The Pet Conundrum; or, learning patience while trying to move on & find another little friend or two…

I should be looking at online jobs right now. I should’ve been working on my self-education opportunities, watching lectures, or doing Masterclass activities this week. Instead, I just keep thinking about Buddy and what I’ll do now for a new pet or two, because it feels strange without that squawker.

I’ve got two dogs and two parakeets. I also have a mansion of a cage that I cleaned out and spent way too much time looking for a substitute poop grate for. In the end, I ordered some cooling racks that I can put down that would cover the area quite nicely. And it was far cheaper than going for a replacement cage grate or going for other similar types. It’ll be easier to clean, too.

But why think about that cage? Because a big part of me was truly flirting with the idea of getting a few cockatiels in there to chirp and whistle and keep company.

Some research, however, told me this would be a not-so good idea.

I grew up with cockatiels, so I’m used to them. They’re pretty, love affection, are fun… but you’ve got to take them out and play with them, too. If you get two, they’ll bond with each other and shun humans, and I didn’t want two more birds that looked at me with suspicion or disdain.

The parakeets are fun to listen to and watch, but they don’t let me pet them or work with them at all. I kinda pet one one time, just a little, but it didn’t happen again.

What I realized I really wanted was a nice sized parrot that I could take out of the cage and let walk around and hang out with me on the counter or something. There are some true beauties out there, and expensive too. I’ve learned a lot about the speaking habits and mimicry of many of these birds and was excited to try and find one for me.

Of course, I had to remind myself that I need one thing above all, even above the bank account: PATIENCE.

Also, with my two big hairy beasts running around, that just couldn’t happen. They’d spend the whole time conspiring to kill the parrot (whether an amazon, or african gray or whatever) if it lasted more than a moment out of the cage. I’d have to wait until these pooches went to the great squirrel hunting grounds in the Ether before I considered getting a parrot. Buddy was with us when we had smaller dogs, a chihuahua and a dachshund. Good things about dogs that small is they can’t jump super high, so no worried that the dog would try to kill the parrot.

And Buddy got pretty big pretty quickly. They had a truce of sorts, probably because he was so loud compared to the dogs. If Buddy had wanted out of the cage, I don’t think I would’ve had a problem keeping him safe from the dogs. He kinda scared them a little, but my heeler and retriever mix weren’t intimidated.

So, I decided I’m gonna get a couple of parakeets from the neighbor’s mom. She raises them, but I don’t know her prices. And heaven knows I don’t want them breeding, so we’ll have to figure out which ones I should get.

I cleaned out the monster cage the past two days: took out the toys and perches, scrubbed the bars and Plexiglas spatter shields, knocked out the rust in the bottom tray and spray painted it over again, and today I started putting new dowels and climbing toys in. I didn’t want to put too much in the toy department, but definitely don’t want the birds bored when they come in.

My two are still in their tiny cage, and I’m gonna move them over Friday or Saturday (I want the cooling racks to come in so I can have them ready to go first). I heard from someone that if I put them all in the new cage at the same time (and still dunno when I’m getting the new ones), then they’ll bond a bit easier. But I also heard it’s probably better to put the newbies in the big one and keep my originals in the smaller one for now, let them get acclimated, and then put them all in the big one. I’m trying to make it so they can flit and fly around a little, stretch their wings and such.

Yeah, you can tell I’m still doing a bit of research. I know they don’t have a terribly long shelf life, about a decade, but the idea of four little parakeets flying around and playing with each other just seems wonderful. Certainly their little chittering noises will make the place feel warmer and less lonely on crappy days, and they can keep each other entertained while filling the air with lovely, low chatter.

So, that’s the plan so far. I get a few more birds and maybe help some small business owner out a bit. I’m kinda amazed that the places I was told to look for birds–as the two major pet stores had barely anything–didn’t have much either. Many of the independent shops take in birds that had owners who died or were taken for other reasons, but not many is going into their doors right now.

My theory is that with people craving interaction, even that squawking thing that demands food and for you to clean up it’s poop is a worthy companion in these times.

Well, I can attest to that in a way.

So, hopefully I get word soon and can get them Saturday. Otherwise, I’m gonna go to the pet store and get two from there. I know the prices I can expect (not too shabby at all) and which ones I’d pick if they were still around by the time I went looking again.

Now I just have to resist going to get more cute toys from the store. I’ve spent more money on birds and dogs in the past week than I’ve spent on me in the past month. But if they’re happy and healthy, that’s good for me.

One thought on “The Pet Conundrum; or, learning patience while trying to move on & find another little friend or two…

  1. Rae Longest says:

    Sounds like you’ve done your research and have a plan. Cooling racks? Who woulda’ thunk? Ingenious!
    My friend, Deb (at Readerbuzz) here in Alvin is a retired children’s librarian whose principal demanded she take “her”/the kids’ birds out of the library, so she brought them home and has a huge cage. She gets a great deal of pleasure from them, and they’re no trouble when they travel and someone has to feed and water “the pets.”


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