Parrots are intelligent creatures, some breeds more so than others. The African Grey is considered one of the top minds in the bird world, with the supposed intelligence level of a 5-year-old human, but the emotional level of a 2-year-old.
This translates to one very curious little creature with a knack for getting into things. And I don’t know about all African Greys, but ours is very, VERY persistent once she gets an idea in her head.
For instance, yesterday evening she and The Farmer were working up to a duet. He’d do a little trill sort of sound, and she’d answer him. She even followed him into the bedroom when he went to retire, trilling all the way. I put her back on her cage, and continued working on the computer. Next thing I knew, I heard her at the end of the hall in front of the bedroom door, trilling at The Farmer. She still wanted to play!
Every time I’d put her back on the cage, she’d wait until I wasn’t looking, then she’d climb down off her cage and boogie down the hall… I finally just locked her up. (You’re in the jailhouse now!)
To keep her occupied, she has several play areas in the house. I mean, face it, keeping her in or on her cage 24/7 would be like keeping a 5-year-old in a play pen or crib all the time. So I change things up so hopefully she doesn’t get bored.
Here she is on one of her play areas. . .
I used to buy toys for her, but she mostly ignores them in favor of chewing on cardboard and phone books. (And occasionally, something she is NOT supposed to be chewing on!)
Although she has designated play areas, sometimes she makes up her own…
I found her on the dishwasher after I’d walked to another room to get something, and came back to find her off her cage. When I couldn’t find her, I just asked, “Where are you?” In this case she answered with a “Hello, hello!” and I found her. She also sometimes knocks on a nearby wall or cabinet to let you know where she is.
Every once in a while she’s a real stinker and won’t answer. Generally, she’s hiding under the couch then, so I know where to find her.
And she’s also smart enough to know when I’m getting aggravated when she’s persisting in being a bad bird, and like a little kid, will wait until you’re ready to do bodily harm, then do something funny or say, “I loooooovveeee you.”
I mean, everyone has parrots on their clothes hampers, right?
It’s like this, the other day I was taking a shower, and when I opened the bathroom door, this is what I saw:
A-parrot-ly I was in the shower too long, and my little feathered kid missed me. She’s like that – – if I’m out of sight too long and don’t answer her contact calls, she comes looking for me.
She’s also very nosy, so once she figured out I was still around, she decided to check out her surroundings a little more closely.
I rather image she crawled up the clothes hamper using the open spaces as a sort of jungle gym. But getting back down, now that might be a little harder.
As usual, I rescued her and carried her back to her cage.
But I’ve got to tell you, it’s a little disconcerting to come out of the bathroom and find a bird looking at you.
If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know I have an African Grey parrot. She’s a corker, and always getting into some kind of trouble. With the emotional level of a 2-year-old, and the intelligence of a 5-year-old, you can just imagine the escapades!
A while back she took it into her head to fly into the den. I’d went out to the mailbox, and evidently she was trying to see where I went.
I rather surprised her because I went out the back door and came back in the front door. That’s when I heard her calling, and discovered her sitting on the shelves by the door.
Of course, sometimes she gets herself places she’s not sure how to get out of.
The Farmer thinks she goes a lot of places just because she likes it when I pick her up and carry her back to her cage. For whatever reason, there’s no getting around the fact parrots like to go places.
There’s also no getting around the fact if you have a parrot, or any other pet, you get attached to them. Parrots are intelligent, inquisitive, funny, challenging, and a lot like a little feathered toddler tearing up your house.
That leads into my question, “Why would you do that?”
It’s like this. Yesterday The Farmer and I were in town. We started out at the jeweler’s (no, not for any expensive trinkets – they can solder glasses back together and I was tired of my more-than-usual cracked-pot view of the world). Since it was going to take a while for the repair, we decided to walk over to the pet store (any excuse will do).
They have an African Grey parrot at the pet store named Richard, and like our silly parrot, he absolutely loves to have his head scratched. Naturally, I oblige him whenever I get the chance.
While we were there, I picked up some food for OUR African Grey, and that got me and the pet store owner talking about them as I was checking out. About their antics, and the things they say and do.
And THAT’s when she told me about a phone call she’d got that morning. It seems someone had their house broken into, and in the process of vandalizing / burglarizing the house, the creeps killed their African Grey parrot.
And I really have to wonder, “Why would you do that?”
The parrot was in a cage. It couldn’t hurt them. There was no need to kill it.
