Kristal & DanielOh Geez. Kristal and Daniel, a handful and a half indeed.
But I wouldn't have them any other way.
Kristal (an Umbrella Cockatoo) and Daniel (Congo African Grey) came to me in the previous year that Mystress did. Almost exactly one year, now that I think of it.
As Ive said, I worked in a small pet shop for about four years (until its permanent closing this past September). I'd been promoted to Assistant Manager in my time there, and was one of few who could actually say they not only enjoy, but actually loved their job...
Anyways, I've never been much for birds. Can't tell you why. I've never been afraid of them, and certainly appreciate them the same as I do all nature... I was just not one who'd seek to share my home with one (or two, as it turned out). You can say I see things as 'The bigger, the better'. I have a preference for large pythons over garden snakes. Dobermans rather than Shih Tzus. and so on. So naturally, I would have preference of a parrot over parakeet. Well, this came up in conversation with a coworker during a slow period at work one day. And as I recall I said, "If I were ever going to get a bird, It'd be an African Grey. I think they're really awesome... Oh, or maybe a Cockatoo. I really like those too... But it doesn't matter, those kind of birds are so expensive, I'll never be able to afford it anyhow." Here I was living week to week, with growing but still little savings, on an hourly wage (not a very impressive one either). When in walks an elderly woman, who heads right from the entrance to the checkout. Obviously, she had a question or issue of some kind. So being management, I met her at the checkout counter to ask if I could help. And she proceeds to tell me the story of how she's got 2 days to be out of her home and the only place left for her to go was going to be about a week's worth of driving south. And her birds simply wouldn't survive it with the weather getting so cold. Not to mention the stress of traveling in itself.
The store had taken in and sold or re-homed various animals in the past. However, the store owner had stepped out, so I was unable to receive approval and follow exact procedure in this case. I made the decision that I was going to at least TRY to help this woman and her birds (who she was VERY emotional about).
I asked her what kind of birds she had (the store didn't have cages big enough for anything larger than a cockatiel), and my jaw almost hit the counter when she replied "an African Grey and a Cockatoo"... (this is the first, but not the last time I've had a similar occurrence)
As my coworker was giving me a knowingly look across the counter, I said to the woman "ma'am, we close here at 8 o'clock. If you can get them here to the store, I promise they'll have a good home with me".
And she came back within two hours, bringing in one cage after the other. And I was introduced to first Kristal, at the time was about 3-4 years old. Who was obviously extremely nervous, and still to this day is very shy/nervous around strangers. She's never been hand-trained, but I don't push it on her. Her wings are full (unclipped) and she listens so well to verbal commands, that there's simply no need as far as I can see.
And Daniel, who was then 21 years old. With quite the vocabulary (and only ONE swear word), I might ad. He had been her companion for 19 years. and it brought a tear to my eye to watch her say 'Goodbye' to him.
There was only ONE problem with what I had just done...
I was at the time in the makings of a move myself. Currently still sharing an apartment with my older sister, who has a DEATHLY fear of birds. Of any kind.
So, when the manager returned from his errands, and of course inquired about the two rather large birds in the middle of the sales floor. I explained what had happened and that they were to come home with me. HOWEVER, I needed his permission to house them in the store for the week, while I finished my move. Which he granted me, thankfully. And everyone really loved them in the store. They were only there for a week, but I had numerous inquiries of prices and then 'where is the...?''s, after they were gone.
I promised that woman that they would live well, and be happy. And I have no intention of ever breaking that promise.
(I need to stop talking about animals I might like to have though, It's getting hard on my budget. Haha)