2022—For Crying Out Loud

Yesterday turned out to be a rather traumatic day for me as far as birds are concerned. It started with Bobo, my Red-lored Amazon, who has not been well and is undergoing medical treatment that includes a twice-daily dose of antibiotic. The trauma for me begins when I awaken, and the sickening dread starts when I realize that soon I will have to towel Bobo and administer the meds with an oral syringe. I seem not to be improving in my toweling technique however, even though I have had to do this several times over the years. Toweling is necessary to completely encase her so that her wings and feet don’t flap or flail and only her head is exposed. If I don’t catch her properly at the right moment, she either escapes or punishes me with her beak, the power of which exceeds that of a pit bull bite (235 PSI for a Pit Bull, 300-400 PSI for an Amazon). Needless to say, I am a bit gun-shy. Most days I manage the chore quickly and once done, Bobo forgets all about it and goes about eating her breakfast. Not so, for me. I fret and worry and feel badly that I’m not doing better. Yesterday morning’s dose was the worst I’ve done since this regimen started. I failed to towel her properly on the first try and she bit both hands and my forearm which now sports a 1 1/2 inch tear-drop shaped welt the exact size of her crushing beak. The dose is .7ml which may seem like a small amount until you have to force it down the throat of a squirming parrot while holding her jaws open with one hand, administering the dose with the other, and trying to dispense the drug into her mouth while avoiding her wildly waggling tongue. I was so upset after the event that I sat down and cried. I called my brother Arthur to vent that I was feeling sorry for myself and he talked me through my imaginary crisis.

Then, on my morning walk, a flock of wild turkeys new to my neighborhood was in the midst of crossing the street when a speeding car careened around the corner heading right into the middle of the flock. I frantically waved my arms pointing at the turkeys. Fortunately, they scattered in time and no turkeys lost any feathers.

Later, I received the sad news that Trouble, the Scarlet Macaw who is the mascot of my local bird shop, died following an illness. He was being treated at UC Davis Veterinary Medical School where I take Bobo. I have known Trouble for more than 20 years and he always recognizes me and lets me scratch his head despite the warning on his cage that says he likes fingers. That was too much for me and again, I burst into tears.

Now I have to administer the next dose in just a few hours. For crying out loud!