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Old 02-09-2018, 07:38 AM
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Re: need help, guidance for my girl Kali

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It is a very hard situation. I agree with the thought that Kali is the scapegoat for other issues going on which your wife may not be able to understand the underlying issues, or potentially using her problems as an excuse to get her own way. If possible I would suggest trying to get her to see a therapist, though it would have to be an extremely tactile conversation.

Outside of that it's making you clearly distressed which is not fair at all. I would sit down with her before a final decision is made and properly talk about it, explain how it's making you feel, try to convince her to at least try to be friends with Kali but she has to try. Hard with depression I am very much aware but ultimately what has your wife got to lose in that situation? 1ML of blood maybe? But even then she can say she did truly try with Kali. Try coaching your wife through it? Maybe having you there on hand explaining the whole situation with a bird like a Grey and how they don't obey commands could work. Or even if you can train Kali not to scream as much when you're out of the house. If it's the occasional noise your wife will have to put up with it, it's not like she wasn't aware birds made noise. Kind of what they're known for.

If not there are always options if it does come down to adoption outside of the people you currently know of. Be it finding someone through a rescue or I'm sure even someone here would be happy to adopt her if needed. Even if only temporarily until your wife has worked through her issues
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:52 AM
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Re: need help, guidance for my girl Kali

As a very wise man once told me "It is NEVER the Parrot's fault!"

I too,like your wife,suffer with depression,but mine is extreme. Honestly,if it weren't for my two bird's, I don't think I'd be typing this now.
I have one child,he will be 31 in three day's and he HATES bird's ( get a DOG Dad! )
My only remaining brother is 4 years my senior and God forbid if something should happen to me,he'd take them in,but he knows NOTHING on caring for them and i'd be rolling over in my grave in tears.

My heart hurts for you. Greys are very intelligent and are in tune with their surroundings,with their "person" and their emotions.

A lot of very good advice has been shared here and I can not add to it
Being "owned" by a parrot is a life time commitment. Amy has been with me almost thirty years and has had/seen her share of good and bad times.
She literally has saved my life on more than one occasion.
I'd be lost without my little green girl.

it's very difficult to make a "non bird" person understand this.
I wish you all the best with your very tough decision Steph


Jim
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Jonesy, a cute Goffin 'too
that had to be rehomed :-(

And a Grey 'teil, BB...a.k.a. The Beebs
that was 18 weeks old 5/20/2016,






Rest in peace,my precious Smokey..4/2015 at 28 years young
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:13 PM
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Re: need help, guidance for my girl Kali

Sorry about all the words. It's just I have seen that dynamic and I know it's possible to work it out. If you give Kali away now, you will resent it. You will resent it for years to come, and it may wind up being the biggest wedge between you and your wife. If it turns out that's the solution, so be it. But it's not the first choice solution as it is fraught with risks for all concerned.

I was once the "other person" in a bird-human triangle. The fellow had a parrot when I met him, and they were overbonded with one another. I got bit, got parrot-scolded, was roundly rejected by the parrot. But I liked the fellow, and I could see how important the parrot had been in his life, so I worked extra hard to make friends with Mr. Beak. Gradually I could pick him up on a perch and take him on "walkabout" to sightsee in all the rooms and closets, gradually I could pick him up on a finger, gradually he started asking me when he wanted a lift .. but we are talking years and years, and I never could pet him.

And it did make me resentful, that my partner would spend all evening holding the bird, who would sit on his shoulder and keep me away. I did feel that the parrot was more important than I was, the parrot certainly got more attention and affection than I did. And that's not good. Is it just me, or does everybody wants to be loved by at least one person, to feel that at least one person treasures them? You mention that the bird likes to cuddle with you ... it sounds like you show lots of love and affection to Kali which is good. Your wife needs to have the same kind of love and affection. It's one thing to know that your partner loves another being ... but it's not good to believe that you are loved far less. Some people say how stupid to be jealous of an animal .. but love is love, and if the partner is loved less, they will know it. I certainly felt that I was not loved as much as the parrot, and it was depressing and dispiriting.

