We have a new member of the household now. Osbourne Stubby, Aussie (pronounced Ozzy) for short. Aussie is a cinnamon colored cockatiel, three months old, newly weaned and just home. I knew going into this that I’m a complete novice about birds. In fact, I apologized to the little fella on the way home. “Sorry bird. I hope your life is not too short or miserable due to my stupidity. You really got suckered when you jumped out of the cage willingly onto my hand. You must have mistaken me for someone who knows a thing or two about keeping avian aquaintances alive.”
One thing that I did expect was to be irritated that I don’t “KNOW” this new family member. I’m oddly perturbed by things I don’t know and understand. I remember the first moment that the Boy Child was placed in my arms after birth. I had this overwhelming urge to ask, “Who are you?” I thought the fact that he actually came from within me would give me some natural understanding of who this little person was and what were his likes/dislikes/political views, etc. But no, it was just a cute little stranger that I had to get to know one day at a time.
I’m much the same with meeting new people. It’s not that I don’t like new people, it’s just that I don’t understand them. What is this person’s sense of humor? Will they ‘get’ my sense of humor? Are they easily offended? Are they judging me? Oh no, clearly they’ve noticed that I haven’t plucked my eyebrows since prom! It’s nerve wracking. I much prefer friends that know I’m a maniac, and have proven over time that they love me anyway.
Recently we purchased new furniture. We put a new leather loveseat and a sofa table in our living room. For several days I couldn’t stand the fact that I had two strangers living with me. I felt like I didn’t know these new pieces and they didn’t belong in my house… they didn’t smell like us, I wasn’t used to coming around the corner and seeing them. I kept walking into the room and asking, “Who are you?”
It’s like this with Aussie. I do enjoy this bird (so far, I mean, it’s only been 24 hours. It could go bad still. Have you seen the movie The Birds!?!?!) In fact, the little feather-butt is sitting on my shoulder, nipping at my earring, as I’m typing this. But I don’t really KNOW Aussie. Does he like head scritches? Will he like baths? What treat is going to make him willing to even learn algebra? What position will he sleep in at night? If I can keep him alive long enough, one day I’ll know these answers. I should be able to enjoy the journey, but mostly I’m irritated that I just don’t KNOW this little bird-brain that is attempting to pierce my earlobe via his beak.
I will gladly share as I learn the idiosyncrasies of my feathered friend, but until then, I emplore you to please help me out when we meet up here and there. Let me know who you really are; how do you take your coffee, do you like white or wheat bread, where do you like your scratches, and what treat will it take to get you to say, “Pretty Bird!”