Saturday, 9 January 2010


This morning I cleaned out the preschool's budgies' cage. Fruity and Loulou - for those are their names - squawked and screeched and flapped their moulty wings even more than usual while I did it.
I feel a little sorry for them. They're birds, but they live in a cage. Their day job is to hang out at a preschool - albeit a nice one with children who take notice of rules and don't do anything terrible to them - but it can't be very relaxing. On the weekends they get taken home to children's family homes and subjected to being photographed and documented for the preschool's book about them.
The number of families who offer to take them home at weekends has dropped off enormously in the last few months. I think it's because budgies are just no fun.
I mean, where's the warmth?? The cuddles?? You can't commune with them hardly at all. They don't run along the beach with you, they don't catch the ball when you throw it to them, they don't curl up on your lap and purr so loud you have to turn the telly up.
We've had them here since mid-December, and I feel a bit bad that in order to keep them safe from the cat, they need to be in a corner of Sweeney's room, with a view of a wall and some of a curtain. And a windowsill, but they can't actually see out of the window. I know this because I had a fit of empathy and actually worked it out. I put them outside whenever it's sunny, but we were away for five days and I couldn't add that to Libby's petsitting duties. Gods help her, she vacuumed up five days of their dander from our house, which was phenomenal on its own.
When they're outside, blackbirds and thrushes come really close to them and I wonder if they mind. They clearly mind it when I come near them. They huddle together at the far end of the cage. Even if I'm feeding them, and especially if I'm sticking a hose into their cage and cleaning the last four days' poohs off its floor.
Cool your jets, SPCA - the hose was hardly on at all.

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