Friday, April 27, 2007

After-Work Attention

All five of us are in the study, where I pretend I’ll be able to get lots of work done after my “real” job.

Charli is perched on my shoulder, determined to protect me from errant fingers that might dare scratch my neck or rub my ear.

The two male cockatiels, i.e., The Bobbsey Twins, are on their play stand, staring out the window and occasionally picking at their Nutriberries.

They’ve all had rough molting periods this spring. Sugar Franklin has just flown over to my knee and begs for scritches. Her little feet are cold, and her head is full of new feathers that need preening.

I oblige because that a human’s job -- to obey all parrotly requests.
Dust, made up of dried keratin, floats out in the air.

Charli watches this for a few minutes, and then climbs from my shoulder to my chest. She looks up at me so sweetly I have to leave Sugar Franklin and work on Charli. Sugar Franklin fluffs out, and a cloud of cockatiel dust circles her body like a halo.

As I scritch Charli, tiny down feathers fall off and land on my shirt.
The Bobbsey Twins pretty much take care of their own preening. Flash doesn’t allow me to pet him at all, and Nicholas demands petting all the time. But since I only have two hands, Nicholas is pretty understanding that I can’t scritch him 24/7.

But I think I would if I could.