I have spent the past week pet/house
sitting for my cousin, the Pie Lady. I call her that because she
makes the best pie I've ever tasted.
The pet sitting part of the deal
Nala and Meara are the sweetest dogs
and absolutely no problem to take care of.
Sinbad is a completely different story.
Sinbad belongs to my cousin's husband,
the Mullet Master and he adores that bird.
The Pie Lady hates him and she calls
him “S*#t Bird”
I've never spent any time around Sinbad
but I was told that he will bite everyone but the Mullet Master and
that he throws his food at the dogs when he's done eating.
That all sounded ok to me – I wasn't
going to pet him and I'd pull his food out when he started throwing
it so bird sitting shouldn't be too hard.
With the exception of getting his food
and water bowls in and out of the cage.
The slide where his bowl is has to have
a carabiner on it because he knows how to open the cage. But taking
the carabiner off so you can take his bowl in and out is a problem
because he might bite you in the process.
So you have to give him a pecan on the
other side of his cage and while he's eating that you can open and
close the cage.
Not a problem BUT this knowledge didn't
prepare me for the noise this bird makes.
I spent the first half hour I was here
looking for whatever was beeping only to realize it was him.
And beeping is far from all he does. He
says “Hush Meara” a lot even though she doesn't bark much, He
talks to himself real quiet and then goes “Ha ha ha” out loud,
screams “Liar” anytime a certain political candidate comes on the
television, rings his bell whenever you open the door, mimics the
microwave and ambulances, roars like a lion, and overall makes one
hell of a racket.
The first two days I thought the noises
he makes were hysterical but by day five it wasn't so funny any more.
Neither was the fact that he does
indeed throw his food at the dogs when he's done eating. As soon as
he starts that you have to take his food bowl out or he'll make a big
Because of that you have to feed him
before you go anywhere and take the food out when he's done so he
can't throw it everywhere while you're gone.
All was going well until Thursday
He started throwing his food on the
floor so I gave him a pecan to distract him while I took his bowl
out. As soon as the door was open he threw the half eaten pecan on
the floor and bum rushed the door.
I managed to get it shut just as he got
there but then he started pushing on the lock and pecking at my
I couldn't get the carabiner onto the
latch because every time I tried, he tried to bite me. At the same
time he's pushing on the door so I've got his food bowl up against
the door, holding it closed but have no idea how I'm going to get the
'biner back on.
The last thing I wanted was him loose
in the house.
I grabbed the sheet that goes over his
cage at night and threw it over the cage thinking that would distract
him long enough for me to get the cage locked but that seemed to
really make him mad so then he was pecking at the sheet AND pecking
I couldn't get to the phone to call my
dad to come up and help me and couldn't lock the cage but I was
determined he wasn't getting loose so I stood there with the bowl
holding the door shut and trying frantically to clip the 'biner on.
I started trying to reason with the
bird, telling him that other birds would love to have a pecan for a treat but he just looked at me with what I can only assume was
I jiggled the sheet which distracted
him just long enough for me to clip the door shut.
Whew! It took 10 minutes but the cage
I went to bed with him still pecking at
the sheet but pretty sure he'd be over it by morning and we could go
back to our normal routine.
The next morning I got up, took the
sheet off his cage, handed him his pecan so I could put his food bowl
back in and change his water but he did it again.
Tossed that pecan on the floor and came
after me with a vengeance.
Dad was coming to pick me up so when he
got here I told him I needed help with the bird and then told him
“What do you want me to do? I'm not
We both stood there looking at the bird
trying to figure out what to do and I decided that if Dad held a
pecan in a pair of tongs he could distract the bird long enough for
me to get his food in and change his water.
Sinbad tried yanking the pecan out of
the tongs but Dad wouldn't let go and of course the pecan crumbled.
Dad tried to put the tongs between my
hand and bird and the bird tried to destroy the tongs with his beak.
If you're wondering why there are dents
in your tongs Pie Lady, there you go.
I finally got his food inside the cage
but Dad and I were leaving so I had to leave the food in there while
we were gone.
It is amazing how far across the room
that bird can throw his food because when I got back there was bird
I handed him his pecan and he sat on
that side of the cage, happily eating it – like he's supposed to -
while I got the food bowl out.
It took quite a while to clean that
I can't tell you how bad I wanted to
open the cage and the front door and wave goodbye as he flew away but
I love the Mullet Master and he loves his bird so I resisted the
I've started giving him banana chips
instead of pecans and for now that's working but who knows how long
it will last.
I'm beginning to suffer from bird
psychosis and frankly my desire to let the bird fly away is starting
to overcome my love for the Mullet Master.
Thank goodness the Pie Lady will be
home tomorrow. She might call him S*#t Bird but he will forever be
known to me as “That Damn Bird.”