I write all that just to give another viewpoint ... most people on this forum are parrot owners and have that point of view. I'm on the outside, as third wheel, and it can be a different perspective. I have to put up with the same screaming, plus biting, plus gross bird poop everywhere, plus restrictions on going out or traveling, and I don't get the reward of skritching a parrot. Not a good situation. It's a real test of commitment, to stay in a relationship where you don't feel valued and are attacked in your own home. So I can emphasize with your wife a little bit.

But. It doesn't have to be either/or. Keep the parrot or give it away. There has to be some way to make everybody happier. For me, I had to decide what level of parrot reward was the minimum. I wasn't going to be the petter, but I could give rides, could interact, I taught him tricks, and it was almost enough. Is there some level of understanding between Kali and your wife that would be at least OK for a while? Are there some behavior changes that would make things tolerable? Or is there an underlying feeling of rejection? Because there are two ways out. One is to change Kali's behavior so that she is a better companion to all, and that is hard, plus it requires buy-in from the others. Two is to change your behavior so that your wife feels totally loved, totally valued, totally appreciated, totally wanted. Someone who feels loved is much more accommodating and understanding. Kali should be looked at as a being who maybe causes some problems and not as a rival for your affections.

Don't give Kali up yet if you can help it. Yes, this young couple loves her and wants her. But what happens when they have kids three years from now, and suddenly the noise/poop/beak threatens the babies or the peace of the household? Even with a written contract - which you should have if you go that route - Kali might wind up being passed on to someone else, especially if they move to a different area. Once Kali leaves your home, her welfare is out of your hands. And she sounds like a wonderful companion, a delightful being.

So that's a lot of words to suggest that the humans find a way ahead by talking to each other. Everyone needs to feel free to express how they feel about the parrot, resentment or hatred or frustration or nothing. Then it becomes a problem to solve. You negotiate. X amount of time with Kali and Y amount of stuff with your wife. What does you wife need from you to feel loved and cherished? Do YOU feel loved and cherished, or do you get that from Kali? What does you need from your wife to feel loved and cherished? What do the kids need? When there is enough love to go around, more than enough to go around, suddenly Kali may become more tolerable.

If Kali's cage is in the dining room, and the house has a rather open layout, then there may not be any place where your wife can get away from her. She always has the screaming and pooping right in her face. Is there another room where Kali could be during the time when you aren't home? Not shut all the way up, maybe where she can still hear and interact with family members but where your wife can at least make a phone call or read a book or cook or work on the computer or whatever, some peaceful space of her own? We all need a space of our own. Is there a space in the house that could be set up as a "woman cave", that's just hers where she can do whatever she wants in peace?

If your family are readers, there are some books that might be helpful. One is called "Of Parrots and People". It begins with amazing stories of parrots doing fantastic things, so the reader begins to feel respect and admiration for these beautiful beings. Then it touches on trouble, on things that go wrong, on the awful ways parrots suffer when they are neglected. It touches on things from the parrot's perspective. The description of a pair of Amazons raking through the nest box desperately searching for their just-removed babies is heartbreaking. Then the book pulls back for a wide-angle perspective on poaching and smuggling of parrots from the wild. Spoiler alert: humans don't always come off as the heroes here. It gave me a different perspective on parrots as pets, and made me more determined that any parrot in my life was going to have the best life it could have. That book might help generate some sympathy for Kali.

The other book I would recommend is one like "Companion Parrot Handbook" or "The Second Hand Parrot" because both those books do two things well. One, they give a good insight into why parrots do the things they do. Two, they give concrete, tested solutions for solving problems. Knowing that there is a chance to solve a problem makes it more bearable. If your wife feels that it's hopeless, nothing will ever change, you will have a different outcome than if she has some concrete things to try, and YOUR SUPPORT IN CREATING CHANGE. Meaning you help find things your wife can do that Kali likes such as give her a favorite treat, or do something for her that only she gets to do.

