Life with Findlay
(Pretoria, South Africa)
What did I ever do with all my spare time before Findlay arrived (Sept '07)in my life...an eight week old bundle of fluff and not many feathers.
Growing up, my father had an African Grey and so I thought I knew what it was like to share your life with this intelligent, curious, entertaining and rewarding friend but that was when I was an innocent bystander and not the bird's chosen human.
Findlay is now a one year old Congo African Grey and keeps me on my toes. He's incredibly talkative although he usually has a habit of giving up an old word whenever he learns a new one. At the moment he sways between asking me for "tickles" and "kisses" and shouting at the dogs to get "on your bed" or telling the cat "no, stop it".
He also has a strange foot fetish in that he will run along the couch to my feet and hold long conversations with my toes and allows me to tickle him with my feet in places that he would nip me if I tried to touch with my hands.
He tolerates my husband but will attack the children if they come near him. He's even gone so far as to creep up on them while they're watching TV and launch an attack from behind!
I find it difficult to get him to eat a balanced diet and have tried all the tricks in the book but he's incredibly fussy. Some days he wants his veggies raw and other days not. Some days he eats fruit and other days he sprays it around the room with sheer delight. I do worry that if his eating habits don't improve with time, he will start to show the physical signs of an unbalanced diet but have not given up yet in trying to extend his variety.
Having Findlay in the house has made it a home in so many ways. Even my dogs and cat have accepted him and seem to believe that he's part human. Having said this, I need to add that having an African Grey is not the same as having other pets - he requires as much attention as a small child and so you need to consider these birds as a lifetime investment. One that has heaps of rewards.