Most afternoons in my house are filled with alarm bells going off. Literally, the bird in my life acts like he is dying of starvation, and begins shrieking his birdy head off. How can a small bird make so much noise? Lordy. Only one thing will save the day... Pastina.
I run to the stove and boil water. Quick! Add the pastina (small pasta bits), and a bit of salt. Even after only a few minutes of boiling, I must take a spoonful out to feed that screaming bird! Heck already, will he please shut up?!!! (Other people in my family don't put it quite as nicely as that)
Ahh, peace and quiet at last!
Birdita has been with me for over 25 years now. Really! Wow, I never knew cockatiels could eat so much pasta, or live this long. On days when he's particularly annoying, my family asks the unthinkable... "MOM! When is that bird going to die???" Oh, I tell them they are breaking my heart. Birdita was my first true love. When I met Greg, he said the bird's only redeeming quality is his love for pasta (Greg is Italian, by the way). Heck. What about his sweet whistling? Or his garbled words he's trying to talk. When you take the cover off his cage in the morning, he says "hello birdita" in a low, manly voice (like Greg's!). How sweet is that?!
I thought he was a she bird when I got him/her, and, I admit, I wasn't a very creative name giver... I was going for the name Wolfgang, aka Mozart, which turned into Wolfie, then Mot-zita, then finally Birdita. Then, after a year, I learned she was a he. By then the name had stuck. Poor bird has had a lifetime of mixed gender issues.
The boys have had their moments when they've actually liked Birdita (BIRD... that's what they call him). Unfortunately, when they got a bit too chummy, he's hauled off and bit them on the lip or nose. Well, that took care of that. ("hate you, BIRD") Ok, they are teenagers now. I like to remember the happier times...
I'm sure he's lived so long due to his fastidious pasta diet, with a side of edamame. He's in heaven with that combo. He's getting so old now, and some days just sits and sleeps in that covered corner of his cage. He's such an old man birdy now. I kiss him on his old birdy head, and rub his beak and neck, which he especially loves. I can't think of the day when he won't be with me. Though I love him so, I have made my mother promise me she won't get a cockatiel, and leave him to me. I can't take another 25 years of making pasta at 3pm each afternoon. Nope, a pair of parakeets will work just fine for me. Take note, Mom!!
xx, Birdy-Lovin' Val