Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sweet 16!

This month, my parrot Kiwi is celebrating his 16th birthday! I did a few drawings to honor the occasion.

Kiwi is a maroon-bellied conure, who I got from a local pet store when I was a kid. The poor guy was in an open tank where anyone(especially kids), could just grab him. I instantly knew he was the bird for me and I brought him home. He was terrified of hands and it took me a long time to get him to even accept an approaching finger.

Over the years, Kiwi has developed quite a personality. He's extremely protective of me and is generally known for being a grumpy buzzard. He even has an evil chuckle.

I had other birds growing up including a cockatiel named Buddy. Buddy loved to whistle and knew several tunes, but Kiwi never really learned despite my effort to teach him. So Kiwi grew jealous of Buddy and on one occasion, attacked Buddy to get him to stop whistling. And just so everyone knows, Buddy was fine and his feathers did grow back. 

People who whistle are even subject to attack, including myself. He gets really worked up if he hears it--it's very entertaining from a distance. 

 Kiwi isn't afraid of cats. He made this really clear when he attacked my cat Annie when she was a kitten. He grabbed a beakful of her whiskers and pulled. Even now that she's 10 times the size of Kiwi, she's still traumatized of him. I spend more time keeping him away from cats than the other way around. He will go looking for a fight.

 Here's a little summary of things Kiwi considers enemies to my well-being and will attack:
Any person or pet, M&M's, apples, cups, papertowels, tissues, toothbrushes(brushing my teeth can be a tad dangerous), running water in a sink, tv remotes, mustard containers, hats, painted fingernails, mirror reflections(especially his own), clicking pens...really the list goes on. He's quite the guard-bird.

But most of the time he's a sweetheart and adores head scritches, head-bumps, burying himself in the sleeves of my shirts, and gorging himself on bananas and strawberries...

So, Happy Birthday, Kiwi! Here's to the next 16 years.