Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Parakeet: A Tragedy.

A year ago, I had a parakeet. His name was Dudley; Dudley was the best pet anyone could hope for. Short of talking, he was all I was looking for in a friend: he ate birdseed, flew around the room for my entertainment, and showed off whenever I stopped by his cage-or rather, enclosure. Then mine and Dudley's worlds were shattered, and I moved too far away to transport a bird, as they have delicate bones, need exercise, etc.
Fast-forward six months. I was all settled in and I was ready for another relationship like that. So I went down to the local PetCo and bought myself a strapping, blue and white parakeet. A boy, as (in my opinion) the adjective "strapping" suggests. I named him Quasimodo - perhaps that's when things started to go wrong. You see, things soon went awry. Not right away; we were friends for just enough time for me to get attached. He wasn't as immediately loving and lovable as Dudley had been, but I had been expecting that. I was prepared to put the effort in to make our interactions fun, relaxing, and frequent. Quasimodo was not.
I went through the routine exercises, patiently waiting for him to step onto my finger, then the next, and the next. He complied, but would go no further. He would not climb up my sleeves, or "kiss" my earrings, or strut around my shoulders. As far as my little avian companion was concerned, he was a captive.
Quasimodo's true colors began to show, and they weren't the soft azure and ivory he advertised. On the outside, he was a timid, fragile little creature. But his heart was evil.
This winged monster began to torment me. Every time I opened the door to his home, he would scurry to the far side. When I approached, he would bite my finger as hard as he could. His attacks became increasingly violent as the weeks dragged by.
Finally, I could take it no longer. I was at a loss. How could Quasimodo and Dudley be of the same species?  The only thing I could think to do was to acquire a companion for the bird, hoping she would sweeten him. I resisted this urge, because I've read pages and pages of online budgie-care advice, and all of them say that if you want a nice 'keet, don't get a second until the first is well-trained. But, alas, in a moment of weakness, I could again be found at PetCo, purchasing a yellow, blue and green female.
Long story short: the girl (named Esmeralda) did not help; on the contrary, she has never even stepped on my finger of her own free will. Quasimodo grew increasingly hostile towards yours truly, and so we are now completely acrimonious. I would set them free or something - we would all 3 be happier - but PetCo made me sign a waver stating that I would provide a good home for them, to the best of my abilities.
So I'm stuck with two really mean roommates who scream about the sun for hours after it rises every morning.