1. Any of various large noisy chiefly Australasian crested parrots (family Cacatuidae and especially genus Cacatua). – Merriam-Webster1
2. Can I give you my definition later? I can’t concentrate with this damn thing screeching in my ear. – The Nut
I come from a family of animal lovers. As you may or may not recall from The many personalities of Penny, I grew up in the constant goofy, cuddly company of canines, and I’m still finding it difficult to adjust to life without a dog around the house.
But there’s a feathered friend I miss as well. Even if he is a little loudmouth jerk.
Sorry. She. Even if she is a little loudmouth jerk. But we’ll get to that.
You may have heard of the crazy longevity of parrots. If not, well, let’s just say that in all likelihood I’ll be inheriting our beloved squawky dust machine someday (my husband is just thrilled about that prospect). I’ve been on this earth nearly 32 years, but Casey has me beat by at least 8, and she has the potential to go on for several more decades of persnickety bliss.
Hell, with the way my health has been going, the cute little fucker might even outlast me.
I just hope that in the event that she does come to live with me, she’ll have forgiven me by then for calling her a dude all these years. It wasn’t an intentional slight, darling, I promise.
See, determining the sex of certain types of parrots can be notoriously difficult to do. In the case of sulfur-crested cockatoos like my good friend Casey, the only non-invasive method of figuring it out was by studying subtle nuances of eye color that would have even Pantone struggling to distinguish them from one another. Supposedly reddish brown or burgundy for girls, allegedly darker brown or black for boys.
I guess gender really is a spectrum.
Anyway, unless you intend to breed your bird, you usually have more important things on your mind than correctly sexing it, like managing to gain its friendship without getting an earlobe bitten off.
So when my parents first brought Casey home, they had to spend too much time earning her trust and affection to waste the necessary hours poring over paint chips and color wheels to determine the exact hue of her eyes. A proclamation of “brown enough” sufficed to earn her a male pronoun. Casey didn’t seem to care either way as long as she was steadily supplied with sunflower seeds, warm showers and head skritches.
But at some point in everyone’s life, they get to that point where they really start to think, really start to ponder what’s important to them. Casey arrived at that milestone about halfway through last year. And she decided that what was important to her, what was really essential to her happiness and well-being upon reaching the age of forty-ish, was that people stop referring to her as a fucking guy.
But seeing as the only phrases she’s able to passably imitate are “Hello!” and “How are you?” her verbal communication options were limited.
So she did the only thing she could think of to prove once and for all that she was all woman.
She laid an egg.
I wasn’t there to see my parents’ reaction, but I imagine it went something like, “Um…er…well, this is awkward. Message received?”
Also, OW. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen how big a parrot egg is compared to a parrot, but hoo boy, girlfriend meant business and then some.
So I would like to formally apologize to Casey for my callous ignorance of her lady-ness. Dear friend, please forgive me. I promise extra sunflower seeds and skritches and praise of your undeniable cuteness at every visit to help atone. I love you to death and I am deeply, deeply sorry for my insensitivity all these years.
Although, when I think about it, it really should have been obvious that you were a girl; I mean, you’re such a little bitch.
Today’s blog post was brought to you by the letter C, the number 40, and the There’sAHouseFlyInMyCageSoIMustScreamBloodyMurder Challenge, AKA the Blogging A to Z Challenge.
1 “cockatoo.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2015. Web. 3 April 2015.