Our new place doesn’t allow pets, so I’m taking advantage of all the snuggle time I have left with our cat at my mom’s house and the two (gigantic) cats and Husky mutt at my dad’s. Just having a fuzzy animal around is comforting, even if Dickens (the dog) is always. Squeaking. His. Toys.
Maybe it’s because we always had cats and dogs growing up, but I’ve never liked birds. They’re just not cuddly enough for me; they fall somewhere a little higher than reptiles and goldfish on the pet scale. So when my roommate said she wanted a parrot last year, I thought, sure, as long as I don’t have to touch it. Bird feet, to me, feel like a baby’s hand with talons wrapping around your finger.
Here’s the problem. The bird freaking loved me.
This was partially my own fault – not wanting it to develop a grudge against me for ignoring it, I fed little Caspian dried papaya every time I came home in the afternoon. Soon my roommate was calling me the Papaya Aunt and the bird himself was loudly protesting if I didn’t say hi to him when I got home.
Then one day I was in my roommate’s room and Caspian decided to leap onto her desk (his wings weren’t fully developed, so this didn’t go well), slide wildly across it, and then step, chirping happily, onto my panicked, outstretched hand.
My roommate maintains that it’s one of the funniest things she’s ever seen, second only to later when the bird would waddle across the back of the couch to try and sit on my shoulder. I didn’t know what to do, only that I didn’t want him climbing up onto my shoulder, so I stood there with my arm outstretched until my roommate came to rescue me.
And now I’m one of Caspian’s favorite people in the world. When I visited with Bird to get the last of my stuff, Caspian trilled at the sight of me, stepped onto my finger (I’m used to him now) and puffed up happily for a good fifteen minutes.
I still don’t think birds are good pets. But I’ll be damned if it wasn’t really affirming to have a little creature greet me with that much excitement.