We couldn’t have a dog or a cat, because of me. Instead, we had a Mom-eating guinea pig, a Houdini hamster, a lawn-mown turtle, a perfectly everyday house-rabbit, some escaping fish, and two mentally-ill parakeets.
The first parakeet was Willie. He was green when we got him, but pretty soon, he was a gray color, which is the color of a parakeet’s skin. Willie pulled out all his feathers.
My mom took him to the vet, and the vet said “He is too nervous. Your house is too noisy with those children. This parakeet is going to die.”
Willie lived for another ten years.
But he couldn’t fly, because he didn’t have any feathers.
His cage was up on a stand. He’d climb down the outside of the cage, slide down the pole to the floor, walk across the floor, and climb up the dining room curtain string to the top of the curtains.
There, he’d sit up on the curtain rod all day, peering over the top of the curtains down at everyone, with his hunched little back and his little naked head and shoulders. He looked like a tiny vulture.
He snacked on the curtains while he was up there. They were made out of fiberglass.
The vet said “If you don’t stop him eating that fiberglass, he’s going to die.”
We knew better by then.
Our second parakeet, a blue one, was Tweet.
I’d asked for and gotten him as a birthday gift, but my mother named him Tweet and thereby made him her bird.
I still think he liked me best. He’d ride around up on my head.
Sometimes I’d get mad at him because when he groomed me, he’d bite through strands of my long hair, and I’d see a big piece fall to the floor.
Here is another trouble-making parakeet–Tweet and he would have hit it off like gangbusters:
Tweet didn’t understand why Willie wouldn’t fly. When Willie would walk across the floor, Tweet would keep him company.
The funny thing was, we had wall-to-wall carpeting with looped fibers, and their curved claws would stick to it like Velcro.
So, when people came to our house, they’d see two little birds walking, not flying, struggling to pull their little tootsie-toes loose with every step.
And one bird was totally naked.
People thought we were weird.
1) Our home was not a peaceful environment, and Willie’s feather-plucking was a sign of stress. I am happy that Tweet came into Willie’s life (and mine), and that the two birds found happiness with each other. If you have a bird with Willie’s problem, see the very helpful site Birds Come First, on Feather Plucking
2) The photo of Tweet is not really a photo of Tweet–sadly, no photos of him remain. The photo came from a sweet site for parakeet and budgie lovers, Budgies Are Awesome.