A month and a half ago I get a message from my girlfriend. “You won’t fucking believe what just happened.” That’s a pretty pointed statement. She explains that, outside of work and talking to a friend, a thing flew at her and landed at her feet. She thought it was a fat pigeon. It was a Congo. She bundled him up and, since there is no exit to where she was, smuggled him through a call center. He was now in my bathroom perched on the curtain rod. Would I mind getting some fruit?
I read this while at a bar pretending that drinking three pitchers every night after work before heading home isn’t a form of functional alcoholism. I ask the individual next to me to re-read the message. “Oh, what a cutie! She sent a picture!”
I check my phone for CAG can-eats and can’t-eats. After a minute or two of reading to make sure that they didn’t exist on fru-sucrose alone, I made the assumption that the parrot probably told my girlfriend he only eats fruits and knew better than to listen to that. Lucky me, the dive bar I go to is four stores down from a Trader Joe’s. Grab some grapes, two apples (already understanding that I’d need to address the seed), a red pepper, a yellow pepper, a small bag of kale. Check-out lady asked if I was making a fruit salad. Explained an African Grey flew into my girlfriend. Guess we have to feed it somehow. “Aren’t those like $2,000 parrots!?” Dunno. Shrug. Have a nice day.
We got him to eat, he was obviously trained, up-up was something he knew. Girlfriend went out and bought the biggest cage the pet store down the block had which we both agreed wasn’t big enough (maybe around 2x2x2′) but we agreed that this was a short-term thing and someone was obviously looking for their bird. Ha.
I have an hour on my lunch breaks so I normally come home and try not to think about hating where I’m about to drive back to. I came home the second day because AG’s are absurdly smart and one of the few things I refuse to let happen is for something to be lonesome. Even if it was just for 15 minutes.
Get to the house. Open the cage door. He looks like he is choking on something. He keeps moving his neck up and down. He’s making this noise like he can’t breathe. I flip shit. He’s slowly inching up my arm. Flipping shit harder. Breathing sounds labored or something. Wings kind of up. I’m at the sink trying to pour water into a bowl (even though he had water) with one hand and looking up what’s going on and if I need to go to the emergency vet or /something/ like right now.
Girlfriend walks in the door also on her lunch. Immediately stops. Explain what happened. Show her a video. She responded back two hours later after pinging a co-worker that owns parrots. Response was a video. He was trying to feed me.