21 October 2010

Parrots, Mutual Destruction Theory, and The Arts

Parrot owners are quite familiar with the theory of mutual of destruction. The most fortunate of parrot-keepers have neighbors like mine: a family with a trombone playing child.

This is a new revelation at The Feather Dorm, but a welcome one. I arrived home today to the noise, above the screams of Cher as I turned the key in the deadbolt, of a baying trombone on my downstairs neighbor's porch. The sans-melodic sound of the boy working out some sort of scale was music to my ears, if to no one else. This child's interest in musical art has given all Feather Dorm inhabitants the warm security of mutually assured destruction: I won't call code enforcement on that honking noisemaker if they won't do the same on our lovely little decibel producer, Cher.

Although neighbor complaints have never been an issue for us, I can't help but cringe when Cher lets out her alarm cry at 10pm because we have left the room and she is not ready to crawl into her Happy Hut for the night. Not that this happens all of the time, but the added excitement of Ms. Flock Advisor's arrival this weekend seemed to put the little thing on high-alert. When we returned from our weekend away on Sunday night it was after 10, and Cher screamed no less than half a dozen times after the lights were off and her cage covered. Ms. Flock Advisor asked with a tone that suggested her lack of sentiment for the calls of a conure, if she is like this all the time. I said no, but I'm not sure she didn't think I was just trying to protect the little orange bird's reputation.

Ms. Flock Advisor's visit, however, was welcomed by a very snuggly bunny. Kenobi was waiting at the top of the stairs as she came in the door on Friday morning. After a few laps around the apartment together that seemed to wear him out a bit, she picked him up and he looked right at home smashing his face into her sweatshirt and clutching her with his paw. They then shared a box of animal crackers before we hit the road for our weekend in Hartwell, GA.

Ms. Flock Advisor and I wondered out loud just how much that little rabbit brain is capable of remembering of her. I will say that I got to see him do something he hasn't done since she left. She loves to run from one end of the apartment to the other, and Kenobi will follow right on her heels. As I was watching them perform this ritual of fun, I realized that I have not done this with him. I have tried several times in the days since she returned to the west coast to play this game with the bunny, but he has not obliged. It is a little sad to see him just watch me try to initiate the chase, but not pick it up. Then, that game is something special that he and Ms. Flock Advisor can share. He interacts with me in different ways: coming to the sound of the Cheerios box, playing with the granola bar wrappers, or attacking his stuffed animal toys that I challenge him with. Knowing that his little bunny-brain can identify various activities with us as individuals is refreshing. Details are what make living with animals so rewarding and fun.


  1. Funny....we have a boy next door that plays the trombone AND we have a loud conure! It's a good thing that the birds can not hear the trombone being played next door from where they are in the house, or else I would be having a chorus of three birds trying to make the same sound that is drifting over from our neighbors house. Your conure is adorable...so is the bunny.


  2. You're very right. Our Amazon is not in this apartment anymore, but if he were here then I'm sure he would be trying to imitate the sound. Luckily the conure and budgie I have here aren't real big on mimicking. Thank You for the comment.