Dear Elephants, Birds and Humans,
I use the date of my birthday here, so it goes into posterity. WOW, it is cold; or is that an understatement? Our electric went out this morning and I had to improvise to feed because when we have no electric, we have no water. Luckily, I had a bottle of distilled water in the house, for use in my c-pap, so I gave that to the birds in the house. The outside birds, of course, do not need water from me, but the chickens do. I hooked up a heat lamp in the coop to take away some of the bitterness of the chill in there, but without electric that will not work. I told Jackie that I was going to take them into the house but the look she gave me said that she did not approve of that idea. Can you imagine 25 freaked out chickens in the house? If she didn't stop me I would probably do it. Actually it is only the 3 roosters with the biggest combs that I worry about; the rest would do fine.
I keep writing about Aristophanes' sinus allergy. He was doing fine for quite some time, but it is back. Nobody knows what sparks it off, but when it hits him he suffers terribly. He pulls at his nostrils and makes this horrible sound that shouts his discomfort. I know that feeling because I have allergies too, but mine are seasonal and his seem to be year round. He gets some short respites of relief and every time he does, I get hopeful that it is going away. It doesn't though and the cycle begins again and again. I feel so sorry for him; I wish there was more that I can do other than just squirting benedryl down his throat when it gets really bad. He is such a great bird and I love him so much. Scarlet macaws always have had a reputation of being somewhat harder to handle than other macaws and he has his moments, but I truly adore him.
He LOVES attention and craves it all the time. I used to call him “my red cockatoo” and the title is still fitting. He follows me wherever I go in the house and often that is not the best idea. Many times I put a towel over a chair in the kitchen so he can stay there with me while I cook or do what needs to be done. That works until he gets bored on the chair. Then he climbs down and if my eyes are not glued on him, he climbs up on another, uncovered, chair and “tastes” the wood. He did that the other day and now we have a kitchen chair that is shaped differently from the others. I guess he likes it like that or he wouldn't have done it. Jackie, on the other hand, does not. I find myself defending him like a parent defends a recalcitrant child in school.
Simon, my new kitten, is becoming part of our extended, human/not so human, family. He plays with Emma and sometimes Emma chases him when they are both on the floor. Being a yellow nape, Emma is bigger than Simon and so has the upper hand (or is it wing?). Aristophanes thinks that he is interesting (for a cat) and watches him as Simon finds Aristophanes long tail fascinating and tries to follow it and play with it. That worked until the big red bird chased the little black cat off the top of the couch. I never saw the kitten move quite that fast before. I still keep a very careful eye on him when Zeke is loose because Zeke, being a cockatiel, is defenseless against him. This is an ongoing process because I do not want to lessen the quality of Zeke's life by keeping him caged all the time and of course I have to protect him from the kitten's curiosity which can inadvertently become pernicious.
I have not been able to visit with Fritha for a while and I miss her terribly. Hopefully, I will be able to bring her a cake for my birthday and share it with her, just as I have done for the last 20 or more years. I take a bite (for luck) and she eats the whole cake, sometimes in one mouthful. It is wonderful to watch an elephant eat a cake; you can see her eyes sparkle with delight as she tastes and relishes its sweetness. She, of course, eats the apples, carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes and corn that I bring her as well. We just party and party and party........... What an elephant!
Tonight we have Dr. Rick Stein, long time club member and local avian veterinarian from Monticello, as our speaker. Dr. Stein checks the birds that are entered into our show, each year, to make sure that the birds that come in are healthy. He has also run our bird sexing clinics. He just came back from a veterinary conference and will be sharing information with us that will be helpful and interesting.
Steve Gottlieb, another long time club member, will be here in April. Steve is an Attorney, whose office is in Kingston. He has worked as legal council for the UCSPCA, the ASPCA and other animal rights groups. He will be presenting an overview of some of the laws regarding pet owners' rights, liability for one's pets and estate matters concerning owners and their pets. Recent changes in NYS estate law regarding Pet Trusts will be discussed as well. Don't miss this meeting; it should have something for all of us.
I am currently in the process of scheduling our meetings for March and May. I am waiting to hear from the Delaware Valley Eagle Alliance, the group that presented Eaglefest in Narrowsburg on January 15th. They have an extensive educational program on eagles that I am hoping to procure for our club. The other group is the Ravensbeard Animal Rehabilitation Center. They will bring live owls and other birds..... Please do not forget that Dr. Laurie Hess, board certified avian veterinarian, will be our speaker in June.
UPDATE: I have a schedule: Eaglefest, with a fantastic program, is coming in March and Ravensbeard (Ellen Kalish), complete with owls, hawks etc is returning in May with some new birds............... Such exciting meetings; don't miss them!
I hope you brace the cold well. Keep your wild bird feeders full as I am sure the wild birds who frequent them will be very grateful. Have a great month and Happy Birthday to Me........
Love to All the Animals,