You both have my love and sympathy, and I hope you can find a way out of this. Remember there is always another option, another thing to try. You don't have to do things they way other people do. You can make up your own story and arrange your lives in a way that works for you.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:38 PM
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Re: need help, guidance for my girl Kali

Again, thanks to all for the other points of view.nice to have the other side and similar circumstances..
Amy, i wish she would see kali as i see her, her cats give that emotional help, as do I by giving her support and understanding. That s why very reluctantly posted an add in hopes no one would bite . but she sees kali as a nuisance, the reason why her nerves are shot..
I have considered moving her in another room, but the only other place would be the living room in the basement!!! And i feel she would be alone all the time..upstairs she has all the natural light possible with windows all around.
We have been discussing non stop , but she is still un receptive to the idea.
Over 4 years of just hearing her complain about her, as soon as i walk in the house, call to see how are things, dishing kali in front of company 😓 i always stand my ground.. until just now because of her condition.

I have sat down and clearly explained my feelings , how kali will be devastated about losing her family with no care in the world.. i too think it s not fair and to the point of just standing my ground again.... But is she really causing her that much grief ????

I do have books and they all read them when we got her...

The resenting part about letting her go, can t be more true, it s already driving nuts just thinking about it.. all the rest of my life i will wonder where she is, is she happy, does she miss me, is she well cared for..
The more i think about it, the more i think i will just say screw it, 7 years with my kali , caring for her, making toys with her help, teaching her new things..just to see her go.

I havent read many stories about parrots being re homed successfuly, which is my main concern, her emotional well being.. if anyone has more info?? Which i don t really want to ear lol but might help..if i have to let her go..
Which brings me to, the contract i will have, again , you are right about once she s gone, how can i be certain she will cone back to me if it doesnt work out.. or worst, in what condition willshe be back, injured, emotionally damaged ???

I hate this, can t even find words to say how much...

Again thanks to all, i might of missed answering some details, i i have read it all which helps me a lot..

Steph
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:40 PM
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Re: need help, guidance for my girl Kali

WOW! Very well said/put....K








Jim
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Amy my beautiful Blue Front. Who was four months old when she picked me to go home with to her "forever" home in 4/1990.. DNA'd MALE in 2015
Jonesy, a cute Goffin 'too
that had to be rehomed :-(

And a Grey 'teil, BB...a.k.a. The Beebs
that was 18 weeks old 5/20/2016,






Rest in peace,my precious Smokey..4/2015 at 28 years young
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:12 AM
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Re: need help, guidance for my girl Kali

I've only had Bella for a little over a year and care about her a lot, she pure, innocent and gives true love! Can't imagine how I'd feel about her in another 6 years from now.
Up until 1 month ago Bella was only bonded to me and would jump to the other side of her cage if my grandmother (who lives with us) approaches or she would turn her head away and not face her, she absolutely could not stand her.
It took along time but now after 1 year she gives my grandmother kiss's on cue and try's to fly to her on cue also (but my grandmother chickens out and lowers her arm at the last second haha) So I know for a fact it's possible for your wife and bird to have a better relationship.
I would obviously choose my family first as would most people but I would try my very best to make it work first, only you know how far you can push this without crossing line.
You have been trying for 4 years but the results speak for themself so a different approach is needed.
Kentuckiene post seem's to make the most sense to me as she was/is in a similar situation, personally I would work on the stuff she mentioned.
Goodluck hope it works out in the end!
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:44 AM
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Re: need help, guidance for my girl Kali

You are in a tough position, but things are what they are. I wish there were a miracle cure.

If you do decide to go ahead with rehoming, you might consider an older person, not a young couple. Young people have a lot of enthusiasm, but they also have a lot of potential priority changes ahead such as jobs, homes, babies, or health issues. Sailboat wrote a heartbreaking story about Oliver, whose parents were (ill)advised by their doctor to give him away when they were expecting a baby. It did not end well for Oliver. A middle aged person, someone who is relatively settled in life, who has a steady income, who has the maturity and/or life experience to emphasize with Kali and who cares about her quality of life might be a better fit.

