Potty Training a Parrot

Paying attention to the details is the thing about parrot relationships.

Potty Training a Parrot

Parrots freely poop every 20 minutes or so, as well as just before taking flight. I say this because as a fact it gives us the ability to potty train a parrot. Butters, Snickers and Felix are potty trained with prompts of "Do your Do!" or "Go Poop!" or that wonderful jingle, "Time to go Poop! It's time to go Poop! Snickers is gonna go-oh-oh poop!" Humor is essential inside the companion parrot lifestyle.

Cut to 23 minutes ago.

I'm working. I'm standing at my computer writing the book "FlockCall", and working, thinking and writing. Snickers is settled on the cabinet that protects my monitor and hardware from prying macaws and landing Ringnecks. It's a beautiful cabinet, custom designed and built out of Maple Ambrosia. A gift from my husband that has proven to be a perfect defense against landing parrots. It's also a quiet place for a parrot to sit, watch, nap and wait for me to quit working.

The key to this organic relationship of human, bird and furniture is someone has to watch the clock! Which I failed to do this morning. I have 20 minutes after he lands. I know this, he knows this. And around minute 18 he starts fussing up there, wiggling, mumbling and generally letting me know he's ready. But am I ready to assist with a relocation? And so it was 3 minutes ago.

Alas, the muse was upon me, my fingers flying over the keyboard spilling words of encouragement, joy, edification and some funny stuff in between those other words. I was on a roll. That roll did not include time or Snickers.

At minute 19 I snapped out of a fabulous compound sentence and realized Snickers was taking position directly above my keyboard, nothing but buttfeather up there! Too Late! He was already in position! No chance offering a step up then. I looked down and then up in horror. keys F9-F12 were going to get hammered and I did not have high hopes for Backspace, plus, minus and Insert either! Devastation was above and threatening! I saw bending bird knees, flaring buttfeathers and the ever impressive just before delivery squat! DOOMED! My keyboard was DOOMED!! The squeaky little poop sound led the way for the dropping.

The world slipped into slow motion. Snickers's dropping seemed to hang in the air while I took that last nano second to decide it's fate, and mine. I saw Snickers turn around to watch his bomb descend. Was that a look of satisfaction and personal pride? I couldn't tell. Without conscious thought, as though I were just an observer, I watched with acceptance and interest as my own hand cupped and reached forward to catch Snickers's poop.

A soft splat and warm little mass sat in the middle of my palm. I looked up at Snickers. He ruffled his head feathers, shook off the failure and shouted his name in excited feathery flight, "SNICKERS!", as he left the room.

I think that was a threat.

Today I chose to catch a falling poop to save my keyboard. I didn't plan on or expect myself to ever be in that moment. And yet, here I am sharing this with you. I feel the need to explain myself. To say out loud, it's okay to do this, it was okay for me to do this!

Standing at the sink washing my hands, Snickers is back watching me by perching in the pass through. I think Snickers has taken this as a challenge now. I see it in his eyes, and he sees he got away with it.

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