Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas catastrophe in the making

OK, everyone, make me a promise: If you know my oldest sister Martha, then this blog post is just between us, got it? Martha doesn't surf the 'Net, so my post won't spoil the surprise, but if you read and run off to tell her, then it *will* spoil it. So no tattling! Got it? Good.

My sister Amy and I both own birds. We love 'em. It's taken only, what, 9 years to convince Martha that birds are the *best* pets. (Other than, of course, dogs and cats and turtles and fish and tarantulas and whatever kind of pet *you* like best.) She wants a bird. When my daughter Emily goes to spend the night, she usually takes her cockatiel Lilo with her, so Martha has gotten acquainted with the mechanics of bird-keeping. She also kept Lilo while we were on vacation last August.

So Amy and I are giving Martha a cockatiel for Christmas.

Yesterday I went to the best bird store in the area, Strictly Feathers. Strictly Feathers is at least an hour away when traffic is at its best. I trust Strictly Feathers more than any other bird breeder with which I'm acquainted -- they're extremely conscientious and careful, and their birds are healthy.

On the way there, I got stuck behind a multiple-vehicle wreck on I-40 in the middle of West Knoxville -- in holiday traffic. We literally sat there for more than an hour, not moving at all. Priuses are built to take advantage of stop-and-go traffic, but this was STOPPED traffic. I was so worried the batteries were going to just punk out! And Emily and I both got pretty hungry while sitting there. When the cars started moving again, Emily wanted to just get off the intersate -- we still had more than a half hour to get to Strictly Feathers -- but I pressed on.

They had about 30 cockatiels ready for purchase, in all colors. The plain greys cost only $70; the white-faced nearly white ones were more than twice as expensive. But I don't buy birds based on color or their proclivity for talking -- I buy based on personality. It's the only way to get a great bird, and it takes some time and care. I asked a salesperson which bird was the sweetest, and she steered me toward one batch, reached her hand in, and was promptly bitten by one of them. "OK, not that one," she said, and picked up the other normal grey 'tiel in the same cube.

I held that bird for quite a while, trying to get acquainted and figure out if *this* was the bird for Martha. It was actually a very nervous little bird, and every time I moved it would startle and flap to the floor. While I was holding that bird, Emily reached her hand into another cube, and a little bird promptly stepped up for her. Within about, oh, .23 seconds, I knew that the bird Emily held was *much* steadier and less nervous than the one I held. I picked it up -- it's already getting accustomed to the idea of "step up" -- and she calmly looked me in the eye. When I kissed at her, she bent her sweet little head over for a tickle.


The final test. I held both birds at eye level, and started whistling at them. The normal grey [nervous] bird almost fell off my hand. The newer one's crest stood up at rapt attention, and she started gurgling happily.

That was it. I bought that baby bird!!! She's a cinnamon pied, and she is as gorgeous as she is sweet and calm. She's poised and elegant. She's cuddly. She already kisses. This bird is... *fabulous*.

Now here's the Christmas catastrophe in the making. I am falling *madly* in love with this bird. Already I'm trying to figure out a way to keep this bird and find another one to give Martha. But lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice, and I'm afraid it will be a long time before another such fabulous cockatiel comes along. So the sweet little cinnamon pied cockatiel will go home with Martha in a couple of days, and I'm going to be stuck here with my same old Amazon.
Wait a second -- I do love Cosmo, too! And he already knows how to sing "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles." Who needs a cockatiel ... ? OK, yeah, I do. But this is for Martha's Christmas wish. So I'm going to be a very good stister and give her the best cockatiel I've seen since *my* first cockatiel Alberto was given to me by my stister Yamy more than 9 years ago.

By the way, in an effort not to name this little bird, I'm calling her Birdo. ROFL!


At 23/12/05 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aww...she's so pretty! Your sister will love her!

Merry Christmas, my friend!

At 5/2/07 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

best regards, nice info » » »


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