George Gershwin is a very special cockatiel. Born with some sort of cataract-type flaw on his corneas, he was blind before his first birthday. One of the ladies at the pet store where I worked told me that they’d gotten some new baby birds and one of them had bad eyes. She said it was a shame as this bird was very friendly and would climb onto your finger without hesitation (most small birds in a pet store quickly become traumatized by strangers constantly reaching into their enclosures and they generally run away from people) I saw a sweet little creature that would have special needs.
I knew I was the human for him and I am now making arrangements for his 10th birthday celebration (next month). As we live in the New Orleans area, I figure a Mardi Gras King cake would be the way to go. George likes music, I used to play classical for him but after too much NPR his left wing grows unwieldy thus I supplement the classical with rock and roll and I frequently play my guitar for him (I wrote a song just for him and he always starts chirping when I play it.). He can whistle and speak. His ‘Variations on a Theme by Andy Griffith’ is constantly rehearsed and re-arranged. He is truly a wonderful pet and has brought so much pleasure into my life that I am at a loss to put into words what he means to me. Being blind hasn’t affected his quality of life – I spoil the hell out of him. The only drawback is that sudden or sharp sounds tend to startle him thus when ‘The Great One’ starts “expounding” it makes George uneasy. I have to explain to him that Mr. Levin is one of the good guys and that he (George) has nothing to fear. One really interesting thing about George is that he is an accomplished escape artist with a knack for climbing. Once he got out of his playpen and was walking around on the floor. I watched for a few minutes as he walked all around the room BACKWARDS. He was using his tail feathers like ‘curb feelers’ so he wouldn’t run his face into a piece of furniture. Some people would say George was lucky that I found him. No, I am the lucky one.
Mark from LA