A Tale of Parker the Parrot
For a time, a beautiful young African grey named Parker lived with my clan and me. Being an African grey, she had one brilliant crimson tail, but only one. I, however, have many tales of her escapades.
At the time of this tale, Parker lived with her momma (me) and several four-legged beasts: Cartman, a 3-year old orange male tabby; Stitch, a 1.5-year old black and white female tuxedo cat; and Blue, a 5-month old male Weimaraner.
Like other African Greys, Parker was a highly intelligent bird who found many ways to entertain herself and her clan.
A little on the species in general
In the wild, African Grey populations are decreasing, and they have reached an endangered status. Captive breeding allows many an opportunity, like me, to have this creature as a pet. In fact, they are one of the most popular breeds and are found worldwide. They are one of the greatest mimickers with the intelligence of a 5-year old child. Very social in nature, they form strong bonds with their human caregivers.
Back to Parker
Every night around 9, she would climb into her luxury condo to visit the land of Nod, grumbling like a cantankerous older man when the noise was too loud. Every morning by 6, she told everyone else that they should be up. She did this either by imitating my alarm clock, the phone, my emergency beeper, or someone knocking on the door. Eventually, this human figured out Parker's slight variations - trust me, it was challenging and, I'll admit, I was often wrong. Seeing how her flightless momma responded less to her morning wake-up calls, Parker needed to develop more unique ways to get a rise out of her human.
We lived in a house next door to the veterinary clinic where I worked when we welcomed Blue, a 5-month old Weimaraner, into our clan. He was one affectionate and energetic puppy. Stitch hid from him for months, but to be fair, she hid from everyone. Like an older sibling, Cartman attempted to make order with the younger dog, and Blue often received a smack on the face when he got out of line. Parker, on the other hand, used him for her own distraction.
"Blue! Blue! Come here, boy!"
He fell for it every time. Jumping to attention and running to Parker's blue metal condo with the enthusiasm of a puppy.
You see, Blue, while energetic, was a sharp contrast to the black lab, Doc, that I had lived with me for a short time. Doc's purpose in life was to fetch. Birds, balls, rocks. He lived to please. Even if that meant dropping the stone on my foot to get attention. Doc also would cross his legs to hold back from making a mess on the floor. True gentleman.
Blue loved to fetch. Once. Then he preferred keep-away, which wasn't, and still isn't, my favorite Weimaraner game. This occurred nearly every time he went outside to do his doo-ty. And many times, it distracted him from doing his doo-ty. Blue remembered he needed to go number two after he was back in the house on more than one occasion. I caught him on more than once occasion in the act and, I’ll admit, after I hollered my excitement, we fled outside for him to finish.
The Pooper Confusion
One Saturday, I was hoping to catch up on my beauty sleep. After I had let the dog out early and gave Parker treats, I snuggled back in with my kitties, who were all for cuddles with their momma. All was quiet, and I was starting to fall back asleep.
"Blue! Quit shitting on the floor!"
Upon hearing this, I rocketed out of my bed. Not another mess to clean up! Only there wasn't a big, steaming pile of poo. Not that I could see. And the air was clear of poo-p.
Blue sat up from the couch where he had obviously been sleeping and looked at me, as confused as I. Then we heard Parker's maniacal chuckling, and our gazes were drawn to the grey parrot who sat high above on her wooden perch (or ivory tower, whichever you prefer to envision).
"Blue?" I asked. "Do you need to go out?"
He settled back onto the couch and huffed.
In her shiny, red-tailed glory and a shit-eating grin, Parker beaked off her high perch. Into her condo she climbed to grab a banana chip, her garbled parrot-speak trailing her. Totally ignoring me.
She had figured out another way to get me out of bed.