself more than we ever could.  But, the cat – who probably put her up to it given her previous interest in the garbage – finally couldn’t take it any longer.  She calmly walked across the bed and proceeded to smack Freckles repeatedly on the head.  The message was clear.  “They got no proof on us if you don’t confess, you worthless mutt.” 

There was one other player.  Jules had a clear view of the crime from her cage.  She was squawking early that morning.  Apparently she was ratting out the wrong doers.  Now if we could just convince her to talk and learn everyone’s names we’d know exactly what happened. 

18 Jan, 2012

Murder Suspect

/ posted in: Pets

I had been joking around about how Freckles would think that her beloved daddy had taken all the stuff from the house and not told me how to get to the new house.  I forgot to consider the smartest beastie in the house.

Jules is pissed.  The SO says she looking at him like she knows what he did.  She knows he killed me and hid the body.  I took her up to the new house and set her up on Friday.  She was perfectly happy.  On Saturday with all the excitement of movers bringing stuff in she was having fun, I hear.  There has never been a hubbub that a bird doesn’t enjoy.  But now, life is boring and her human isn’t there.  She’s never trusted the male human and now it seems that her suspicions are being proved right.

He’s put me on speaker every night to talk to her.  She doesn’t care about his tricks.  Today he left the radio on for her.  He tested channels for her and she liked the pop music best.  She likes to sing and dance.  I’m also recommending bribery with bananas and bread/pizza crusts. 

I’m going to have to have some serious cuddle time with her when I get back.  I have a feeling I’m going to get bit too in order to punish me for stressing her.

29 May, 2011

Settling In

/ posted in: Pets


She looks so very stern in this picture!

Jules is settling in well. She now mostly doesn’t give me any hassle about coming out of the cage. She still pretends that she doesn’t know “Up!” when it is time to go back though. Contrary to all reports from the foster homes, she isn’t afraid of the dog at all. Of course, Freckles isn’t as intimidating as the herd of Dachshunds where she was. Freckles wants to touch the bird so badly and pouts when I tell her no.

I have introduced the cats as Predator 1 (Riley) and Predator 2 (Powder) but so far everyone has ignored everyone else. I haven’t let Jules out of the cage when Predator 1 is in the house though.

Jules came here as a seed eater. I spend my bird exams preaching against the evils of seeds so we have to fix that. I ordered her the top of the line organic pellets that I prefer for birds to eat. She hasn’t touched them. Well, not true. She has screamed at them in her bowl and then thrown them out of the bowl. They keep getting put back in there though. Now she’s offered a mix of her seeds and several types of pellets daily. It is hard to see what she is eating for sure. I know she eats the seeds first.

I tried the trick of taking her and her bowl of pellets out and pretending to eat them with her. Birds are flock eaters and so if others are eating something it must be safe. I got attacked for that. Apparently she didn’t want them but BY GOD, THEY WERE IN HER BOWL! THEY WERE HERS! BACK OFF, B#%@H! New plan needed then.

She took her first shower with me yesterday. She seemed to like the water but she didn’t get into it like Ozzie did. She did want to play the “catch the drops of water running down the human’s face” game and didn’t understand why I wasn’t so keen on that.

So far she has only said, “Hello” to me on one day. Occasionally she is muttering something that sounds like words under her breath but I can’t make them out and am not sure I want to. LOL.

15 May, 2011

Feeling at home

/ posted in: Pets

Birds bite.

It is one of those inescapable facts of life like death and taxes.

Bigger birds bite harder. Also true.

The rescue kept saying what a sweet bird Jules is. I’m sure that’s true. Right now, though, she is a very pissed off and stressed sweet bird. I’m still calling her a sweet bird because I know this is tough on her and even though she has bit me over and over she has refrained from breaking the skin.

Last night she didn’t want to eat. She took a bite of a cucumber slice I offered her. If I tried to touch her, she’d bite. She doesn’t have a great “Step Up” command. That’s not good. That’s the bird equivalent of a dog’s recall command. If she is out of her cage and something happens and I need her with me Right Now, she better step up on my hand when I say so. No questions asked. This is especially important in a house with predators. We’ll be working on that.

Trying to get her to step up last night went like this. I put my hand in the cage and said, “Up.” She bit and fled. Repeat. Finally she did a few half hearted attempts and I called it good. This morning was the same thing. I finally caught her against her will and made her come out for a visit. She was shaking so hard but eventually settled down enough to walk around on me and play with my hair. She tried to get tough and acted like she was going to bite my face but she didn’t mean it. I blew air at her and she stopped. After she was comfortable I put her back in the cage while she was still having fun.

