Amidst the menagerie of animals that we own, a dove, a turtle, 11 adult rabbits with varying numbers of babies, four dogs, seven horses, a turtle, and a cat; there is Felix the cockatiel.
I have never owned a bird - except for our dove, and he is an awesomely easy pet to have.
Beautiful, sweet and coos all the time...but he has very little personality.
When Ellen asked me for a cockatiel....my immediate response was emphatic NO....we have way to many pets and we are up to our eyeballs in pet food, vet bills, watering, feeding....you get the picture!
She persisted, and since she has worked hard with her "Hoppy Days" business, we let her purchase
Felix with her "bunny money". Felix took some calming down....a whole lot of calming down! In fact he could only be handled with heavy work gloves and he bit - HARD and took any chance he could to do so!
But Ellen never complained. She read tons of websites on how to train him, and every day she doggedly worked with that bird, despite the fact that he wanted nothing to do with her! After a month of quiet determination, she finally won him over....and she began to take the gloves off when handled him!
It was a momentous occasion when she was able to walk around the house with Felix
riding on her shoulder, giving her soft love nips (and they now were truly love nibbles) on her ear! For a time, I was afraid she might come away from this experience with a pierced ear!
It is not unusual at all to find her after school, with her roller blades on, skating about the house with Felix perched upon her shoulder just enjoying the free ride! Felix accompanies Ellen for just about any indoor task - from making Halloween costumes....
to learning how to play "UP" from digitized sheet music on the lap top....technology - not sure if I love it or hate it! Just doesn't seem right to have a lap top up there on that piano instead of sheet music...but when you want to play something, you have to love the fact that it is at your fingertips!
But back to the point of my post...once wild Felix was tamed, Ellen set about the next task with equal determination - and that was to teach him to talk. After tirelessly speaking words to him, it just wasn't working. She began to teach him sounds and that seemed to go much better. He quickly gravitated to the "cat call" whistle and has now perfected it all tones, pitches and variations imaginable! Those appreciative whistles (you know the kind you got when you were in college and you walked by a group of guys on the beach or hanging out somewhere!) go on all day and he greets you with one every time you walk in the room! Kind of hard to be down, when you are getting whistled at all day!
Two big pieces of advice when you are down - "Time heals all wounds" and "sleep on it", throw in being whistled at all day long and bam - things are beginning to looking good.
Now, I am ready to post about dropping Elizabeth off and guess what....she is doing fine, just fine.... my head knew she would be, my heart just had to catch up! As for me, when those heart strings start hurting, I will be making a little trip to go visit Felix - because no matter what I am wearing, how my hair looks, or what time of day it is, I am sure to get an uplifting whistle! I have a movie for you to view, because you don't know it, but you need a "cat call" even if it is given by a bird! But I am having some technical difficulties posting it right now. so check back and hopefully, it will be working later!
Scary isn't it? It did fit into that car of hers and also into her dorm room!
Elizabeth wanted her sisters and good friends to paint a painting for her dorm - so she basically has her own little art gallery. Here are a few shots of her sisters....all the friends had a painting
party and the results were incredible! I many need to duplicate this idea for my house!
We packed her in her car and there was no room for even my little old camera bag! I sadly left it behind....and just used my IPhone! Her bike and kayak traveled on top. There was about twelve inches left in a passenger seat for one person to ride in a very cramped fashion for many hours on end!!!!
This was the last night - tearful goodbyes as Elizabeth still iced her face. The surgery would take a post in itself, but in a nutshell, she developed a hematoma which will delay recuperation for several weeks, so lucky Liz - she started school with a nice swollen face. Oh, the stories she will have to tell when she is older and has children.......