Earlier this week I posted about the Clickinmom’s annual Scavenger Hunt, but I didn’t post about the most significant event that came about as a DIRECT result of the hunt. Mostly I didn’t post because I was still trying my best to resist this… umm… event. But in the end, my daughter and the little sweetie wore me down.
It all started innocently enough. It was Saturday, the second to last day of the hunt, and the three of us were trying to track down some remaining stragglers (that day we managed to find the lei, the stringless tennis racket, the Tunnock’s Tea Cakes, the cricket bat and ball, the word “click” in a street sign, a whole host of the most adorable kittens ever (but no, that wasn’t my problem–with three already at home, I was SOMEWHAT resistant to their charms, but boy does a kitten’s little purr tug at my heartstrings…)), and even a Delorean. And we flew a kite in the sky, too! It was finding the cockatoo that caused the problem. Her name is Lucille, and she was being boarded at a shop in San Jose while her family was out of town.
Here’s Lucille, kindly posing with our sign:
Lucille wasn’t the issue, but she did remind me how much fun I had in college with my parakeet, Wally, and my Moluccan Cockatoo, Corey. The problem was that while I reminisced with the shop owners, Emily was playing in the corner with a little baby Turquoise Conure that had just come in to the shop the evening before. Then Tom was talking with the owners, and I went over to see what Emily was doing. We played and played with a feisty little teal-blue bird. But I had no thoughts of even ASKING Tom if we could consider getting him. After all, we already have three cats, and at some point I know I want a dog (a Bernese Mountain Dog, to be precise). But as we were about to drive off, Tom decided to run back in to just see how much the conure would cost; I knew he was intrigued…
Later at dinner, we discussed it, and we very responsibly considered all our questions and concerns. Like, what is their personality like? How long do they live? Might they coexist peacefully with a houseful of cats? What is the daily/weekly care? Approximately what are the monthly and annual costs? We decided that Emily and I would go back to the store on Monday to ask our questions, but NOT to buy; just to be armed with more information with which to really sleep on it to make a well-informed decision.
So Monday morning, Emily and I drove back. This time we played with both of the babies. And we actually found ourselves falling for the other, shyer bird. She is much more mellow, less feisty, and she seemed to fall equally in love with us. When I asked how quickly her birds typically go, the shop owner told us that another woman had already called that morning inquiring about these birds as Turquoise Conures are fairly rare so they aren’t often available. A sales tactic perhaps (though we know the rare part is true as we found very little about their specific type during our internet research), but it worked–we got nervous that someone else might come in and take the sweet, quiet little bird we’d fallen head over heels for.
So, without further ado, here is Rory, our new family member (excuse the iPhone pic; it’s all I’ve taken so far but more will come–she doesn’t shy away from the camera AT ALL!):
She is 10 weeks old, and we named her Rory from Gilmore Girls (as that is Emily’s and my FAVORITE TV show, and their relationship fits us to a “T”!). She has been with us for just over 24 hours now. She fit in beautifully right off the bat! We first brought her into the den and Emily played with her while I set up the cage. By the time I was done, we heard the cats scratching at the door, and we didn’t want any huge, especially intriguing mysteries hiding from them, so we brought them in. Gracie is the most curious, but really she only seems interested when Rory is in her cage. Gracie has even jumped on top of the cage a couple of times now! Rory looks at her, but even on top of the cage Gracie doesn’t faze her. I am wondering if perhaps she had cats in her breeder’s home, or could it be that she’s too young to know to be afraid? Either way, it’s working out better than I ever could have imagined. The other two cats could not be less interested. In fact this afternoon, Emily and I were watching TV and Rory was asleep on my chest when Koda jumped up onto my chest too, and all they did was look at each other. Rory investigated Koda’s nose with her beak and tongue, and then promptly fluffed back up and went back to sleep, as did Koda. It’s like Rory has been with us for years already. I won’t be leaving them alone to check each other out, of course, but supervised, I have no remaining worries about the bird/cat issue.
I haven’t had a bird in a LONG time, and I have NEVER had a hand-fed young bird who was actually trainable. We have been reading and studying because we want to teach her to be the best pet she can be in our household (especially since she is young and therefore we assume more “pliable” yet). So far we are teaching her “Up” and “Down” to step on and off our fingers (which is working well), “No” for any undesirable behavior (like nibbling our fingers or jewelry–she’s very gentle, but it’s not a habit I want to encourage), and “Settle” to quiet her when she’s being squawky in her cage (not as easy: she is fairly quiet so far, but I don’t want her to become noisy if I can help it!), and we plan to “potty train” her as well and have been reading about how to accomplish that, too. It’s only been a day, but so far, so good! Meanwhile, if any of you have any tips/experience/advice for us, I’d love to hear it!