100 Happy Days

GC and I were walking to the bus stop the other morning and he asked if I wanted to do the 100-Day Happiness Challenge with him. “Absolutely,” I said. “What is it?” So here’s what it is. You can start anytime. You register. Every day you take a picture of something that makes you happy ... Happy Second Bird-Day Oboe

I’ve known Oboe since he was a freshly laid egg. He was the third of four eggs in Billie and Lester’s first clutch. We had a webcam on the nest, so everything was broadcast over the internet, from the laying of his egg to its hatching, all the way up through hand-feeding and his first ... The politically (and otherwise) incorrect former mayor

I see Larry O’Brien has apologized. At the official unveiling of his portrait at City Hall last night, he told a reporter he was sorry about the racial slur. Instead of saying “The Spics are getting too much air time,” he says he should have said the Latinos were asking too many parochial questions. So ... He’s got altitude

Guess who flew??? Yup. All the way from me to his house, which was about five feet. It was a wobbly and fluttery flight, but a glorious one. I’m SO happy for him. The high cost of loving an animal

Oboe at the Vet's I know there are people out there wondering why anyone would spend twelve hundred bucks to save the life of a bird that could be replaced for $75. It’s a reasonable question. Reasonable enough, in fact, that I asked it of myself several times last week. If Oboe died, I’m pretty ... What the parrot told me

Just a quick update. 1. Oboe’s still making progress. Little baby steps. Today was the first day he didn’t weigh less than the day before. 44 grams, same as yesterday. He has lost 20% of his body weight in nine days. But he’s starting to eat more on his own, he’s much brighter, he spends ... Duncan’s business trip

I think Oboe has turned the corner! He seems a little brighter and livelier today, and he ate a little breakfast on his own. He’s still spending all his time sleeping in his cave, and he’s still breathing hard and can’t fly, but I sense that he’s stronger and happier today. I’m feeling guardedly optimistic. ... The art of worrying in the middle of the night

It is 1:53 in the morning and I am up worrying. I got tired of lying in bed worrying, so I got up. Some people are prone to worrying in the middle of the night. I am not usually one of them, so I find it interesting in a frustrating sort of way. For starters, ... Welcome home, Oboe

We brought Oboe home from the hospital last night. There hadn’t been any improvement since Friday, but no deterioration either. Poor little guy. Life’s tough right now. But so is Oboe; he’s a feisty little bird. (Although you wouldn’t know it to look at him right now. His personality has been seriously deflated.) He was ... Good news!

We went to visit Oboe in the hospital again this evening, and he seems to be improving. His breathing still isn’t great, and the vet says it might be a punctured air sac. She’s hoping it’ll resolve itself over time. She says we’re basically keeping him alive and buying him time so that Mother Nature ... Oboe update

He’s still in the hospital. He’s not out of the woods yet. The vet wants him to get a little better on his own before she treats him, because she doesn’t think he’s strong enough or stable enough right now to survive stressful treatment. For example, she’ll need to anaesthetize him in order to x-ray ... Oboe’s in the hospital

Oboe’s luck ran out tonight. Duncan finally caught him. We took him to the vet and they admitted him. He needs pain meds, antibiotics, tube feeding, x-rays, and I forget what else. He might have a broken wing. He’s got rattling sounds in his airways. His breathing is rapid. He’s in pain. I always knew ... Everybody wants a piece of Oboe

Duncan tested negative for hyperthyroidism, so now we’re treating him for irritable bowel syndrome. If he responds well to the treatment, then that’s probably what he’s got. If not, we’ll be looking at lymphoma, which is a kind of cancer. (It killed my last cat, Flea, but he was 19 years old. Duncan’s only 11.) ... Oboe and the ceiling fan

Ceiling fans are one of the leading causes of death among pet birds. It’s so common, there’s even a term for it: shredded tweet. I only have two ceiling fans in my house: one in the bedroom, one in the sewing room. They are almost always turned off, and the birds rarely go in either ... Oboe flew away

It was 4:30 on Saturday afternoon. The birds were all out of their houses and I was sweeping the floors. As I stepped outside to empty the dustpan into the green bin, Oboe slipped through the door with me. And whoosh! Just like that, he was gone. I watched as he flew down the street ... Duncan and the Diabolical Genius

Sometimes Duncan seems like his perfectly normal old self, hopping in the car to go for a ride to the donut shop, catching a mouse or having a 17-hour nap punctuated by occasional stretches, yawns and visits to the food bowl. But then he’ll wake up and decide he cannot rest until he catches Oboe ... Parrots: Winged toddlers who never grow up

A lot of people get rid of their parrots once they realize what they’ve gotten themselves into. Even if they’ve done their research, it’s one thing to read about it and quite another to live it. Parrots are like winged toddlers who never grow up. Here are some of the things my parrots have accomplished ...