This evening I was going to work on Up again. I put my hand in the cage ready for the assault and she lowered her head but didn’t bite! She let me scratch her neck and pet her. I think we’re on our way to making friends.
You can tell she wants to be involved because when you walk through the room if you ignore her, she’ll call to you. If you initiate the conversation, she’ll ignore you. I think she’s playing hard to get.

03 Jan, 2011

Z is not observant

/ posted in: FamilyPets

We never told Z that Ozzie died. She had never paid any attention to the bird so we really wondered if she would even notice that he wasn’t around. He sat in the middle of the house and made lots of noise so you’d think that his abscence would be obvious. But she never noticed.

We went to my parents’ this weekend for belated Christmas. One of my uncles left a present for Z. It was a fake parrot that is motion activated. It yells at you when you walk past it. My mother said, “It is appropriate for you guys now that Ozzie is gone.”

Z spun around and looked at me. “Where did Ozzie go?”

The SO said, “College.”

On the way home we explained the truth to her. She started wailing, “I miss him!!”  I turned around and reminded her that she didn’t even notice he was gone. She admitted that it was a good point and quit crying.

11 Dec, 2010


/ posted in: PetsPhotos

I found Ozzie dead this morning. It wasn’t a total shock since we suspect that he had been dealing with some serious liver issues for a few years. At the time that he started showing signs I expected him to die soon but he stayed the same.

Yesterday morning I trimmed his beak and he was his typical pissy self about it. Nothing was any different. He ate last night like normal. In fact I had to go to the kitchen in the middle of feeding him and he yelled at me because his food was taking too long.


This is a typical Ozzie pose. He was always flipping upside down.

I got him in my third year of vet school. He was 8 weeks old when I got him in November of 1995. Fifteen is elderly for lovebirds.

The SO says that we have to get a new bird because it is too quiet. Ozzie was in the center of the house and he “talked” to you all the time. Lovebirds don’t say words but he made lots of noise. I think he was fluent in English because there were times when I’d say something sarcastic and he’d laugh.

He outlasted three states, six houses, and one marriage. I told the SO that he’s moving up in seniority since Spirit, Snowball, and now Ozzie have died since we met. That’s the problem with having a bunch of old animals.

21 May, 2010


/ posted in: General

Renovation isn’t only tough on the humans in the house. My poor old Ozzie bird is having much trauma. Every time there is a possibility of painting he has to evacuate since birds are so sensitive to fumes. The worker guy doesn’t come until after I leave for work so I don’t know if there is going to be painting or not so Ozzie has had to evacuate most days for the past two weeks.

At first he was going to work with me. This was fun for a day or two since he likes hubbub and a vet clinic offers lots of barking dogs and ringing phones and other birdie delights. But at heart Ozzie is a homebody. He doesn’t like having to give up the comforts of home to get into his travel cage and hang out where you can’t get a good nap in the middle of the morning, One time he even had to spend the night in the garage since the fumes were still bad. I told him that he was camping but I felt guilty. What kind of mom exiles her baby to the garage for the night even if it is for his own good? I ended up running out to check on him under the cover of darkness with my bathrobe on. He was sleeping.

He’s getting to be a pro at all this moving. At first he fought getting out of the big cage. Now every morning I open his cage and he hops onto my hand for the move to the travel cage. If birds could sigh he would. He’s in the garage today since the weather is warm enough. He has a view of the weight bench and the Porsche. He’s a boy bird. Maybe that stuff makes him happy.

Freckles is not happy either. Ozzie is not supposed to move. I think she views him as furniture – a part of the dining room like a chair. When he is in the travel cage in another room she freaks out. She runs back and forth between him and I in a panic. “Ozzie’s in the LIVING ROOM. He doesn’t GO in the living room. He belongs in the dining room. DO SOMETHING!!” I had to put him back just to shut up her whole “Timmy’s in the well” routine. And don’t even get her started on strangers coming in her house and stinking up the place with paint and OMG ripping up the floor! It is extra bad since she isn’t allowed to be near the ripping up the floor because of something called “nails” and “you’re going to hurt your paws” so she doesn’t even get to see what everyone is so focused on even though it isn’t food so she isn’t sure why it is so interesting.