Paco and Moments of Reverie about Our Youth Together
Today I was standing in front of Paco's cage. She was on top of the cage ripping apart a small cardboard box. I had several minutes of reverie as I thought back 45+ years when I first met her as a mostly blob of silly putty with dark eyes, yet unopened as she hatched from her egg. The breeders were friends and called me to tell me Paco was hatching so I rushed over to witness her sort of falling out of her eggshell. Then, I remembered her as a mostly unfeathered baby with bright eyes when she waddled over to me the first time to get my attention which she already had completely. They believed in socialization and a healthy fresh food diet. The only mistake they made was that they thought she was a boy and named and called her Paco. She said her name at a very young age and seemed to love it so I couldn't change it. I helped wean her and took her home when she fully weaned and had all of her feathers. They shined like they were made of velvet. The first few days I treated her as if she was very fragile and then within the week we started to play and I taught the little learning sponge so much. I took her everywhere that she was welcome. I introduced her to friends and neighbors and she loved to meet people and still does and has always laughed a lot if we are talking.
Of course, we were both a lot younger then and both of us had a lot more energy. We don't have the same relationship that we did back then but it is still a good one. She used to be a lot more cuddly but now it is on her terms and she seems to allow less and less of it. I think maybe she is starting to get some arthritis that bothers her. She naps a lot during the day. She certainly isn't as curious as she was when she was younger but I still try to encourage her. She still tells me goodbye when I leave and usually says, "Hi Sawee" when I come home. Sometimes she says, "Hi, Jerry" when I come home. I have never had any idea who Jerry is or why she says this. She has never known anyone with that name. Perhaps she means to say, "Hi Geriatric" to me but then it takes one to know one. She talks at other times too but not as much as she used to. She is right outside my office door during the day I can talk and sing to her but at night when I am up late working, I can shut the door so she can sleep. She still eats well and I take the time to fix her healthy foods. I have a towel underneath her paper on the bottom of the cage because she is falling more. This messes up her pretty tail. She LOVES to leaf bath when I put sopping wet greens on the top of her cage
I never imagined when she came to live with me that we would actually grow old together but here we still are together. We most likely will be until one of us "escapes our earthly bonds." If I go first, I am hoping that she will find a home where she is loved and appreciate her in her early or late dotage.