Saturday, February 28, 2009

Unexpected Beauties

I went to the pet shop to visit Kay and Ralph. To pick up a few supplies for the gang, and to ask a few questions about our latest feathered family addition, Google, the cockatiel. By the time I left the shop, Ralph had offered me two budgie babies to add to our ever-growing family. They were a pair of brothers, both with some walking disabilities. They are otherwise healthy, very sweet, and quite beautiful birds. I was flattered they would consider me for this, and told them I would think about it.

I wasn't far from the pet shop, and into my afternoon errands, when I pretty much knew I wanted to do it. The birds were beautiful, one gray and white, the other purple and white. Clear-eyed, chipper, they played the winking game (it's a sign...I've blogged about it in the past). Anyway, I tried not to dwell on it, since I figured Joe, my husband, would say "No". Actually, I thought he would say "Kimberly! Are you crazy?!"

So, I went about my day. I was working on organizing my office/the bird room in an effort to make it more functional, and tidy. I needed to purge some things, clean, etc. I worked on that until Joe came home from work. Shortly after he came home we realized we had a problem with the refrigerator. It was leaking water. This did not help Joe's mood, or mine. We set about emptying the fridge and freezer. This was an all-night task, and we were both working on other things at the same time. I didn't mention the birds.

By the time midnight rolled around, and we'd returned our perishables to the cold zone, we sat down for a beverage and to catch up on our day. I started with "I stopped at the pet store to see Kay...and ended with "Ralph offered to give us two baby budgies." I waited for Joe's response. For, "Kimberly! Are you crazy?!" Instead, to my surprise, he semi-smiled. I asked "What?"
He said "Five...Seven...what's the difference?!" We discussed it a bit further, but didn't make a final decision just yet. He went about turning off the TV, the living room lights. When he came back to the kitchen I was smiling. "What?" he asked me. I looked up at him..."I've already picked out names..."

And so it was, that we adopted Mouse and Blogger. Two more baby budgies. Two more feathered bundles of personality. Two more fine-feathered friends named after some crazy computer/internet thing. I brought them home Friday night and introduced them to the gang. So far, so good.

We're still fine-tuning their living quarters to adapt to their foot issues, but so far they seem to be doing okay. They eat, drink, climb, chirp, preen each other, and call out to the other birdies. Tori has been inside to visit them several times and they don't seem to mind at all. They are sleeping just a few feet away from me as I write this.

Am I crazy? Most people would say so. But I've got plenty of love to give. And if it takes just a little longer to say "Night Night", well, what's the big deal? We're not exactly the Waltons, you know.

Not yet, anyway....Good night, John-boy.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Window Watcher

He looks so pensive and thoughtful sitting at the window like he does. One day I left the room for a few minutes and came back to budgies only. Where was Google? I called out to him and he answered promptly. But I didn't see him. It's not a big room, but it's plenty full of shelves and desks, and books, etc. And, of course, he was plainly in the room. I followed his whistle and found him sitting on the window sill, behind the curtain, watching happily the backyard view.
It was a cloudy, snowy day, not much happening. But he sat there a while.

Now I have it set up so that we can set a small playgym up there and he can sit on the perch and watch out the window. Even in the mornings, while I put on my makeup he sits watching out the window at my dresser.

As he sits there, contentedly, I wonder, what's he thinking?

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Kids are Alright

My little gang of feathered children sure do amaze and entertain. They touch my heart, and my funny bone, too. It's been three weeks since we brought Google home. The gang seems to be settling in with him. They aren't best friends yet, but they do seem to snack at the same snack bar on occasion. And sometimes the little budgies don't fly away when big, bumbling Google comes along to play. Not that Google is really big, but in the context of a budgie, he seems that way.

He fits nicely on my shoulder. My hand. He likes to nap on both. It's so cute to watch him struggle to stay awake--like a little child (and some grown-ups) not wanting to miss anything. When he can barely keep his eyes open, and his head starts bobbing towards sleep he'll try hard to shake it off. Shake his head quickly back and forth. Like I do when I've been driving too long and I'm so tired, but eager to make it to my destination. Sometimes I sing to him when he does this, and it seems to relax him. Before I know it he's tucked his Google-head into his wings and is cozy and asleep within distance of a quick kiss. He's a good nuzzler, too.

The only other bird who will nap on my shoulder or hand is Tori. He's content to sit quietly on my shoulder, grinding his beak. Occasionally he will go ahead and nap there. Unfortunately, when he does spend too much time napping there it means he's not feeling well and a trip to the vet is evident. Fortunately that hasn't happened for some time now.

We tried a new snack tonight. "Honey Nut" Chex cereal. Everyone likes it. There were two birds hanging off the side of my head, and two on my hand snacking away. They like to nibble at it while I hold it from my lips. I know, I know, it's crazy. It's not how I feed them every day. It's a form of play.

Right now the budgies are buzzing the room. Texter likes to buzz low, around my head, over Google's head. Google looks on with fascination. I'm certain he longs to take flight and buzz the room, too. His wings are clipped lightly, so he's got a little air power. Mostly just enough to make for a safe landing on the floor, or my desk.

Google is sitting on my desk, trying desperately to type on the keypad. He seems quite fascinated with it. I whistle at him. He whistles back. This will go on for a while.

And when bedtime comes, as we prepare for night-night, he'll start up whistling even more. Showing off, wanting my attention, hoping to stay up just a little bit later. He'll get this whole nighttime routine eventually. In the meantime, I'm a sucker for an entertaining Google.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What's a Googlebath?

He's a Googlebath. A very wet one! Google the cockatiel has been with us for a little over a week now, and he seems to be settling in pretty well. He's 10 weeks old. He's very much like our gang of four parakeets, but kind of not, too. In part, due to the fact that he was hand-raised and fed, he is very affectionate. He will sit on your shoulder and go anywhere in the house with you (not that he should). He's already taking naps on my shoulder while I read or work at the computer. My point is, he's very tame and friendly.

He's becoming more and more vocal. Tonight he was repeating some whistles that I was calling to him. A good sign. He's already become very fond of the bathtub we put out for the parakeets. They all like to gather there, take a drink, a dip, socialize. Google is no exception. Well, the one thing he does that the others haven't is bring his toys into the tub to play. So, now we have lots of wet bird toys bouncing about.

This evening, Tori, our oldest parakeet, decided to pay Google a visit in Google's house. All went well. No big to-do, just a simple, cordial visit.

The parakeets (the Four Amigos) are all familiar with the bedtime routine. We clean up, get fresh food and water, sweep or vacuum up the floor, night-night music goes on. Then, one by one, they are tucked in to their house to settle in for the night. I bid each one good night, cover their cage (only partially), turn out any lamps in the room, and turn on their nite-lite. There may be a scuffle or two as they volley for their favorite sleeping spots, but that's pretty much it.

Now Google is part of that routine and he's adapting. But not without a few attempts to woo me to let him stay up. His chatter grows more frequent as we get ready for night-time. Like a tired child amusing a parent for that extra ten minutes, Google seeks to impress and entertain so that he can stay up late with "the folks". He calls out a few times once he is tucked in, but soon settles in for some shut-eye. He's had a busy day, after all, and he needs some sleep.