Strictly speaking it didn’t kill the Xmas lights, I caught him in time.
Back in 1986, I bought Oscar from a pet store in Pennsylvania. I’ve had him ever since. He was an adult when I got him, and is named Oscar because he’s always been a green grouch. He’s mellowing with age so the name isn’t quite as fitting as it once was. I’ve kept him around through all the moves because he’s manageable as opposed to having a telephone booth sized cage with a cockatoo in the house. His antics are entertaining, and he’s actually engaging in his grumpy ways.
Realizing that he’s not really a grouch, just a fearful bird, I tend to take a hands off attitude with him, allowing him to play on top of his cage as I do my own thing around the house. The cage is in the middle of the room on a room divider that is just the right height for me to use as a workbench. Every time I pull apart a computer to build a Dumpster Server or work on something that needs room to roam, it tends to be on there.
Standing with the project to the left, the bird cage to the right and Oscar comes out and climbs up on top so he can preen my hair and my ears. He’s learning to be more friendly and with that comes more curiosity.
Yes, preen my ears. Maybe he’s saying hello, but this is pretty common behavior now.
This being the holiday season, we tested the lights and found one string of LED lights didn’t work right. They change color through the rainbow and are C6 size. They also look “retro”, and since the house was built in 1968, they work really well here. The one string that didn’t work right was coming on red and staying red so we sent that one back to the vendor and got a new string. That one string seems to work but was out on the room divider. Oscar was out of the cage and he decided to explore while I was allowing them to “burn in” for testing purposes.
Putting things on top of the room divider is a great way to get this old buzzard curious. He’ll climb out if the door’s open and walk over to what ever is there, look in and handle it. I’ve ended up with screwdrivers on the floor and cables bitten through as a result. He hasn’t chewed the wood… yet, but he has “handled” it.
Needless to say, parrots are the Perpetual Two Year Old of the animal kingdom. “Mine!” and “No!” are in their clownish little heads as they try to explore the entire house. Luckily he has avoided Mrs Dog, and she wants nothing to do with him.
I watch them all closely.
Sitting in the Big Green Chair doing my own thing, I hear rattling as the C6 bulb taps the glass. Looking over I give the Big Green Bird the Evil Eye and say “I’m Watching You!”. That’s quite enough for him, he pads over to the cage and climbs back in… for a while.
We went through this twice more when I decided that he might be safer without electrical appliances with mains voltages running through them, and I rather like having the little green clown safe around the house.
Burn in period is done, Oscar’s fine, the lights are fine, and all is right on the room divider now that the projects are done.
You just never know what your two year old will get into, even if he is 24 years old by the calendar.