Pet of the Day

February 17, 2008

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Lilli, Pip, the Pet of the Day
Name: Lilli, Pip
Age: 17, 15 years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Cockatiels
Home: San Francisco, California, USA
   These are my cockatiels, seventeen-year-old Lilligiggle "Lilli" Twinkletoes and fifteen-year-old Epiphany "Pip" Pipsqueak. Although they have spent a few spells of quality time with my folks at "chez grandparents" while I studied or worked overseas, Lilli, Pip and I have been together since each of them was a baby bird, through seven apartments in four cities. Our last big move involved flying across the country (in an airplane) to our new home in San Francisco, CA. They're my flock, and I love them like crazy...there's so much that makes them special.

    Lilli is a bloodthirsty, vicious pterodactyl trapped in the body of a gray cockatiel. He enjoys eating books, flirting with stinky shoes, singing to the beautiful gray bird that lives in the bathroom mirror, and biting people. Lilli is articulate and expressive, and his talents include exclaiming, "Mmm-WAH!" when he permits himself to be kissed on the head and saying "Hello! Hello!" whenever he hears a telephone ring. He does not like new toys or new foods.

    Pip earned the nickname, "Little Pickin' Chicken" during an unfortunate feather picking phase back in the mid-90's, which he outgrew thanks to good veterinary care and an improved diet. Because Pip has cataracts in both eyes, he doesn't see well and dislikes any changes to the arrangement of his cage. Pip also dislikes earthquakes, sirens and alarms of all kinds. Blessed with the personality of a cuddly puppy, his talents include preening his people and attacking their ears. Pip has a wonky foot that is missing half a toe, and is arthritic in his other foot; for this reason, Pip enjoys wide, cement perches that are easy to hold onto. Pip also enjoys having his head preened, tummy kisses, and anything shiny.

    I hope you enjoy their photo, they don't hold still ... are very uncooperative when the camera is out, so I was happy to get this shot where they are both in focus and looking at the camera! We've been a flock for a long time ... I've noticed that lots of people nominate birds that are a year or two old, and I am always happy to see selected pets that are much older, because I think it reinforces the important idea that birds are a really serious commitment due to their long lifespans.

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