Most rescue organizations have adoption forms that specify important details. The adopter must promise to take the bird to the vet every year, to feed it properly, house it properly, treat it properly, agree to a home visit now and then, and to return the bird to the rescue if they can't keep it any more. I don't know how enforceable these "contracts" are. Maybe if the person made a sizable security deposit, and then every year they get some of it back providing the bird's life passes inspection? Maybe backed up by home visits or vet reports? Like a prenup.

Kali should also be microchipped in case she winds up at large or lost, at least they can track you down. Be sure to put info on the chip that doesn't change, like a permanent email address and not just a phone number.

Would it work to make this downstairs living room space into a private space for your wife, so she could have someplace nice and quiet to herself? I don't know where you are - is the climate suitable to building a weatherproof, climate controlled aviary/addition onto the house where Kali could stay? Like part of a porch or deck?

Sometimes people dig in their heels. If your wife has been complaining about aspects of Kali's presence for years and feels she is being ignored, or that her feelings are not as important as yours or Kali's, perhaps dislike has turned to hatred, and morphed from "hatred of the situation" to "hatred of Kali" in which case it's difficult to move forward.

Don't ask me how I know this, but there are two other interesting philosophies. There's a book called "His Needs, Her Needs", I forget the author, but he had the idea that love was like a bank. Doing something that your partner likes and appreciates is like depositing money in a bank. Doing something that your partner dislikes is like making a withdrawal. Most people start out by making lots of deposits ... they do things for one another and build up a good balance so they fall in love. But if one or both start doing things that irritate, anger, disrespect, etc. then the balance can get overdrawn quickly, and this destroys love. I thought it made a lot of sense. He had some suggestions for figuring out what is important to the other person so you can meet their needs, and for communicating your needs. If you guys are in a situation where Kali's presence has caused so much irritation that it affects your relationship, it doesn't mean that she has to go to restore the balance. It means SOMETHING has to change, to build up love in some other way.

The other philosophy comes in here .. again, a book called "Love Languages" ... love means different things to different people. Some people feel love when they are given gifts, some feel loved when you do something for them like wash the car, some need conversation, some need smooches. Everyone is different. If your partner sees "gifts" as love, and instead of a gift you give them a smooch or a car wash - because that's what love means to YOU - they don't see your action as loved. Your partner can feel deeply unloved, even if you think you are showering them with love, because that isn't their gestalt. The author gives an example of a man whose wife's thing was gifts, so he decided to bring her a present every day. It could have been a single rose, or a card, or a pretty rock .. the value didn't matter. It was just the giving of a thing every day. They went from let's-call-the-lawyers-right-now to second honeymoon territory. For Kali to stay, you MUST find some way to get love into the relationship right now.

I know this is a lot of talk about love and relationship which doesn't seem that applicable to parrots. But love underpins all. Why do you want to keep Kali? Because you love her. Love doesn't fix everything - we still need money and food and air - but it's right up there. You can't have happiness if you don't have love. This crisis you guys are in - it's an opportunity. It is a chance for you two to sit down and really communicate, reach deep and decide how important you are to one another, and forge a deeper connection. Or break up. Not all relationships survive the crisis. Don't ask me how I know. It takes two. If she doesn't want to work on it, doom. If you don't want to work on it, doom. I am a big fan of doing the work of love.

Another good point the first guy had was the "philosophy of enthusiastic agreement" meaning you don't do anything you don't both agree to wholeheartedly. If you give up Kali under duress, and don't agree to it, you will harbor resentment for a long time. It might poison the relationship. You have to agree that it's the best thing for everyone, including Kali, and do it willingly. Conversely, if your wife feels forced to live with an unpleasant situation, then she's not in agreement. She will have resentment and anger, that might poison the relationship. So the power struggle is doomed. There's no way for one of you to win without the other losing.

The only way through a power struggle is to find a way around. Don't keep fighting the same fight. Step around the fight. Find something else, other than moving Kali out of the house, to bring in love and harmony. Find something so humungous that Kali's presence becomes a minor, tiny thing. You have to work it out together. If you ask your wife to put up with the huge annoyance that another person's parrot can be, you have to pony up something in return. She knows what it is. Can you get her to tell you?

