Monday, October 6, 2008

The Great Pumpkin

It was two years ago, this week, that we brought Pumpkin home to join the family. He and Tori were instant friends, and have been constant companions ever since. Watching them hang out together, playing, chatting, sitting so close you can barely discern a line of space between them. It's an incredible thing. Sure, they've had "jealous sibling" issues, like brothers vying for attention, or first dibs at toys or treats. But, all in all, they are the best of friends. Brothers in wings.
When we were looking to find a friend and companion for Tori, I visited Kay and Ralph at the pet shop many times before making a decision. It had to be the right match. The first time I saw Pumpkin he was wrestling with his brother bird in a cage in the store. They wrestled so boisterously that they both fell off the perch and were rolling around at the bottom of the cage. Not fighting, but wrestling. No harm done. I was amazed. When Kay told me that Pumpkin's brother had been sold and that someone would be taking him home in the next few days, I knew that I couldn't let Pumpkin go lonely. He would be missing his companion. His buddy. His brother. So, the decision was made, and we made plans to bring him home.
When we got him home I spent a bit of time with him, hoping to keep him calm, and not stress him too much. Then we introduced him to Tori. Within minutes they were both sitting on my hand together. Like they'd been friends forever. And, now, it seems, they have been.
Pumpkin has always been a true "boy" in all things. Always on the move - places to go, toys to play with. Flying to do. Except, not too long after he joined the family, he was a bit over zealous and somehow wounded one of his blood feathers. I panicked, and ended up taking him to an emergency vet clinic about 20 miles out of town. I hadn't been through it before, and I wasn't taking any chances. For those who haven't had birds, it's important to note, they are small creatures, so even a little blood loss can be harmful. It's very important to make sure that any injured feathers are treated, or removed as the case may be. That any bleeding is quickly stopped, and any chance of infection staved off. Fortunately, everything worked out fine and Pumpkin was okay. But he had more than a few blood feather incidents in that first 6 months or so. It just seemed like he would start to heal and he would get just rowdy enough to injure himself again. I had many an urgent conversation with Kay during this time period. She would look him over, make sure all was well, and then proclaim him "all boy".
Pumpkin is doing very well these days. It took some time for him to really come around and want to hang out with me. But he and I are good friends now. Though, Tori wins the number one spot.

My Flock

My flock. Aren't they something?! I was offering a treat and they were all "Don't mind if I do!". Some people might cower at the prospect of having four birds climbing on their heads, and shoulders, arms and hands. Not me. This is pure joy. It rarely fails to make me laugh with glee. Such a simple thing, and yet, it can turn a really bad day into a much better one.
Try it sometime.