It’s six in the morning as I wake up. Leaving the bedroom, I move out to the drawing room. Pushing the curtains of the windows aside, I look out. There is a faint light creeping into the dark sky announcing the arrival of the dawn; a hint of orange that will soon take over the inky blue sky of the night gone by.
The sparrows seem to be waking up, too. A chirp here, a peep there. Moving towards the kitchen, I bring out the jar that holds their feed. Laying it out for them and breathing in the cool air of the new day, I stand in my balcony for a while, taking in the view that unfolds before my eyes.
Suddenly, I realise the chirps that will now echo within the four walls of my house, too. I go back into my bedroom, and push aside the towel draped on the birdcage. A lazy wing stretches and a neck slowly turns up; sleepy eyes peep at me from behind the wires of the cage.
Picking up the cage, I go back out, into my drawing room and placing it on a low stool, I open the door of the cage. A lazy, but wide awake Cookie steps out of her cage and perches herself on top of it. I prefer calling it her nest; cage gives the structure a very negative connotation. And, we prefer her outside this nest of hers, than inside.
As I begin my day, Cookie calls out to me and expresses her desire to climb onto my shoulder. That part of my body has now become her second home. She sits there as I do the dishes, make my bed, put the clothes to dry, or fold the laundry. She is there when I read the newspaper, or type my post; have my lunch; watch TV, or listen to the music.
If I were to not leave her on her nest, she would spend the entire day perched on me. It is now her dining table, her bed, and also her bathroom! Although, now, after so many days with her, I can sense her urge to go potty, pretty well, so I save my tee from getting splattered with her colourful poop by just bending over a sink.
The general perception about birds is that because they have pea-sized brains, they may be stupid. But, now that I have a bird in my life, I have learnt they are far more intelligent than we give them credit for. Of course, crows and owls have always been considered intelligent. But, parrots are clever, too.
Cookie now knows how I will allow her onto my shoulder when I sit down to eat. She knows my coffee mug, from which she loves to take a sip of my chilled coffee. She knows now, that every time the intercom buzzes, she is supposed to go back inside her nest, because a stranger will be at the door.
She understands when I request her to go sit inside her nest when I need to leave for my evening walk, or go cook in the kitchen. We have had quite a few accidents in the past couple of months and now I don’t take the risk of allowing her out of her nest when I am not around.
She once flew out in the balcony because the sudden noise of the mixer going vroom frightened her. Thankfully, I switched off the mixer just in time to hear her distant cry and rushed out to see her clinging onto the the bird’s net in the balcony. I gently scooped her off the net and brought her back in, safely. I would have lost her forever that day!
She also has the habit of flying around the house looking for me, if I happen to be in another room, or in the bathroom. Once, she desperately wanted to be with me. I was in the kitchen, preparing tea for hubby, when she flew off her nest, into the kitchen, but landed outside, in the kitchen window, where resides a pigeon family.
I had to get down into the window (which is not the usual kind with a box grill). It has some space meant for plants etc, where pigeons mostly find places to roost. Scooping her up into my palms, I passed her over to hubby who stood in the kitchen to collect her and put her back into her nest.
We have now gotten used to keeping the fans off and the windows closed when Cookie is out of her nest, or perched on my shoulder.
Do you know what she loves most? Getting kissed all over! We kiss a lot – Cookie and I. At times, when she pecks at me, or bites me real bad, I admonish her. Her instant reaction is to turn around, lift her wing to get kissed underneath it, and then snuggle close to my ear, and thrust her bum towards me to get it kissed, too! That’s her way to butter me up, I guess!
She loves getting kissed on her neck, her tummy, and her bum! I find it highly amusing, but also love smothering her with kisses. I am her only companion – it’s all I can do for her. She also loves joining me during my Yoga sessions. When I lie down on the mat to do the exercises, she lies down beside me, on her back and kicks the air with her tiny legs!
She is a funny little girl, my Cookie!
I taught her to say, “Shilpa”. It didn’t take her long to learn to say, “Shippa”. I am sure she isn’t aware it’s my name, but she sure goes on a “Shippa” spree when she is sleepy and tucked into my armpit during her sleeping time. That’s her second favourite place for sleeping.
Cookie has brought a lot of laughter in my life, after Chikoo left. I still remember how I would compare her to my Chikoo, saying she was such a dumb bird while my Chikoo had been such an intelligent, loving soul. I take back my words now.
Cookie is a darling – just like Chikoo. She is my stress-buster. All I need to do, is let her up onto my shoulders, or scoop her up in my palms and kiss her like crazy and I forget my worries. And, to think of it, I hadn’t even wanted her in the first place! I was rather cross with hubby for bringing home a bird without even informing me!
The tiny soul not just gives me kisses and warmth, but also someone to lean on when my hormones create chaos in within me, and drive me insane.
People come into our lives when we are least expecting them. They become an important part of our life and bring happiness and a sense of peace, a balance that was so missing before they arrived.
Cookie is that person for me.
Who is it for you?
Do you own pets? Would you like to share a pet story with me? Do share it in the comments below. I would love to hear one. I am always open to hearing pet stories.