And there are half measures. What if Kali had a temporary vacation out of the house, long enough to bring other issues to light, so it's obvious that she wasn't the whole problem? You could see how you feel ... maybe you would be surprised to feel a sense of relief, of less tension. You would both learn something from the experience.

If there are real mental health issues it makes things worse. Sometimes a person has a real problem. Shyness or anger or BPD or Asperger's or OCD, whether caused by life experience or body chemistry, interfere with a "normal" relationship. If one or both people don't communicate, it's a disaster. For example, once I thought a person had some personality disorder that prevented them from connecting emotionally to others. The lack of communication was so bad I had to try to guess what was going on. Turns out they just weren't in love with me, and didn't want to hurt MY feelings, and were trying to be stoic about it because that's what you're supposed to do, right? It took an enormous loss to bring us so close to the edge that honest words were spoken. Even hurtful honest words are better than soft lies. And lo and behold, we made it across the abyss. Things weren't perfect, but a kind of trust and commitment came out of the experience. My mind-reading was totally off. There wasn't a deep psychological defect at work in either of us, just human insecurity and fear and defensiveness and ignorance. Maybe it's the same with you two ... it could be depression and mental illness, or it could be those are symptoms of some deeper disconnect.

I do encourage you to explore this together. Don't view Kali as a problem, a fly in the ointment. View her as a symptom of an underlying issue, and get to the heart of it. Life is short! Don't waste it in pain and turmoil. If Kali were a child, you wouldn't ... wait, that's a thought. What if Kali were a disabled child, someone who would require total care for the rest of her life and never mature? (Not far from reality, actually.) This happens to people. A parent may love their disabled child and yet not be willing to give up the rest of their life to be a caretaker, and if the parents feel differently you can imagine the stress. There are other forums for parents of, and partners of parents of, disabled children. You might find useful ideas there. It's not that different a situation.

One more thing ... have you thought of changing Kali's name? Kali is a goddess of death and destruction. Could be some subconscious undertones there, and maybe a sweeter name wouldn't hurt.

I hope you find your way through this. It's a terrible place to be. I hope that love and light find their way into the house, soon, and that you all live happily ever after. Don't give up.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:22 AM
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Re: need help, guidance for my girl Kali

thank you K for the good read..

I will say sorry right away for the long and the more personal subject, but it might help understand more, well maybe for outsiders looking in..

first, the name Kali, I didn't know about the death and destruction goddess LOL, I let my wife choose her name when we got her, she taught the name was cute and I knew the name from CSI and so I was ok with the name, sits her well, not the death part hehehe
So, as I have mentioned before, the rehoming of Kali is something I bring up often and almost every day.
I did compare her to a child when she didn't see the comparison with her beloved cat.

our couple and family in itself is quite good, other than the little argument like all humans have, we are very stable and strong..we are people who enjoy staying at home and just doing things together, been together almost 30 years .
I'm not the cuddle type or the extreme show of affection ( just wasn't brought up that way) but was brought up in a way that I do make an effort and bring attention to my love ones ( not perfect ) but I do try and be there, spend time, well spend all my time when at home with the family..

I suggested moving Kali in the living room downstairs, but surprisingly she said that Kali wouldn't be happy there ??? and I can't suggest moving the wife hehehe she does like to go read in her room and does that when she wants to relax..
the big problem is, when she comes home or gets up in the morning, Kali knows someone is there and wants out to be with whomever is there.
she is a very good bird, but will act up when ignored, which is what the wife does.. she simply leaves her in her cage and watches TV in the other room..
she does let her out on some occasions , and after she vocalizes a little, will just sit there in her rope crawler or tree, prune and even sleep while in the same room.
when she decides to leave her in the cage, I told my wife to put the cover on for a few minutes to give Kali a time out if she gets too loud.. and it works.

