Saturday, September 03, 2005

Bird Days

I have learned to never say never when it comes to pets. We will never have another dog. Until brother Mike needed someone to take Bear. We will never have another cat. Until we found Peaches half-conscious and bloodied in the back of Jerry's truck. We will not keep this bird. Until nobody claimed him and he quickly became a family member. Sigh...... Oh, well. Never a dull moment around here, anyway.

Either the previous owner of this bird purposely let him get away, or he really is a wild one blown in from somewhere. Only one person has called about the "Found Bird" ad, and it turns out that she lost a very large, full-sized parrot who had a yellow head and red wings. Definitely not this one. He has now been named Buddy - derived from the fact that everytime someone passed by the cage they said, "Hey, buddy!" So, Buddy it is. Buddy is quite the talker, too. He imitates my laugh and Jerry's. He says "You're bad" (Jerry's voice), "Hi!" (in my voice). Actually, that's more like a singsong and drawn-out "HiiIIIIIiiii"! He says "Pretty bird", and does an incredible imitation of a crow's "CAW CAW"! The other night he started making night sounds like the crickets we hear at night here - even though he was inside. I think he must have spent some time being outside to have picked up the crow sound and cricket chirping. Also, if he had belonged to someone before, as quickly as he has imitated us, it seems that he would be saying something that he picked up at his previous owner's, but the only things he says are what we have told him. He also imitates the squeak on my desk chair! He doesn't do these things all the time, and some he has only done once (like the desk chair), but he's getting more loquacious by the day. Taking after me, I guess!

We had him in the cat carrier anticipating that someone would claim him, but we decided that he needed a cage since it seems like he's adopted us. Tom and Sam went yesterday to get one and came home with - a dog crate. I stared at the box for some time before mustering up the courage to ask Tom what he was thinking. For heaven's sake, there was a Labrador retriever on the picture on the box! He said that there was not a bird cage to be found in this area and he thought that this would work. The bird doesn't seem to mind the extra space, but it sure takes a lot of space up in my house! The bird has discovered that he can poke his head out between the bars, which is definitely not a good thing when there's a cat watching your every move. Buddy likes to crawl upside down on top of the cage and then poke his head through the bars on top and look around. I keep having visions of Peaches jumping up on top and playing "Whack-a-mole" (or more accurately, whack-a-parrot).

Peaches has learned to keep his distance from Buddy, and Buddy is not afraid of him in the least. The second day we had Buddy, Peaches got a pulled whisker, a nipped nose, and two nipped paws. He doesn't bother him anymore! Yesterday after I had put parrot food in Buddy's food dish, Peaches reached his paw into the cage, scraped a pawful of parrot food out of the cage onto the floor and began to eat it. He did this two more times before I put a stop to it. He was making a mess, and parrot food can't be good for a cat! I have always said my pets were never playing with a full deck. Buddy fits right in with the rest of them, too.

School is going great. Yesterday we learned several Japanese phrases. The course we are using teaches them how they sound phonetically first, so that you can actually use the language right away. Did you know that Ohio-Goes-Eye-Moss means Good Morning in Japanese? Or that Oh-Yah-Sue-Me is Good Night?! In more magnifying glass and sun experiments, we discovered that chocolate doesn't just melt - it actually burns. The experiment was to use three chocolate pieces and by raising or lowering the magnifying glass, make the spot of sun on the chocolate bigger and smaller and see the difference in melting time because of how concentrated the sun's rays were when the spot was very small. The chocolate started actually smoking almost immediately and there were actually round, black charred areas on the top of the chocolate bar. It smelled awful, too. Did you know that one million earths could fit inside the sun? Kind of makes me feel small in comparison.

I guess I should be going and accomplish something today. I was very surprised and pleased when I got an email the other day from one of the companies that I do transcription for. It said that they were very pleased with the quality of my work and my diligence in getting the work out, and that they were raising my pay. What a wonderful, unexpected blessing that was! So, I should get some work done, and also I really need to get outside and do some yard work. The yard is looking like a jungle, and Jerry's been working from dawn to dusk and pretty much collapsing when he gets home, so the boys and I really need to step up and do more around here. The other thing I need to do is write Mother back with the boys' Christmas list. You'd think that by now I would be more prepared as this happens every year, but I'm not. Her email was funny. She said, "You know the drill. Help this old lady out so she can get her Christmas shopping done".

Wow - I can chatter as much on my blog as I do on the phone! Sherri called me the other day to relay a message from Dad, but she also said that Dad had told her to set a timer before she called me, or she'd never get off the phone. Nice. Oh, well. It's true - I am a chatterbox!

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