Felix, and all other parrots, consider all things, calculate, and execute in the belief that whatever they have chosen is correct. And they are not wrong.

A day in the life of a person with a parrot.

Living with Felix, the African grey.

Kathy LaFollett
5 min readOct 4, 2023

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“Stop.”

Felix tosses my toothbrush holder with toothbrush into the sink. It doesn’t crash, it bounces. I have a blue rubber toothbrush holder that is a shark head with an mouth open. Like the shark in the “Jaws” movie poster. I bought because it’s a rubber shark head with a big open mouth like the shark in the “Jaws” movie poster. I’m taking a shower. Felix is working hard to throw everything on the vanity, into the sink. It’s a race to the finish.

Felix laughs at me while I hold my head outside the shower. A disembodied dripping admonition. His personal joke. His laugh is a George W. Bush chuckle. ‘Heh heh heh heh’ then fartsound, or raspberry, if you’re not crass. I have no idea if George W. Bush did the fartsound part.

The glass soap dish scrapes along the vanity top as Felix pulls and pushes it to its doom. Porcelain pings in the sink. The rubber shark head slowed it’s slide. Plastic hand soap dispenser. Wooden hair brush. Lotion bottle. The pile in the sink is tumbled and stacked high enough for him to fuss with the arrangement of items he found filled with criminality. They needed to be gotten under control. He’s run out of things to toss in. Now he whistles while he works and puts himself on a mentally forged repeat. “Time to take a fuck’n shower.”

The phrase he brought to our house from his previous home. Rescue parrots come with leftover word salads. And opinions born of events you will never know. So you will offend doing things you never knew were offensive. Like, wearing a hat. Walking slow. Walking fast. Humming. Carrying too many of anything that is questionable to the parrot. Offering taxi service with the wrong hand. Offering taxi service with the right hand. Offering taxi service with the wrong tone. The list can be short. Can be long. It’s all mystery. A rescue parrot is a rubber band ball. You’ll need to get that pulled apart, and sometimes it’ll sting.

“I want some apple popcorn.”

“Fee, I’m not done in here. Hang on. I’ll make lunch when I’m finished, okay?”

“No.”

Parrots can speak contextually. They will always communicate contextually. Words are a choice. A talking…

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