Parrot more, human less.
Companion parrots are work. On all the levels raising a child is work. Two differences; human children move out, and you can legally keep a parrot in a cage.
Companion animals are work. I care for two guinea pigs, one rabbit, 8 parrots, 2 lizards and one bodacious Catahoula hound. It’s quite a bit of work.
They are all equally quite a bit of work. And they all equally make me happier for their companionship. I can’t imagine not having 2 pounds of blue and gold on my shoulder while I write these very words. How could I be inspired to write if she isn’t stuffing her tongue in my ear humming and breathing?
How could I write my books without all their inspiration? I needed even more than what’s in the house, and turned to all the wild Muscovy Ducks outside. They are now named, invited and fed on our front lawn. They know me. They know my bright yellow food bowl.
I wouldn’t laugh as much if Kirby wasn’t buzzing from room to room to land on a favored spot. There he flock calls to let me know he’s landed safely. I call back. “Okay Kirby!”
Snickers, our TwoHandsFull of male scarlet challenges my heart and empathy. He is not easily impressed by me. And so I dig deep to be better at humaning less and parroting more. We find each other emotionally and physically throughout the day. He takes those moments to reward my efforts. I am not his favorite, but I am not unloved. For a human, that’s a strange place to live. It teaches me to cherish his moments of companionship.
The Horde of four, our cockatiels. Diminutive, loud, raucous, demanding. They are equal to the task of demanding better parroting on my part as Snickers ever will be. Never underestimate a parrot of small stature.
Felix. He rescued us. You know all there is to know about Felix. I try to teach through and with him every day. He is the ambassador of intellect and shaman to confused. That boy has no time for ridiculous excuses. And all excuses are ridiculous to a Felix.
What’s the point here? Where am I going on all this?
Companion parrots are fantastic friends. They are this side of magic street. Of course they are messy. They can be loud (our macaws are far FAR quieter than the cockatiels, again stature has nothing to do with it). They will assume their home (your house) is theirs and attempt to claim it all in one form or another. Their healthcare is expensive if things go wrong. Their food is human grade necessary. Their need for time is equal to any human child. Your time is the key to all the success a companion parrot relationship hopes. And that relationship, like a human relationship, will always be growing and morphing and changing according to the time invested.
But that’s not where I’m going here.
Here’s the parking lot of my thoughts; companion parrots require the same love, time and concern as a child. If you love kids, you’ll do well with a parrot. If you cherish little voices telling you the obvious, mundane or silly. You will do well with a parrot. If messes are meaningless byproducts of joy building, parrots fit you. If you’d rather laugh than own a perfect world; they will ride shotgun on your giggle train.
A companion parrot feels those emotions you do. They respond as a wild thing rather than a human. Expect empathy from them. Expect fear from them. Expect joy as well. They will learn to laugh out loud in your voice. Expect to get up early. Expect to go to bed early as well, they will be getting up early. Always.
There is nothing, nothing at all like the excited happy voice of a parrot yelling “HI!” when you walk in the door from wherever you walked. Butters’ voice is mine. I hear me greeting me. It’s the emotional froth behind my voice that proves it’s her. She is so very happy to know I have returned. And she is so very eager to stuff that tongue in my ear again.
Parrots are hard work. They cost money. They are loud. They will love you to the moon and back if you give them one item. Just one. You. Freely given without expectations. I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words by now about companion parrots. I’m writing another book to add to that count.
Do I recommend a parrot for a companion? Yes I do with great verve and energy. Or, the energy I have left after a day in the life of a companion parrot lover.