Parrot companionship was not something I wanted. Personally I love birds but love them outside, free and flying.
Yet when my son told me about the parrot he was taking in, I knew she was going to end up with my husband and I. Her former owner left her for money owed. The household where she was left was miserable they tried to deal with her best they could but the bird screamed nonstop and bit anyone that got close enough, consequently she was locked away in a room in her cage 24/7.
I started researching parrots. Finally she came to us and to say this was and still is a spiritual journey for me does not even begin to express the depth of my emotional train ride and life lesson. She had been fed poor seeds, take out, Doritos and beer. I began changing her diet but getting correct information without being attacked by the parrot community was almost impossible.
I fed her too much and too many hormonal triggering foods, she laid her eggs on my kitchen counter. Almost everything I did for her made me feel miserably unqualified to have a parrot. Many days I walked near a cliff's edge. A close friend who'd been a wild life rehabilitator always pulled me back, yet most days I cried. I cried that this magnificent creature had been sorely abused, I cried that she never had been in a tree until she came to us, I cried that she stress plucked and now seemed to be hormonally plucking. I cried because I didn't know what to do and I was ashamed at my failure to make her life better. I cried because I cried.
In the midst of her sitting on her eggs my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's, hurt her back and I had to run to her house and help her with everything, both my dogs were sick and our 15 year old mini Schnauzer had to be euthanized, our giant Schnauzer had to have her cancerous toe amputated. Not realizing the error of my ways I still fed Kamala sweet potatoes, bananas and grapes. Then she attacked my husband and began plucking with renewed vigor.
Around that time I'd discovered the FB page Understanding Parrots and reached out for help to Stephanie. A tentative consult was set up and she recommended I watch the hormonal webinar on Good Bird Inc. I immediately switched Kamala's diet and within two days saw a huge difference. I didn't realize at that time I was on the road to real information, I had found help.
Then I found Flockcall and here I found some much needed comic relief to parrot companionship. I still cried and my husband finally sat me down and asked me why did the bird stress me out so much, after all we successfully raised 3 great sons? A bird is a totally different species and I'm not good enough for the job, and yes I cried some more. (I didn't really find my Avian Certified Vet to be much help and the 2 hour drive there and 2 hour drive back was exhausting).
Honestly I couldn't go on this way much longer. Slowly my mother improved and we found the right doctor for her, my big dog, Feebe, was healing, yet I was still gripped with fierce tenacity to getting everything perfect with Kamala.
One day while I was in my studio she got into the laundry room and shredded a full roll of paper towels, I had a hormonal bird again. What I didn't realize was that this would finally create a huge change in my life, I couldn't hold onto to my desires, my wants, my views about parrot companionship any longer, through the miracle of Grace I was about to let go! I texted my friend and told her I couldn't do this I was hurting this bird I wasn't right for the job. In her no nonsense way my friend told me that I was perfect for the job, there is no fix for this, no magic button,that in fact probably for the first time in her life Kamala was happy and that I did that, that is was time sit back and just enjoy her as she is!
Next a date for a consult was set with Stephanie, finally I felt I would get real information on how to feed Kamala. Out of the blue my husband sent me a box of chocolate covered strawberries, first time ever in 30 years and an innocent comment on your page (Facebook/Flockcall) gave me the final release. Kathy, you posted about a toy Felix received but that Snickers loves and I wrote that I wished my girl would play with toys, too. Your reply released the last finger that I was holding on with. You told me that one day she would wake up to the idea that sparks her play. You ended the post with..... "And thank you for your advocacy for this girl. Her world is already perfect because of you."
I laid my head down and wept. I wept with relief, release, joy and surrender. I caved in and in that moment our relationship took on a whole new flavor. I released my desires, my wants, my time lines and really looked at my girl. We are a flock,I follow her lead on what she's ready for and she follows mine. The next day I had my consult and found out I was doing a good job. In case I doubted that Kamala's world is now perfect God sent me a messenger in my son, who told me that the owner who abandoned her used to hit her.
I'm hers, she is mine, we're a flock. Thank you for all you do Kathy! Most of all, thank you for your words of support, for your sense of humor which helps so many to learn and understand parrot companionship. Thank you for your love of parrots and teaching others the right way to be with our flock. Please share my story, I hope it can help others. Life is not about our control of it, it is about the Grace of letting going and trusting in the beautiful ebbs and flows of our experiences!! Really I can't thank you enough for all you do!!
Elaine and Kamala