Tag Archives: parrot

Which Network for Alex?

Alex claims that this is his good side

Alex claims that this is his good side

It was a busy day, so even though I was home I did not spend much time with Alex the parrot. This evening, Alex made up for it by sitting on my shoulder and jabbering incoherently. It reminded me of various political “news” programs where the guests and hosts each speak loudly and boldly without regard to what the other people are saying, have said, or are trying to say.

As such an experienced pundit, Alex is available, but the usual fees are not adequate. Since his life span is expected to be about 15 years – the same as a dog, the multiplier of 7 is thereby appropriately applied to whatever your “experts” are paid.

Sorry, Alex does not author any work. He provides only as Studs Terkel appropriate spoken presentations.

As his agent, all checks should be made out to me. Thank you.

Wisdom from Alex the Parrot


Alex, like most pets, believes that his human exists to pay attention to him and to give him treats.

Not too different from most of us.

I was giving him pistachios – one at a time so that each evening he’d eat three or four of them. Unfortunately, the shells ended up everywhere. One might be tempted to believe that he preferred the shells to end up outside his cage rather than in it. I switched to a can of cheap mixed nuts which have peanuts as the majority item.

As he ate his way through the contents, I stopped trying to figure out which peanut to give him and let him poke his head into the can to pick his choice of treat. I think that he enjoys the ability to make a choice even more than the treat itself.

Isn’t that true for all of us? We want the ability to make choices. God understood this and gave us free will – the ultimate ability to make a choice.

When faced with a choice, be thankful for the freedoms that permit you to choose. Then, quite literally, for the love of God, choose wisely.

Update on Alex the Parrot


Alex, my pet parrot, is now about four years old. As you may recall, he (she?-it takes a DNA test to tell) is a Quaker Parrot (although, not a practicing Quaker) also called a Monk Parrot (although he doesn’t seemed inclined to Gregorian chant or making brandy.)

The dog and the two cats go through a couple of bags of food each month. They need checkups and shots, anti-flea medicine and licenses. Alex, on the other hand, goes through 2 bags of parrot food per year. I will admit that I take off my good shirts and don an old denim one so he can climb all over me, with minimal damage. He likes my company, and I enjoy his after a long day when I don’t feel like talking.

My point?

Like many people, I view each of my pets as individuals.

On the other hand, it’s far too easy to look at people not as individuals, but in terms of their appearance, attributes, background or whatever.

Weird, huh?

Animal Tales

The two children who are still at home each have a cat. We adopted them from the same place and they allegedly are from the same litter, but I sometimes have my doubts. My son’s cat, Smokey, who has shown up in this blog before is primarily striped, with just a touch of calico/tortoise shell and short haired. He dotes on my son, waiting for him on the stairway near the front door when he is due home from school. He follows Adam around like a puppy. Each morning as each person gets up, Smokey needs some attention and he meows loudly as though he’s part Siamese. Think gregarious.

Katie’s cat, Sam, was a long haired kitten and is still long haired in certain areas. Her tail is narrow near her body and then bushes out at the end. The long hair around her face has an uncanny resemblance to Martin Van Buren‘s muttonchops. Although she is very affectionate to my daughter, except for first thing in the morning she is less so. You don’t have to be threatening to frighten her.  If you think too hard about her, she’ll run and hide under the bed.

President Martin Van Buren – I would have included a picture of Sam the cat for comparison, but she’s hiding under the bed.

Louis (pronounced Louie as in King Louis) the dog is just a plain predictable dog. Think an overly affectionate slobber generator who wants to play. Or maybe it’s eat. Or maybe play. Or – SQUIRREL! You get the picture.

And of course, there’s Alex. As with most birds, Alex could be Alexander or Alexandra; other birds can tell so they really don’t worry about whether we humans can or not. He can charm when he wants, but when he feels offended, or ignored, or just feels like it, he can be a royal pain. Which phrases he uses and whether he speaks or just glares also change with his mood.

Why am I telling you this?

With two children in those teen and pre-teen stages, I sometimes have difficulty dealing with their moods, attitudes, and communication style.

Looking at the pets I think, maybe it’s just natural.