Does anyone remember this movie from last December?
I freaking loved it, although I’m pretty sure a little more goes into buying a home & estate stuffed with exotic (and dangerous) animals than just saying “we’ll take it!” After suspending reality it was awesome! After all, the movie WAS loosely based on my life, minus lions & tigers. And elephants. Okay, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Besides, who better to play the role of moi in a movie than Scarlett Johansson? Seriously people. Don’t even get me started on Matt Damon as The Hubs! (yummy…) But I digress. This was my Facebook status yesterday evening:
Any guesses as to what animal pushed me over the edge from “avid pet lover” to “reluctant zookeeper”? I’ll give you a hint- it wasn’t the puppies. Despite the fact that I have regretted getting them more times than I can remember, last night wasn’t one of those times. Luke & Leia were adorable fluff-bucket babies. Munchkin sweetie piefaces. Muffin-cake lemondrops. Yes, I also sometimes call The Hubs these names. (flies on the walls of our house get an earful, to be sure). What finally made me dub our house “The Zoo” was these pretty birdies:
I have self-diagnosed myself with “Animalis Fluffitis” – meaning that if an animal is fluffy and/or cute, I will most likely attempt to own it at some point in my life. For example: hedgehogs. Who DOESN’T think hedgehogs are cute? They’re an exotic animal and most likely not easily found locally, but we thought we’d give it the old college try. We didn’t want to particularly buy one, but just wanted to look (I know you’re thinking, “just to look? Suuuure…”). So The Hubs and I went to PetSmart to poke around. Already you can tell that this was a bad idea. We didn’t find any hedgehogs, but we did happen upon a bird display. Having just recently watched Rio (a kids movie, but who cares?), we were enchanted. The Hubs has a friend at his work with a supremely intelligent African Grey, who constantly regales him with hilarious bird stories… the friend, that is. Not the parrot.
Anyways, we decided to get birds. (that makes it sound like a disease, haha)
The thing is, you can’t “just get birds”.
I have a HUGE guilt complex that manifests itself by going into pet stores and coming out with waaaay more than I intended to buy.
For example, getting a new puppy, and then ending up with three puppies instead of just the one we had planned on.
After spending a day (the requisite 24-hour waiting period before spending copious quantities of cash that I’m forcing us to live by) researching birds in general, we decided to hit up a different, smaller, local pet store, to see what they had. The Hubs’ friend recommended against getting birds from “box stores” for health reasons (although the birds at PetSmart looked perfectly hearty to me). We walked into the bird section, and then I saw him. The most beautiful orange parrot, sitting in a cage all by his lonesome. I moved closer and read his tag- he was a “Sun Conure,” a small parrot, 2 years old, named Kiwi. According to the tag, he liked peanuts and dancing.
So I started singing the age-old classic that goes, “I like to move it move it! You like to move it move it! We like to – move it!” while bobbing my head up and down (there are no videos of this encounter for a reason). AND HE STARTED DANCING. Well, parrot-dancing, which is bobbing up and down and spinning in circles on the walls of his cage. AND HE WAS ON SALE. Cage, toys & everything, a full $200 off the normal price. Apparently he was an owner surrender. Ladies and gentlemen, you could very nearly close the book on this story at that point. You know how much momma loves a sale! And who doesn’t want every day to be a parrot-initiated dance party? For reals.
So I got closer, whistling and saying “pretty bird!” to test his vocab. And jumped back in shock as he let out a shrill SQWUACK literally right in my face. Okay, so he’s a loud pretty bird. A very loud pretty bird. Geez, momma already needs Advil to get through a day with her barking puppies, she probably shouldn’t add another noisy animal. He’s freaking adorable, and we *may* end up going back for him (did I mention that he was on sale… and DANCES?), but in the meantime, we took home a couple male zebra finches, and named them Bubble and Squeak. We can name our pets after food if we want to! Male zebra finches coo and twitter while their female counterparts remain silent. I could say something sexist here, but I won’t.
You know what? I’m okay with their sexuality. I’m fine with it. So we have gay birds, so what! How do I know they’re gay, you’re probably wondering… Well, what would YOU call two snappy-dressing guys living together in a fancy penthouse apartment who both perform opera for a living? That’s right, gay.