Auntie Mia died on me in a car wreck. It is the holidays and everyone was in shock. Here it is a Yule and we sit for the reading of the Will when it gets to the paragraph about me. That was when things took a really odd ball turn and I finally came to realize why Auntie’s bird was here. She left everyone else money and possessions, but she left me…
“To my niece, Catalina, I leave my sweet Macaw Harvey. If she can succeed in caring for him for a year from the day that this will is read, a fund in trust will be given to her in the sum of $100,000,000 as she will be taking care of my most prize possession and feathered son.”
I stare from the lawyer to the cage and the Macaw that looks at me now. I don’t know how to take care of a bird. “So she was leaving me the bird in her will.”
“Actually according to this she had plans to amend the Will before the accident and was planning to give you Harvey for Christmas.”
The bird squawked and whistled before reciting, “Merry Christmas, Cat.”
My jaw hit the floor as Harvey seemed to have been trained to say the words before Auntie died.
“It also says that if you are successful and the bird survives, you get a huge chunk of money. However he has to survive the year and you have to be his registered owner until the day he dies. You Miss Catalina Sham have inherited a Macaw that was also going to be your Christmas gift this year.”
Harvey is mostly blue with the exception of his yellow under belly. He is a big bird to in the fact that his cage usually had to be wheeled from one location to the other. He actually stood outside the cage and looked at me the whole time. I think he knew what auntie had intentions of doing.
I get up and walk over to the cage to examine everything. “Um, how do I transport him?”
The lawyer had a huge smile, “Well he is wearing his leash on his foot and he does ride in a car like a dog would, just keep the windows rolled up. I can have a moving crew get the cage to your apartment for you.”
I gasp, “I need to pay a pet deposit to have a bird.”
“Your auntie had already secured that”, he hands me the receipt that was dated to the day before the accident. “All you have to do is get him home and I will have the cage delivered.”
Slowly I reach out and take hold of his leash and he hops to my shoulder the moment my hand touched it. I was not prepared for what happened next. Harvey gave me a bird kiss, “Kisses for Cat.”
The lawyer chuckles, “He likes you already.”
I leave the lawyer my address while Harvey stays on my shoulder and then I walked him out to my little four door hatch back. I did not expect to get him, but Auntie always said that she wanted me to have a pet. My parents just never agreed with her. When I got in the car, Harvey jumped up on the back of the passenger seat head rest and actually started doing a little strut dance as my radio came on and I started my car.
I sit for a few minutes as I watch him, “I don’t know the first thing about taking care of you, Harvey. I do promise to try and figure that out though.”
The bird tilted his head at me and did a wolf whistle, “Auntie loves Cat.”
I smile. He would definably be good company in my apartment. I had no roommate so, hell I do now in the form of Harvey. A thought came to mind and I through the car into gear and headed away from the lawyers. I have to get some assistance to figuring out what I need to know. Harvey couldn’t raise himself.
I drove for what seemed like an hour before I pulled up on the parking lot at Pet Smart. They allow for pets in the store, what better way to figure out what to get him then to have him along. I caught the leash and almost like he was trained, he hops on to my shoulder and we go in.
The store was spacious and mostly people had dogs, but it didn’t take me long to find the bird department. There were many books and toys that I saw for various birds but what I need is help.
“Oh aren’t you a pretty baby.”
I look up to see one of the staff walking up. “Hi, this is Harvey. My aunt just left him to me but was going to give him to me for Christmas but I am not sure of what to do.”
The lady gives me a grin and pets Harvey with two fingers that he tries to nip. “He already likes you. That is a great sign. It should make his transition easier. Do you have his cage?”
“Yes, it will be delivered this evening to my apartment.”
“Then you don’t have to worry about that part. I recommend covering the cage when he goes in to sleep at night; it keeps him calm and warm. Here is something else to help.” She reached behind some books and snagged one to hand me. “This is a comprehensive guide on first time owners as well as experienced owners of Macaws. If you read this, it will give you a lot of insight.
“I would say that he is also perhaps to be in his teens. That says that he has twenty more years easy to live if you take good care of him.”
“I will do whatever it takes to keep him healthy and happy.”
“That is a huge commitment. Your Aunt must trust you majorly to keep him safe.”
“How do I learn what he eats?”
She held a finger up to me. “Harvey, do you like these?” She held up a package of Tropical Fruit Nutria-Berries for Macaws & Cockatoos.
Harvey went spastic and started nodding.
“I say get him a variety of foods but if you ask him, I bet he will tell you what he likes. At his age he knows.”
It took about twenty minutes to get several bags of food, snacks, accessories, and toys to help make Harvey happy when I get him home.
The cage was delivered and I met the delivery guy when we got home. He had no issues getting the cage into the apartment and setting it up. After the chaos of the day, I read some of the book but found myself setting up his feeders and his lounging branches that came with him.
The next year will be interesting, but what can I do? I own Harvey and I am starting to love him already…I say this as he explores the apartment and the places I hid a few snacks for him.
(This is a small short story to try and put myself in the Christmas mood. It is a stand-alone and I have no interest to extend it.)
From my house to yours,
And Happy Holidays