However, the parrot’s owners think it was some people who were upset because they wouldn’t let them hunt on their land any more. So that’s the deal? If someone else doesn’t let you use their property the way you want to, you retaliate by breaking into their house and killing a beloved pet?
What next? If you don’t like what someone does, get even madder and not only break into the house and kill a pet, how about a person? Where does it stop? To paraphrase Yoda a little, it’s a steep and slippery slope once you start down the darkside.
A defenseless creature sitting in a cage. And they killed it out of spite.
Why would you do that?
The other day I was cleaning the kitchen. I know, hard to believe. I’ll never win any Good Housekeeping Awards. Anyway, my pet parrot likes to play in the kitchen. While I was loading the dishwasher, she worked her way up to the kitchen sink.
First she thought it might be fun to perch on some dirty dishes:
That was fun looking around to see what she might chew on, but she likes to find the highest perch. So she tried the liquid soap dispenser next.
That was entertaining for a little while, but she wanted to find something higher. See, the great thing about this little parrot is that she definitely has her own personality. She knows what she likes and what she doesn’t like, and also knows how to achieve things. In the same way humans like to play sports, socialise, play partypoker and go shopping, this little parrot has her own personality and entertainment preferences.
So the cold water handle worked only briefly, but ahhhh, the faucet. Now that looked promising!
The only trouble was that it was a wee bit of a streeeeetch to reach up there!
But she streeeeeetchhhhhhed her leg and toes as far as she could, trying to reach the faucet so she could pull herself up.
It was hard work, but she finally made it!
This little pet parrot is nothing, if not PERSISTENT. She seemed quite proud of her accomplishment, and stayed on the faucet until I carried her back to her cage.
Life if never dull with an African Grey Parrot in the house!
We had an extra futon frame, and I decided to sell it. I figured there was no need for it to sit around in the storage pod when there was probably someone else who could use it.
Oh, you want to know what this has to do with parrot pranks? Well, hang in there. I’ll get to that.
So anyway, I sold the wood futon frame, and had arranged to meet the buyers at a nearby church parking lot yesterday.
The first problem was finding the key to the lock on the pod. The Farmer and I looked everywhere. Well, not quite everywhere, because we didn’t look in the right where to find the key. He ended up cutting it off before he left for work yesterday.
Later, the Cave Geek was going to help me load the frame and mattress into the back of our pick-up truck. When we got out there and pulled out the frame, however, we discovered we must have a leak in the pod somewhere allowing moisture inside because the frame had a coating of dry, powdery mold/mildew.
I hustled back inside to get some rags and furniture polish so I could clean the wood. The furniture polish was under the kitchen sink. I was in such a hurry, I didn’t notice I didn’t get the cupboard door totally shut.
(Hint: fore·shad·ow·ing – To present an indication or a suggestion beforehand of things to come.)
We got the frame all cleaned up and loaded into the back of the truck. I had about 45 minutes before it was time to meet the people, so I took the stuff back inside and put it away. This time I wasn’t in such a hurry and got the cupboard door shut.
So, 3 hours later, after I’d got the frame delivered, done some other work, and was getting hungry for lunch, I walked back towards the kitchen. That’s when I heard it. Somewhere that sounded far away, a little voice was saying, “Hello…. hello….”
I looked at the parrot cage. Oh yeah, last I saw she was playing on the gym beside it. Not there now. So where did she get to???
It sounded far away, so I looked back towards the bedrooms and bathrooms. She likes to hide under the beds when she gets a chance, or behind a bathroom door. I didn’t see her anywhere, but I sure heard her!
I’d say, “Baby, where are you?” And in reply, got this faint sounding,
It finally dawned on me I recognized that muffled hello, and she was in a cupboard somewhere. So I started opening pantry and cupboard doors, and when I got to the doors under the bathroom sink, this is what I saw:
Yep, there was a parrot perched on a pipe peering back at me. (Say that 10 times fast!)
She must have sneaked in there when I got the furniture polish and left the door slightly open. Which means the little devil was sitting in there for about 3 hours before I discovered her!
Evidently she entertained herself by chewing on boxes.
No doubt she felt she found Nirvana, because I never allow her in that cupboard. It’s hard to get her out if she gets clear in the back, and there’s all that soap and stuff in there.
I guess being the mischievous little creature that she is, she saw her chance when I went outside and left the door open, and took it.
Just never know what parrot pranks will happen next around here!