Thursday, March 5, 2015

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Bird?


Over the years I've introduced you to most of my family.  But, until now I have neglected a feathered friend that I've had since 1985.  His/Her name is Rex... short for Memorex.  I believe he is a he though I never had him sexed, but we are going with that.  Rex is a Mexican Red-Headed Amazon Parrot that an avian vet believes is about 50 years old.

"Rex"  If it ain't junk food, he spits it out.  He likes pretzels, which I suppose aren't the worst things for him.

I got Rex from "Herds of Birds" in I think Encino, CA.  He was $350 which was a lot of money for me (and still is!), but I had always wanted a parrot that hung out with me and talked.  Well, he does hang out with me....

I would throw a towel over the seat of my car and we'd cruise the 'Strip.  Though I bought tapes for him, all he does is EEEE AWWWW!  loudly when he wants peanuts.  He doesn't like men, but I attribute that to a former boyfriend giving him flight lessons while his wings were clipped and joked that Rex had "Chirpees--a Canary-al disease that's un-Tweetable."  I still have the bird, but not that boyfriend!  (However, same said boyfriend did save his life when my roommates and I set off flea bombs in the house and thought someone else had brought him outside along with the other pets.  I was mortified when he came out with my bird and said "Hey Rex, they're trying to kill you!")

Rex was "live-caught" (as opposed to being dead-caught?) in Mexico back when that was legal.  I know he sits in his cage pondering what would've happen if he'd "just flown a little more to the left..."
I remember the space shuttles landing in California and the usual sonic boom they made when they hit the atmosphere.  This happened at 3 a.m. one night and even with clipped wings he was so scared he flew over to the dinner table and landed in the plant.  When the Challenger exploded, he sat on the door of his cage and watched the TV all day.  He was mesmerized and that was weird.

Sadly, he did run away once when I lived in Saugus, CA near a wooded ravine.  I was cleaning his cage outside and put him on a low branch of a nearby tree thinking his wings were clipped...well, they had grown out enough apparently for him to fly and he made for the ravine.  Try looking for a green bird at the top of a tree in the woods!  There was no getting him back, though I sat outside talking to him into the night and he would periodically respond.

When he stopped responding, I figured all was lost and went inside, but left the cage out and his favorite treats hoping he'd return.  He hadn't by the next afternoon, so I started to put his stuff away.  As I was doing this, I heard a crash on our patio sliding door's glass.  It was him!  I still can't believe he came home!  He ate and slept for days afterward and I've never heard a peep from him about wanting to leave since!

He flew (on a plane) with me home from L.A. to Ohio for Christmas one year in a traveling cage inside a Nordstrom shopping bag.  He was very quiet and nobody even knew he was in there, except for one little squawk and people were staring at my talking shopping bag!  That was the trip where I missed my flight and they put me on the next one with only first class available.  They didn't charge me the difference and that's the only first class flight I've ever had.  More room for Rex and I!

When we returned to L.A. we (Rex and I) got a lovely Christmas gift from the aforementioned boyfriend of a wrought iron cage--must nicer digs then Rex had previously!  Which reminds me of the time we "lost" Rex (in the house) when I lived at Barb's and we found him in the Christmas tree.  I have turned this place over today looking for that photo, but I can't find it.  If I do, I will post!  However, I did find the one where we found him riding on the ceiling fan...(not turned on of course!)

Rex likes to be as high up as he can.  No doubt he recalls his youth.

Last year I finally bought Rex a palace and it took him some getting used to.  The top is always open and now he's taking to exploring the house.... bad bird!  He isn't fond of people, has a malocclused beak that he hates having trimmed and makes a huge mess.  But we'll hopefully grow old together (since we are about the same age) because he loves me, junk food and showers, so what else does one need????

Until next time--think Spring!,


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