Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Refuge

I don't even remember when I started volunteering at a Refuge for Saving the Wildlife, but it was several years ago. The Refuge is, among other things, a parrot rescue. I was looking for a volunteer opportunity anyway, and then I had adopted my father's cockatoo, Hawk.
Yes. Hawk is a stupid name for a cockatoo. I was six years old when he moved in and our favorite TV show was Buck Rogers. Hawk was the name of the birdman.

Cockatoos need an awful lot of attention and my dad was the only person in the house that could handle him. I grew up with this creature and was always afraid of him. Over the years, he was neglected. When I took him on, as an adult, I decided that I had to get over it and make a better life for him. Volunteering at the Refuge taught me how to meet my own parrot's needs. Eventually, even the cat could put up with him.

Hawk died almost three years ago. He had a heart ailment that I am convinced was aggravated by the poor seed diet we were taught was right for him. I'm sure it didn't help that my father was a chain smoker.

I kept my weekly gig at the Refuge - it was good therapy. I mulled over adopting for months before I brought home Kiwi, the African Grey. I don't know why anyone would name a grey parrot "Kiwi", but when you adopt, you don't really get to pick the name. Kiwi was five years old at the time.

Kiwi's favorite playmate is the dog, Shadow. Her favorite pasttime is talking to him. Right this second, she is preening on her playstand and he is lying on the floor underneath, waiting for her to drop him a snack. What the heck do people do that don't have pets?

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