Fur Balls and Beaks


Bizarro is brought to you today by Shameful Moments in American History.

I used to play a lot of tennis so this idea was fun for me. I haven’t played in about ten years now, not because I got too old but because that was when I moved to NYC and I didn’t know anyone there who played. Now I’m in LA and still don’t know anyone who plays tennis but I’m also too busy to fit it into my schedule. Why am I telling you all this? I have no idea. Because this cartoon is about tennis and it reminded me that I used to like to play, I guess. Is this a boring post? I have also had several cats in my day.

I’ve never had a parrot but I was sorely tempted once many years ago because I find them so fascinating. But, like the responsible, compassionate person I am, before I bought a parrot I decided to read up on them. I found out how they are captured, the amount of attention they need because of their complex psyche, the average length of their lives, and I decided very quickly that it was not a good idea. I imagined letting it have the run of my house because I think keeping a bird in a cage is like keeping a dachshund in an aquarium full of water and never letting it trot around the yard. But it is so much better to leave them in the wild where they belong so I gave up on the idea. So when my buddy, Foye, said something about a “ventriloquist parrot,” the first thing I imagined it might say was the caption above.

It always thrills me to see wild parrot populations in American cities, where they are not indigenous. I know that introducing new species to an area can cause trouble, but in their case I put that aside and revel in the fact that they beat the system. They escaped their captors and started their own community. Yay, parrots! I can’t speak for them, but I know that I’d rather live a few days as a free man and starve to death or be eaten by a cat than live for years in a cage.

I’m happy to report there is a good-sized flock of parrots that live in my neighborhood in LA now. I can hear them squawking in the trees out front and it is music to my ears.

I have some books. Here’s one now.

I have a FrontOfYourHeadBook page.


30 thoughts on “Fur Balls and Beaks

  1. We have a large population of wild parakeets here in south Florida. They are beautiful but a bit noisy. I definitely prefer them over pigeons.

  2. Being a mum to two cats I laughed out lout at your tennis-cat cartoon. Well done! By the way, is the man in the parrot cartoon holding an iPad/Nook/Kindle instead of a book? Technology has come a long way…. xo

  3. I rescued a little rat from the middle of a busy intersection the other day. She was scared, but I could tell that maybe if I kept her, she could be tamed. I opted to release her in a field by the river. I worry about her finding food, surviving the winter, and predators, but I decided that ultimately she would rather have her freedom and battle the elements than live the rest of her life in a cage. I hope she’ll be okay…

  4. Pingback: Fur Balls and Beaks « Humor

  5. You probably don’t want any kind of bird, if you’re planning on giving it “the run of the house.” Birds can’t be housebroken, and people who do grant them this sort of freedom invariably end up with bird poop on everything — walls, furniture, curtains, perchable knickknacks, towels, heads if one sits still for too long …

    • Oh, I know. I’ve fostered quite a few rescued chickens and roosters while finding them a permanent home where they won’t be caged or slaughtered. They’re delightful animals and would make the greatest pets except that they shit indiscriminately. :o)

      • My parents always let their budgies fly around the house, and while they weren’t “housetrained’ as such, they did do 80% of their business in one spot, so my mom just put a plastic cover down there. And everyone who visits just gets used to the possibility of a little accident now and then. Of course, they are pretty small birds….

        Man, did my mom love her birds, though, especially Pauly – he’d hop around the table when they were playing cards, pick up one card, drag it to the end of the table, drop it off. He could talk, too, as well as a budgie can. They got him when he flew up on the street to my sister’s boyfriend, landed on his shoulder, said “I’m Pauly”, and kissed him.

  6. Good choice not getting the parrot. Even though they are a real kick in the pants and can be very loving and entertaining… very high maintenance.

    Keep these coming DAn… you always make me smile.

  7. Yes, the green parrots. They used to sit in the tree behind our yard and clatter on forever. The flocks were bigger then. Now it seems they’ve broken up into more flocks that are less in number.

  8. ha!… dunno if “music” is the word i would use. even with all their belligerent squawking, they are an interesting bunch to watch. and i save on alarm clocks, as they ensure that i don’t sleep past 6 am, so i can get so much more done during the day, as the tree outside my bedroom seems to be a favorite hangout of these urban jungle birds. in the late 90’s i recall seeing TWO wild parrots flying around my old studio in downtown long beach… now there are huge flocks EVERYWHERE. even the crows don’t mess with ’em. oh boy!

  9. I remember reading that there were huge flocks of birds resembling parrots all over the place when Europeans first came here, so they may be just retaking their old homesteads. I can’t find any reference to it now though so I can’t send a link.

  10. Love the green parrots here in San Diego, hear they’ve been around since the early 1900’s. Fly around in circles in a large group , squawking away before settling in palm trees. Love the sound.

    We also finally got another “non-native” here that originally established itself in LA, the Asian ring-necked dove. I think it’s another species that accidentally was introduced in the last century. Looks like a large mourning dove with a pretty black line on the back of its neck. Only started seeing them a couple of years ago. They have a funny sounding call, almost like a bird with laryngitis ;-)

  11. Works perfectly for Badminton, too! We enjoy parrots in East Oakland, especially when a pair is chasing away a raven 5 times their size. Those beaks bend steel! Sound better than Corvi, too.

  12. I have a cat that looks just like the fluffy dude in your link! Love the cat vomit sign and I need one here at the cat ranch.

  13. I like her bibs.. they are a really cute cut… and I had a pair just like them in 8th grade!! n cuz it was our eighth grade sewing project.. an mine turned out really good and theats a VERY COMPLICATED pattern..our class chose that for our project!!! That is when,, Boys took shop.. girls took home ec….ah the good ol days.. when our place in society was chosen for us ; o)

  14. I once discovered a nesting of parrots in a industrial area near where I was living in Portland, Oregon. Collected a number of shed feathers near the “Parrot Tree” ( apparently they all nested together).

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