with the talk, you're right K , it has become a hatred against Kali, and it's soooo not my wife to be that way..
she's been struggling for the last few years it seems.. things at work have not been great for her, hours had changed, new boss that is a #### she's been there 27 years and has seen many come and go.. she finally went to see the doctor which I had recommended she do a while back, told her she should seek a psychiatric help and the doctor even suggested the same.. BUT things at work have changed again for the better and she is taking medication to help with the depression.. working but as we talked last night, she told me how the fact she felt better, it was a weird feeling, as if she was cut from emotions all together ?? so maybe that's how the pills work?? I don't know.. as I said before, I respect and help however I can be it the wife or friends with depression.. I just can't understand it. I'm more of a deal with it, fix it and go on type of person..

I'm printing some more documents about how rehoming a parrot affects them emotionally and can screw their lives up badly.. in hope that she will find it in her heart to keep trying.. I know it's not easy, Kali will get on my nerves some times too, but I know all she wants is attention or to be out with her people.
I do want to keep her as my intentions were to have her for her entire life.. now having my wife always complaining about her each time she makes a sound is driving me crazy too. If I'm at home and kali squawks or gets loud, I also have my wife telling me at the same time.. this is the only reason why after 4++ years I finally caved in and put up an add BUT I regretted it the second I posted it..even more so now that someone wants her.
will I be resentful towards my wife if I go trough this and say goodbye to my parrot with chances of maybe never seeing her again? most likely I will, how can anyone help not too..
I'm still balancing out the outcomes..

let Kali go, and risk her not ever being happy again, the couple's live changing and them not respecting the contract that she comes back to me. how can you enforce that really?? and how will Kali be if she ever does come back,?? the same or damaged and lost of complete trust.. My biggest issue, is Kali's well being . If I knew that she would go there for the rest of her life, adapt and be extremely happy. I would suck it up and live with my lost knowing she is happy. I've always , all my life been that way and do what others prefer first..
Kali has always been the one thing that would not ever be negotiated.. until now, because again, I'm taking others feeling and arguments first.

then, keep her and deal with the issue, let them complain at me because Kali is being loud or seeking attention. try and force them into participating more ( probably a lost cause) but been doing it the past years.
we even got a dog 18 months ago, kids wanted a pet they could play with ( cats don't do much ) and told the wife we could go for walks every day and just spend more time together out of the house..
well, first... this is how good Kali is, not even jealous of the dog to her it's just another pet to call by name
as suspected, kids don't take care of the dog, and my wife ( well hate to say it but she's too lazy to come out for a walk now ) arrgggggg so, I, by myself go walk MY dog in the morning at 5:30 before leaving for work and then walk him again when I get home in the evenings.. then she wonders why the dog follows me everywhere in the house and listens to me more than my kids hehehehe

I live in Canada, Quebec so the weather is freeking cols most of the time, can't go outside with kali.
I've had a contractor come by to give me an estimate on opening up the attic and turn that into a full on living space, make it a play room to maybe set up kali there, or turn that into a reading room !!!?? but she's against spending the $$ to do that...I'd do it myself for less, but because doing that changes the structural integrity of the roof, I would need it inspected by a professional , that would cost about the same as getting it done

I did think of getting kali micro chipped, she is banded and registered under my name if she ever gets lost and found, the band numbers have her birth date, name, breeder's info and under my full contacts..

I'm sure I missed a few things I wanted to address, hopefully not too much.

like I said, our relationship is great, no problems in it.. my wife slowly turned against Kali, is it jealousy , wanting the space her cage and play area takes in the dinning room . wish I could post a picture
a combination of work stresses, fatigue and having kali not bonding with her ? having her being loud and that one thing got to be the drop too many in the bucket..

we had an awesome day with Kali Saturday, she was out most of the day, in the living room while we watched a movie and barely heard a peep. Sunday.. not too bad but not as great, so all the ground I had managed to gain trying to convince her we can't let her go, was lost because kali squawked while she watched me shoveled outside, she could see me and not get to me.. my fault, I should have put her back in her cage to keep her quiet or away from seeing me..


sorry to go on so long and in all directions, hope I made sense, makes sense in my head LOL maybe not so much in writing.
I never open up and talk about things like that to others.. except my wife and my sister, sister will always take my side of things .. and my wife as you now know is set in her mind as to what the outcome has to be..

