The Journey to EMMA, our Beautiful Cape…….
The search for EMMA had been a five year long journey. First of all, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think about owning a parrot. After the loss of our little pug, Lifey in 1995, my husband and I were without an animal to love. We shared our life with Lifey for almost 11 years and the thought of losing an animal was too difficult to comprehend, so we decided to be without an animal.
Years went by and my husband came home one day and said he wanted to get a parrot. That was so out in left field, I almost fell over. So, for the next 5 years my husband would read books and articles about parrots. He even joined some bird clubs and went to their meetings. He visited pet shops and asked questions, questions and more questions. He bought bird toys, water bottles, books, magazines (subscriptions to 3) and then, 3 years into the ‘bird search’, he bought a 24″ X 18″ X 48″ bird cage. Now, mind you……we have NO bird. Also, mind you……..I have no intention of getting a bird. He went to all these events alone. I did not want a parrot. I thought the whole idea was so silly that I really just humored my husband. It kept him busy, and I was fine with him looking for “a bird”. (If you are reading this article, you probably have talked to my husband). I think our phone bills were up about $50 per month during the years of his researching. He really developed a lot of friendships with people. He asked so many questions that he knew what he wanted. He wanted a Cape Parrot. By this time, we had two cages, a huge, huge Manzanita tree on a stand and play areas for the home and office, two special lighting lamps for home and office, bird perches in both bathrooms for her showers! No bird for another 2 years. Just research……………YIKES!!
My husband has a way about him. One day, out of the blue, he asked me, “soooooo, let’s just say we got a parrot……what name would you pick?” I said EMMA sounded nice. Duh, guess what he was doing………closing the deal, by getting me happily involved!
He called a wonderful couple in Placerville, CA. Linda and her husband, Kirk Daugherty. They have an aviary and raise all sorts of parrots. My husband would call Linda all the time. She had a female Cape ready for him in 2001. Some things were going on in our life that prevented him from going ahead with getting that Cape. Linda found a home for her and then he waited again until he found out she had another female Cape hatched on Feb. 16, 2002. Well, my husband made up his mind that that was his baby. (I STILL had no intention of getting a bird!!) I did not want a bird or have ANY desire for a bird; I just kept quiet thinking he would change his mind.
We have our own business and we travel, so he wanted to wait until after summer. Well, on Saturday September 14th, 2002, my husband drove from our home in Marina Del Rey, California to Placerville, CA – 9 hours away and he met EMMA. He wanted EMMA to be comfortable on the ride home, so he rented a Lincoln Town Car and drove with two good friends of ours, Robert and GG. Robert previously owned a bird store in Glendale, CA and knows so much about birds. Actually, Robert had a Cape Parrot many years ago and he said it was the best bird he had ever owned. Unfortunately she got ill and died, but she left a wonderful memory in Robert’s heart.
So, on Sunday September 15th, Emma came into my life. My husband phoned me to meet him at our office. He arrived shortly thereafter. He brought EMMA into the office and put EMMA on her new perch. Not knowing any better, (I never read one thing…..) I stuck my finger out and she stepped up on it and I kissed her beak and that was it! She totally melted my heart and made me weak in my knees and I’ve never been the same since. OH MY GOD! I never new love could feel like this. She has brought so much joy to my life. As Tom Cruise said to Renee Zellwieger in Jerry McGuire……. “EMMA, you complete me!” (I know, I go a little too far sometimes….but you know what I mean!)
Since I never read one thing about parrots, I sat down all day Monday and Tuesday and read, read, read. I’m still reading daily to this day and on a very regular basis. I read all about Thor on www.capeparrot.org, Sally Blanchard was the first book I picked up and I still have it next to my couch, along with many email lists and forums. Actually, I think that if I had known a lot before I got EMMA, it may have hindered me. For example, the carrier I use to take her to the office every day. I just put her in it and off we go. I take her into the shower and we shower. I gave her toys and she played with them. When I read some of the articles and books about slowly showing your bird new things so the bird doesn’t freak out, I would have been neurotic and made EMMA a bit crazy too. I figured that she was coming to our home and she was part of it, she better fit in. I didn’t baby her, I treated her like a teenager and she fit in perfectly. And thank GOD she did. She never got scared or freaked out about anything. The only thing she still looks as if freaks her out is when I put her on the back of the couch and she looks over the edge into the unknown below. That always cracks me up. She doesn’t move for 5 minutes…..just stares down below………into the vast ………unknown…….
Anyway, since that September day, I never knew how much fun it is to spend hundreds & hundreds & hundreds of dollars on wood and plastic, only to watch it be destroyed in a matter of minutes. My only regret is that my mom and dad did not live long enough to see and love EMMA. They would have enjoyed her so much. They would have loved watching her examine her carrot stick and hold it, and take bites and spit it out only to make a mess. And oh my, what she does with her soy beans in the pod!!! Yum Yum…
And then there is that constant SMILE on her sweet face that is enough to bring tears to my eyes. How in the world can anything be so sweet? She is gentle, sweet, soft-spoken and so loving & she loves to snuggle. At night, she insists on sitting with me to cuddle and preen. I preen and she cuddles.
*************************************************************************February 2006. EMMA is 4 yrs old now
P.S. it’s now thousands of ‘well spent’ dollars for toys and goodies!
EMMA tells me ‘Peek-a-boo’, ‘I love you’, ‘Wheeeeee’, all the different telephone rings at the office, ‘Eagle Bird’, ‘Thank you’, ‘night-night’, ‘pretty baby”, “here kitty kitty-meow”, raspberry’s sound and smoochie kisses. When I sing “how much is that doggie in the window”, she barks like a dog. Ruff ruff! When she wants to go to bed, she asks. She says “night-night” and off she goes to her cage for a nice sleep.
Well, this little article was supposed to tell you why we chose a Cape Parrot as our first bird. Well, I was blessed with a great husband who knew what he was doing. And I couldn’t be happier. Well, I’m going to go now and kiss my EMMA’s sweet soy bean smelling beak and say good night to her. She is such a sweet soul. We love her so much.
The Journey to EMMA
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