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Subject: Messy Room

Management sends a memo to African grey Parker & Pepper, to stop leaving their cages in such a mess (and to stop throwing things at Mattie the dog).

Patricia Sund

Messy Cage

Memo: To Parker & Pepper
Dept: African Greys
From: Management
Subject: Messy Room

I came home from work today and Parker, your cage was a total disaster. I hope you had a good time, because it is completely trashed. What have you been doing in there? It looks like the aftermath of a post-final exams keg party at a college frat house. There are crumbs all over the floor, and I found food pellets and toy parts floating in your water bowl. I also noticed that all of your foot toys are pulled out of your treasure chest and scattered everywhere. The cardboard box you like to play in looks like a bombed-out building, and what’s left of your toys are in shreds. I’m going to need a rake to clean it all up.

On top of that, you and everything else were soaking wet. You just had a shower last night; therefore, I can see no reason why you felt this compelling need to take a dip in your water bowl and drench the wall in the process. And how in God’s name did Mattie the dog get wet?  Do you have a hose hidden in there somewhere? Parker, if I find out you have progressed from trying to poop on her and throwing your toys at her to soaking her down with your water, we’re going to have to have a little talk.

I realize toys and boxes are to be played with and destroyed, but must you demolish your room in the process?  You seem to enjoy the little scenarios you make up where you play "attack the toy.” You hang upside down by one toe from your plastic chain and scream wildly at a toy while systematically beating the tar out of it. I must admit, I love to see you play. It’s like watching a kid staging a battle with his action figures.
Parker, you are one hard partier when it comes to beating up on your toys. I think it’s wonderful that you have learned how to entertain yourself so beautifully.  I’m considering changing your name to "Wrecking Crew.”

Pepper, who at the most probably had some old rawhide and a dented bell to play with before she was relinquished and came to live with us, has now learned to play with toys. From watching you, she has begun to happily chew away, mess around and even try to nail Mattie with her toys just as she sees you doing.

While I appreciate your being such a good example for her, I could do without your teaching Pepper to bombard Mattie with toy parts and carrot chunks. The other day, Mattie almost got smacked in the head with a rattle. Mattie is a pleasant little dog and a member of the family, not a slow moving object for your target practice.

Maybe soon we can work on teaching you how to put your foot toys back into their little drawers. If you can take them out of the treasure chest, you are perfectly capable of putting them back. Wouldn’t that be fun to learn?  However, I’m sure teaching you how to put your toys back will happen right around the same time pigs begin flying around.

In the meantime, while you are out on the porch getting some sun, I’ll be rooting around in your cage trying to clean up what looks like the concert grounds the day after the Woodstock Music Festival. 

— Management

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Posted: January 15, 2014, 1:30 p.m. PDT

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