Friday, April 21, 2017

Peppy the love budgie

Generic budgie, not Peppy
I remember the day my grandmother bought/adopted Peppy.

Peppy was a parakeet, a budgie.  My grandmother had told me stories about the parakeets she'd had in the past, and how she took care of them and taught them to talk, etc.  I guess all that reminiscing prompted her to say, "Shoot!  I'm gettin' one!"

At the time, Grandma was probably in her late 70's or so.  She lived in an apartment in our small town and typically walked to do her errands.  She and I walked to the local pet shop where she carefully selected Peppy from a cageful of budgies.  She claimed that she could tell by the looks of them which would be the good talkers.  I just had to believe her as I knew nothing about parakeets.

She named him Peppy right away because of some spots "like pepper" he had near his face.  She proceeded to buy the cage and other essentials she would need, and we then walked back to her apartment as she carried that bird cage, complete with bird.

They began bonding right away.  I didn't know that people bonded with birds the way they do with cats and dogs, but the bonding going on between Grandma and Peppy was quite noticeable as I - the once highly beloved, attention grabbing, sole granddaughter - suddenly became an invisible observer.

And Peppy did learn to talk rather quickly.  In fact, he wouldn't shut up.

Not surprisingly, his favorite phrase was "Pretty Peppy".

He said several other phrases and also coughed and sneezed just like Grandma.

Eventually, Grandma was not able to live independently in her apartment anymore.  She moved to a home where she wasn't allowed to have pets.  Even a parakeet.  Peppy came to live with us.

My Grandma had clipped his wings so he could fly freely about her apartment, and then, our house.  We only shut the door of his cage at night.  I've since heard that pet birds usually bond with one member of the household when living with multiple people.  Everyone else is beneath them.

I'd say that Peppy bonded with my mom since she took care of his food and cage.  I also began hearing him say, "Good morning, Jay" in my mom's voice (my dad was Jay).  Clearly, however, he still carried a torch for Grandma.   The first time Grandma came to our house after Peppy had moved in, it was an amazing reunion.

I can only describe it as frenzied hugging and kissing like those videos we see now of soldiers returning from deployment and their dogs going nuts.  That was Grandma and Peppy.

My brother Guano and I had a sort of love/hate relationship with Peppy.  On one hand, it was fun to have him flying around the house, sitting on our shoulders, and talking and coughing and sneezing.  On the other, he could be a pain in the ass.  He'd jump on our papers as we did homework, or begin gnawing on our pencils as we were writing.  If we dared to eat something while he was around, our food became his food.

In fact, this photo is the only photo of Peppy in existence, as far as I know.

Blurry Guano is eating an apple while blurry peppy is about to pounce.  That bird didn't even care if the food was halfway in our mouths.

So he wasn't the nicest or most obedient of pets.  Plus Guano and I were in our obnoxious teens during Peppy's time with us, and may have subjected Peppy to a prank or two...

I will say, as far as I know, that Peppy never uttered "F*ck you", despite Guano's attempts to quietly teach him.

Peppy outlived Grandma.  Her visits stopped, and I think Peppy eventually learned that she was gone from this world, and he was stuck with just us.

We've heard of the rainbow bridge, where our pets who have passed away wait for us.  I'm betting that Grandma waited for Peppy, and it was quite a reunion.


Linking up with Mama Kat this week for the prompt:
6. Write about your favorite childhood pet.


Jimmy said...

Pets do become family members very quickly, I think it impressive that Peppy even coughed and sneezed like your Grandma, I never had the knack to get any of ours to utter a word.

Great story Abby, I bet he is sitting on her shoulder now.

John Holton said...

A very sweet story.

Kim said...

Beautiful story, thank you for sharing a very unique bond for your grandmother and family.

LL Cool Joe said...

I want to know what the pranks were that you two did to poor Peppy?

My issue with a bird flying around my house would be the bird poop, and a bird flying around the house. :D

Sublime Dream said...

Awww! I never knew that birds and humans bonded so strongly. That's adorable! I have a dog now, that I just adore. It's mutual, lol. I honestly don't know if I can ever have another dog after she is gone someday. She is just 4-legged perfection! ;)

Jennifer said...

What an adorable story about Peppy and your Grandma. <3 Pretty amazing she got him talking from what I understand they are not all that easy to teach.

Lori said...

Aww, what a great story! I love birds. When I was first married to my first husband, he wanted a bird, so we got a cockatiel. He bonded with me and hated my husband. By a few years later, the feeling was mutual (on my husband's side), so we had to give him away. Now we have a cat who likes to hunt, so I don't see any pet birds in my future any time soon.

ShadowRun300 said...

I'm with Joey. I have no desire to have a bird for the same reasons he mentioned. Then again, I never knew birds bonded with humans. I suppose it does make sense thought, to fall in love with the one that feeds you.

Riot Kitty said...

That would be awesome if he has learned to swear! Sweet story. Birds terrify me, though.

KatBouska said...

Now I need a bird.