For a time after Squeaky left us, the hook where his cage had hung was taken over by an unobtrusive, non-singing plant. It just wasn’t the same! Then, as luck would have it, a neighbor of Sylvia's mother needed a home for their white and yellow Lutino Cockatiel that was allergic to their new cabin at the lake. Each time they spent more than a couple of days at the cabin he would pull all his feathers out. At their home he was fine, but they couldn’t leave him there alone as he would become very lethargic and stop eating. All he had to do, when Sylvia went to see him, was snuggle up to her cheek, give her a kiss and we were soon making room in the kitchen for his BIG cage. He could say his name, “Pretty Boy”, and wolf whistle, but he was best at imitating the Blue Jays and Robins in the backyard. When we got him his wings were clipped and it wasn’t unusual hear the pit-a-pat of his little feet on the floor as he followed my wife around. In the morning I had to make sure the bedroom door was closed or when he woke, he would patter down the hall to find her and peck at her cheek until she woke up. Before long he was flying down the hallway to land on her head since, as Sylvia said, “God gave birds wings for a reason”. Most of the time he was content to spend his time perched on her shoulder. She became so used to having him there that she often forgot about him. One cold -30°C winter evening she went outside and to the garage to work on some ceramics. It wasn’t until she was ready to go back to the house that she realized he was on her shoulder. “What should I do?” she asked me. She was afraid he would fly away and get lost in the snow when she stepped outside. Since he got to the garage ok, I figured he should be able to return to the house the same way. So she opened the door and headed across the patio. No problem. When the cold air hit, Pretty Boy simply snuggled down close to her neck until he was safely back to the warmth inside the house.
Pretty-Boy was very friendly. He would slide down your arm and help himself to your dinner or land in the center of the popcorn bowl to snack along as we watched television. Pasta was his favorite and he would give Sylvia fits when trying to perch on the side of the pot as it was boiling. She often commented that, if he wasn’t careful we would be having boiled Squab for dinner!
Pretty-Boy was about four years old when we received him and lived with us for another five years. The last couple of days he was with us, he became quite inactive and would not leave Sylvia's shoulder where he simply wanted to sleep. One day, after not being seen for several hours, we searched everywhere, but could not find him. I figured we would eventually discover his body when cleaning and/or moving furniture or appliances. Now, years later, I am guessing that when a door was opened, Pretty-Boy must have slipped outside to be alone and go quietly to the Rainbow Bridge.
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