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AJ is our 20 year old Cockatoo. He was with friends for about five years but he's been back now for about six months.
There seem to be two different AJs. They look the same. The sound the same. We're going to pretend that they (he) calls me "Daddy." In reality he calls me <screeching sound> but we're just pretending, ok? You with me?
I come downstairs early in the morning, dressed in a navy blue shirt and denim shorts.
AJ's cage cover is no longer covering the cage. This heavy, denim cover (which outweighs the bird by at least 500%) has been pulled off the back and in through the bars of the cage. Not all of it, but about six inches at a time has been pulled through six or ten successive gaps between bars. It looks like pleating, as it's quite even.
AJ is sitting quietly, pulling more in and chewing on the cover. As I walk toward the cage he releases the cover (it doesn't move) and sits motionless.
I extract the cage cover from the cage bars, while telling AJ how impressed I am with his work. He continues to sit utterly motionless. Obviously I can't see him if he doesn't move.
I reach over to open his cage door and AJ — like a mighty predator — leaps for the front of the cage. He repeatedly bangs his face into the bars trying to bite me, and sticks one claw out as far as he can to grab a finger or, if he's really lucky, my throat.
The door released, I step away. I've barely escaped with my life.
As I round the corner and step out of sight, AJ calls out "Hi Baby! Hi! Heeeey! Hi!!" Over and over.
After I've hunted down a morning coffee at Dave's, he seems more sociable.
“That's my Daddy! I love him. He scratches my neck and under my wings and I will protect him from bad creatures like that woman who also lives here. He shares his food with me but doesn't like it when I try to share mine with him.”
End of day one.
I come down wearing a red shirt and denim shorts.
AJ's cage is in exactly the same condition as on Day One.
AJ is doing the same thing as on Day One.
In fact, everything is the same right up until I return from the morning hunt.
He's not more sociable this time. He's neither subtle nor sneaky, either. He starts flapping his wings and screaming at me as soon as he sees me, and doesn't shut up until I close my office door.
I try to calm him down with some neck scratching, but his moment of quiet is just to throw me off my guard: as soon as my hands are in the right position he explodes into action, striking at my fingers with his beak, batting at my face with his wings. In short, he makes a best effort at patricide.
“I don't know who that is. I hate him. He tries to fool me with his soft words and treats but I know better. I will kill him, kill him, kill him until he brings back my daddy or just goes away. You've been warned, little man.”
(Me:) I outweigh you about 125 to 1.
Ooh listen to the little man, he can talk! Come over here and say that to my face, small fry!
With a heavy sigh I go back upstairs and change into a dark blue (or green, gray or black) shirt. Then I walk through again on the way to my office.
“Yay! That's my Daddy! I love him! He scratches…”
(Me:) “Oh shut up.”
“Hiii!!! Heeey!! Hi Baby! Hi birdie…”
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