Saturday, April 02, 2011

Quicksilver the African Grey Parrot Flies Away-For Real This Time

The last time Quicksilver flew away-sort of.

Well this time Quicksilver flew away for real.

As some of you know, I've been down with a bug or a lupus flare or something. But as I was scheduled to fly into NYC to sign some legal documents, see the musical my daughter Sam is in, and lest we forget, pay a visit to Pale Male and Company, I was hopping a flight to the city last Tuesday.

As the stay was to be a short one, and I was traveling on an airline which isn't altogether bird friendly, it was decided that Silver would have a little vacation at Christopher (my stepson) and Holly's (the fiance) house in Madison while I was gone.
He knows them. He likes them and he is a parrot who does like a change of scene now and again. (Wow! New cats to torture!)

However due to circumstances beyond my control, instead of arriving in Madison the night before the flight at a reasonable hour, I drove in at 1AM with the trip to the airport itself not many hours away. Silver's cage and other equipment were ferried into the house and a very tired parrot was squared away for the night. Conversations about much of anything beyond the fact that Silver would likely be flying up onto the top of their refrigerator to guard their version of his "breeding cavity" were brief.

The next morning I got Silver up so he could give the cats a good dose of parrot meows in their faces, which often puts cats right off and keeps them from stalking him for a good while. Then I grabbed my bags and Christopher whisked me off to the airport with Silver safely back in his cage for a little more sleep.

The travel day seemed to go fine for everyone. The trouble began the next day after. It seems Christopher had some things he needed to do out on the covered patio. Silver never one to be left out, undoubtedly begged, whistled, fluttered "baby wings" and said "Want up!" several dozen times from inside the house until Christopher relented and decided to take him outside and perch him on the short railing round the patio.

Not good.

Christopher had not put together the fact that if Silver could make the steep elevation it took to get atop the refrigerator, he was pretty well flighted. And given any wind at all he could be on his way to Chicago in no time.

Well, before long Silver had left the boring railing and had made it to the roof of the patio. Christopher knowing that if he lost my parrot, not only would Silver likely be dead in short order due to any number of possible misadventures but he, Christopher, would very likely be dead as the object of my first homicide in pretty short order himself,

Christopher begins trying to talk Silver down. I tried it that time in the tree, not happening. Though Christopher thought he was making possible progress as Silver was giving little wing stretches, I personally think Mr. Quick. was doing wing stretches because he was warming up for the BIG FLIGHT and testing the air to catch a possible wind. He hadn't had much luck finding a Miss African Grey gamboling across the kitchen floor, now had he? Time for broader horizons.

And that is how Christopher found himself standing open mouthed as Quicksilver took to his wings and flew ever so strongly straight over the second story roof of the apartment building across the street. Christopher took off in hot pursuit.

To no avail. There are any number of mature trees over there, and even without leaves if Silver doesn't deign to call to you he really blends in. Christopher knowing both their lives were in danger, searched and searched. Nothing.

Eventually the proper agencies were called to alert them.

The next day, someone found a rather cold, rather hungry African Grey parrot, conceivably greeting them with a friendly hello followed by a few pointed remarks about nutri-berries, apples, saying he Wanted UP! and offering to step up onto the unknown hand of anyone capable of speaking English. (Silver has always given any human or any animal who doesn't speak English rather short shrift...I mean what good is a creature who can't understand ENGLISH for goodness sake. How would he get what he wants?)

The Humane Society gave the English speaker Good Samaritan Christopher's phone number. The Good Samaritan had found Silver wandering around near Badger Road so he hadn't gone far or had gone far and almost made it back. In fact he could have walked back if he'd paid attention to where he'd come from in the first place. But like most parrots who make a break for it, they suffer from flight euphoria and are having such a good time, they've paid no attention whatsoever as to how they got to where they ended up.

In the end all was well. Silver was alive if cold and hungry so I didn't have to go to prison for murder after all. And upon getting his hands on the deceiving Quicksilver, Christopher immediately took him to Silver's favorite vet to have his wings clipped.

Therefore the parrot may have to have help to the top of the refrigerator to guard his cavity but no more calls to The Humane Society will be necessary.

Donegal Browne

P.S. Here's hoping that tomorrow my temperature will be down, the temperature outside will be up, and the watching of hawks dry .


sally said...

Feel better soon Donna! So glad precious Silver is fine, too!

Karen Anne said...

Yikes. I scrolled right down to the end when I saw the beginning, so I'd know whether to keep freaking or not.

Jane said...

Geez Louise! Sooo glad both boys are safe and sound!

Donegal Browne said...

Thanks Ladies! I still don't think my system has recovered from the endocrine onslaught.

Alls well that ends well, as Shakespeare says but geez, what a horrible span of time.

I wondered if Silver had gotten hungry enough and cold enough to where he'd think twice before making a break for it again, but somehow I get the feeling that his hormones, particularly at this time of year, will get the best of any judgement he might have.

He does dearly love to go outside and I've tried a harnass but he just struggles and growls the entire time he's in it, so rather defeats the purpose and besides I do want to keep my fingers.

I'm afraid Silver will just have to make do being surrounded by something during any forays outside in the future no matter how close the wing clip.

I'd considered adopting a female Grey from a sanctuary to keep him company but who knows how that might turn out.

Has anyone heard the possible outcomes of that sort of thing?

Of course Silver is a total handful on his own, I can't imagine what it would be like to be double teamed. And if they got along you know they'd do it in a New York minute. :-)

Karen Anne said...

A parrot sanctuary might let you do a trial run with a female, and return her if things didn't work out.

Donegal Browne said...

A parrot sanctuary that allows tryouts. A bit like handfasting for parrots. That's not a bad idea at all Karen. Thanks.