Companion Parrots are Not Pets
The day I met a Catalina Macaw named Animal at a local pet store changed everything. Animal? They said she was called that because she was aggressive and loud, and they didn't know what else to call her. Animal. I think they called her that because they had no idea who she really was, as a personality. At the end of that thought; I woke up. To all of it, the whole big emotional possibility of parrots.
I realized these were childlike companions and would require no less the emotional, physical, and financial effort. Animal taught me this in less than 2 minutes. You see, she liked me. She side-stepped on her long viewing perch close to me and she looked straight into my eyes, and leaned in. There I was the first time in my life able to touch a macaw. I petted her head, she leaned in, I petted her cheek, she leaned in. At this most excellent moment of two hearts meeting the counter girl walked over to explain her name to me. And Animal suddenly moved away. Not from me, but from her. Her eyes pinned, her head went down a little and her head feathers fluffed. Animal clearly had no relish for this particular person.
I felt heartache at that moment. I felt the need to grab Animal up, all the necessary items and bring her to our home where she could lean in at any time. Because I knew. And I knew that she knew.
I didn't do that though. At this time, we were living in an apartment saving to buy a home of our own. We worked full time jobs, out of the house for commute time and on the clock work hours. The time was near, but not now. I visited Animal a number of times after that. She and I would be together, and we would enjoy our moment. I later heard the store "gave her back to the breeder", because no one would pay $2500.00 for a macaw.
Animal was the beginning of FlockCall and a decade since of animal advocacy, speaking, and publishing. Animal defined what was wrong with humans, and what was right with them. Know this truth. Parrots are not pets. They are Companions.