Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Birdita and Pastina

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


Anonymous said...

Geez reminds me of my house. I have a quaker parakeet named Daisy. She's 2 years old - I have a long way to go. Like in your household she's been called many things - not so nice...she's a squawker. She seems to dislike football and squawks the loudest when that's on. (like her mom :) She (I don't know if she's really a "she") but with a husband, son and a male dog, I need to believe there's more estrogen in the house than just me. :)

ElleCee2010 at gmail dot com

Resweater said...

I had a cockatiel. Her name what "wheat", because it sounded like that was what she was always saying. I miss her. She would wait until she thought I was asleep (most times I was), and would climb up on my head for the night. I always woke up with her on top of my head. I kept her wings clipped (non-bird people, that just means trimming feathers... no harm came to bird), so that she couldn't fly into anything, and she would follow me around the house, like a little dog.

Kathleen Maunder said...

My sister Nancy had a cockatiel named Dave. 3 p.m is better than 3 a.m. I suppose it could be worse. :)

Terrie said...

Birdita - pretty name ! Pets are family members. For 25 years is particularly bond and must have brought you laughs & happiness!

Marfa said...

So sweet...25 years and this is the first you've really talked about her...I love how you make her pasta just the way she likes it!

Jenn said...

Val - I'm looking forward to our class as well. It's so funny you have a cockatiel that's 25 years old. My sister is now caring for my dad's cockatiel who is now 28 years old. !!! We thought they only lived 16-17 years. But, we call him the Energizer Birdie. We named him Odie (after the cartoon character Odie because of the dumb birdie stuff he does). We wished our dogs would last even half as long as Odie! And Odie (unfortunately) remembers my rough teenager treatment of him. My niece now handles him the same way I used to, but he loves it. I think he loves any kind of attention. ;-D He still likes to give me a peck, though. Animals are so funny and add such a rich dimension to our lives.

Sandy Michelle said...

Awww my Nonno loved his singing Cockatiel! I had no idea they ate pasta though!! That's hilarious! Pets are so much like children. My bunny kicks the cage really hard when he wants to come out and play tag with me...tee,hee :)