I'm the one who usually listens to others..

thanks for reading and helping with opinions and point of views.

steph
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:22 AM
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Re: need help, guidance for my girl Kali

Like so many people on these forums, I too struggle with depression. I've got a feeling I was on the same medication as your wife is. I had that same lack of emotion problem. For a while, it seemed like the only emotion I could have was when I lost my temper and got angry, but every other feeling felt like there was a wet blanket on it. I talked to my doctor (and my sister who had the same issue) and I'm on a different regimen that is MUCH better for me. That would surely help you wife too, I expect.

As others have said, I think it could be a worse thing for your marriage in the long term if you give Kali up. Either you would resent your wife and suffer guilt and grief, and your wife may even feel guilt for making you do it. Guilt is a terrible poison for a marriage.

On the other hand, overcoming troubles together can bring a marriage together closer and stronger than ever. It boggles me that your wife doesn't see the comparison between you giving up Kali and her giving up her cats. I think most of us on this forum would go so far as to say that a cat would be LESS of a sacrifice to give up. Think about it, a cat's life is less then 1/4 that of an African Grey. Your Kali speaks, thinks, feels, and is bonded to you in a way I have RARELY seen in a cat, or even a dog. Giving up a companion parrot is more like giving up a child in my opinion, then it is like giving up a dog or cat. Many of us here who do not and will not ever have children would certainly agree with that.

Please try to express to your wife your love for Kali and maybe the two of you can find other ways for her to live more happily with Kali around.

Whatever happens, I wish you all the best. Good luck!
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:08 PM
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Re: need help, guidance for my girl Kali

Y, Thanks for the words. It helps me understand.

I know someone named "Calli" short for California, I think. Pronounced the same, spelled differently.

I didn't mean to say that your relationship was in trouble, just that you are facing a crisis. You both want very different and seemingly incompatible things, and there is no easy answer. How can I say it...the only way to work through something is to truly understand and emphasize with all the beings involved in the transaction, including yourself. Your wife's feelings, your kids' feelings, your feelings, and Kali's feelings all matter and there is no shortcut. If you make all the sacrifices, it will come back to bite you in the butt. You'll go postal, or shut down, or a rift will begin, or maybe it will be fine. The kids are going to grow up and move out some day, so they don't get a vote. They get to express opinions, but not vote.

Birds are not like cats. Cats are very independent, and while they do get attached to people they seem to do better with change. A cat might have a favorite buddy among other cats, but it doesn't seem to be a true pair bond. They are less choosy and more changeable. Birds are flock animals, and they bond for life. A parrot might spend most of its day preening and being preened by its mate, looking for food with its mate, sleeping next to its mate, sitting on a perch touching its mate ... they form very close pair bonds. When a parrot loses its mate it seems to grieve and search for them and even become depressed. For a parrot to lose its entire flock is even worse. A parrot in the wild that looses its flock is likely to die. Parrots depend on their flock-mates to help watch for danger, to find food, to find a safe place to sleep. What must it be like, to be surrounded by creatures that look just like you, sound like you, eat like you, act like you? And losing a flock .. a parrot is genetically wired to freak out about that and to find the flock again ASAP.

It's many times worse for a parrot to lose its flock than for cat to lose its home. But I bet if you insisted that the cats go, or that the dog go, you would be shouted down. Cats and dogs are more familiar to us and it's easier to relate to them than to a parrot, which is basically a tiny talking dinosaur. They're little aliens. But you are the only one in the house who understands Kali. Maybe getting others to think about giving away the other animals will help them to understand how you feel about Kali.

You and your family are Kali's flock. She's used to you. When she calls to your wife in the morning, she's calling as if to another parrot in the flock. "Are you awake? Where are you? I'm over here. I said I'm over here!" Parrots call so they know where the others are, so the flock can stay together, and they are programmed to keep calling until they get a reassuring result. Once you figure out how Kali's brain works, you can figure out how to outwit her and use her inborn habits to your advantage.

