Thursday, January 12, 2012

Birds of a Feather

So we've got these birds, Leo and Leroy.  They are both cockatiels.  Both rescues.  Leroy, who's head you can barely see, is butter yellow.  He was found in someone's backyard and brought in to our clinic.  At presentation he was quite beat up -- smashed nares, bloody wings, missing toes.  I brought him home fully expecting him to die.  And yet he lived.  Suddenly we had a bird.  Because, you know, we desperately needed another animal in our household.

Now I've always loved cockatiels.  I bred them as a teenager.  I especially love hand-raised birds -- they can be such fun!  But Leroy was not hand-raised.  Rather he abhored human contact and had little interest in us.  But we kept him nonetheless.  After all he needed a warm safe place to call home.

Fast-forward another year.  Mr. Peculiar came home from a garage sale looking quite mischievous.  Turns out he got me something.  Yup -- another cockatiel.  Leo was a hand-raised baby and adored human contact (he is especially fond of feet and loves to sidle up to any given foot and carry on a protracted conversation).

Now we've not been quite sure where to keep these guys.  First they were upstairs in the office, then the girls' room, then the living and then the kitchen.  They've finally migrated back to the living room -- this is where they seem most content as there is usually a person about.  Human company is especially important for Leo as he cares more for us than Leroy.

The problem with these guys is they are MESSY.  Food and feathers scattered everywhere.  Truly it is an embarrassment to have people come over and see the mess.  Thus, as part of my new year's resolutions, I am getting these guys cleaned up.

Their cage sits on an old metallic utility table.  I painted it a bright green which contrasts nicely with their blue cage.  I also bought them a new crock hoping to reduce the amount of food spread about.  But the crock was only marginally effective.  Thus, this morning, I sewed them a seed guard -- a bit of fabric wrapped around the bottom of the cage to deflect their scatterings.  Hopefully this will do the trick.

Leo is somewhat befuddled by my actions and is a touch crabby today.  Leroy doesn't seem to care.

At least now when people come over I'm not quite so mortified by the birds.

Tomorrow, as part of our continuing plan, we are ripping out the carpet in our other living room (we have two small rooms that really ought to be one).  We will be papering the floor.  Yippee!!  By year's end my house might actually be presentable.


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