Your wife might call back to Kali in the morning, just so Kali knows she is heard. Or cover the cage at night, so Kali doesn't wake up so early. Or you could get up first and go take care of Kali so your wife has a peaceful morning. Parrots are creatures of habit. Either someone gets up with her, to fill the need to check in with the rest of the flock, or Kali needs to sleep later so the flock is ready. African grays, in particular, live in very large, gregarious flocks and Kali is programmed for that companion-filled life.

Is there some way to make Kali seem more attractive as a companion? Grays are smart. Can you teach her to say "Hi beautiful"? "I love you (wife's name here)"? To do a trick, something interesting and cool to show off to company? If your wife were interested, and did some trick - training, clicker training, with Kali it would not only make Kali a more interesting pet, it would improve their relationship.

I totally understand your wife's frustration with Kali taking over so much of the house. A cage with a parrot does take up a lot of space in a dining room, plus it isn't so appetizing to have poop so close to the table for a lot of people. It makes it hard to have dinner partiers. Parrots take up a lot of psychological space in a house and need constant attention. Thing is, humans need space too. Humans need a place to relax and unwind and be free of responsibilities, and a parrot is a never-ending responsibility. A parrot is like a toddler that never grows up. That's a lot to ask of a partner, to live a good chunk of the rest of their life with a bird-child.

Your wife is absolutely within her rights to ask for the parrot to be gone. You are absolutely within your rights to keep that parrot forever. How can both of these dreams come true? It's a huge challenge. I don't know how you can resolve it. Start with half-measures. Lots of people keep a "roost cage" in a quiet room, and take the parrot there to sleep at night. It could be any place, a spare bedroom, or even downstairs. It's just a place to sleep at night. Then you can go get her when it's time to rise and shine, and bring her to the bigger cage in the living room. Would that work?

And you can say no to walking the dog, maybe. Remind everybody of who promised what, who was supposed to feed/water/walk if only they could have a dog? Well, it's time. If they see how much work the dog is, how annoying it is to have to take them outside, then suddenly Kali isn't the only problem. Maybe a trade ... you clean the cage, I'll walk the dog. You give the bird breakfast, I'll take the dog out for the morning walk. Suddenly the bird is much easier to take care of.

If Kali were to be boarded somewhere for a week or so, you would find something out. Either you miss her terribly and long for her return, or you feel miss her but feel slightly relieved. Either feeling is OK. There's no right or wrong. But it would give you a chance to explore the feeling on a temporary basis before taking some irrevocable step.

I know someone who depended on a parrot for companionship, and they didn't relate well to others because they didn't have to. They had the parrot. It's no fun being second wife to a parrot. I hope you can find a way to make both your ladies equally happy!

As for the contract....yeah, it's tough to enforce them. We signed one for our parrot, and if he had to go for some reason I would call the people and talk to them at least, but I would reserve the right to not send him back if the rescue had deteriorated into a hoarding or otherwise unsuitable situation. I'd try to find a good place for him before I called them, and likely they would agree. Wherever he goes, if he ever has to go, he will be financially provided for and that's one way to enforce care. What if you agree to pay for an annual vet checkup, and you get to be there for it? You can see for yourself that she's doing OK, and they get a free vet check. Oh wait, maybe that's not good, what if it distresses Kali to see you and then lose you again? Maybe you could depend on the vet to check the band (make sure it's the same bird) and report back to you, maybe retaining possession of Kali if it seems she is being neglected? Nah...there is no good way out. That's why it's so dangerous for a parrot to be rehomed. If the first person, who presumably had the good baby bonding experience, didn't keep the bird for life how can the second person be counted on to do so? It usually doesn't go well for the parrot. That's partly why I hope you can figure out a way to keep Kali home and have it work out for everybody.

Please stall for time if you can. Winter is hard on us all, and you don't want to do something desperate in the dark of winter that you might regret come spring. Good luck. I'm pulling for you.
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