You still remember the day your Google history changed forever, the Christmas where another being entered your perfectly messy home.
As a writer, you needed to do a lot of research, you told yourself, as you Googled ‘how to make homemade bomb with febreze can’ and ‘febreze can explosion radius’ and other things the Secret Service would be concerned about. But this all changed, when your mother decided that you were living a disappointment of a life (you starkly disagreed), and got you a bird for Christmas.
Writers aren’t meant to take care of things. They can barely take care of themselves, with their aha-moments and sobbing over a character development session that took a turn for the worse, or whatever it is that these sentimental beings do.
As one nearly always does when one is overwhelmed, you looked for two things: something of comfort, and the nearest device (the iPad on which you waste countless hours watching cat videos or whatever it is that you sentimental being do.)
Resisting the urge to go to YouTube, you start googling.
pet bird name ideas
meaningful bird name ideas
how to take care of a parrot
what toys do yellow cockatoos like
what color do yellow cockatoos like
best sale for bird toys
do i have to buy special food for birds
can i feed my bird goldies crackers
do goldies crackers have avocado content
what are yellow cockatoos allergic to
what to do if my bird eats something allergic
how to know if my bird is allergic
yellow cockatoo illnesses
how to avoid yellow cockatoo illnesses
At 1 AM and after thoroughly freaking yourself out, you settled on the name ‘Cīsō’ because it meant ‘scream’ in Gujarati (according to Google Translate) and your bird had been screaming this whole time, so it seemed like a good fit until you woke up in the morning at 11 AM and decided that it was a PERFECT fit, because you probably would have continued sleeping until 1 PM (like your usual schedule) and Cīsō had woken you up with a particularly shrill shriek and you made him quiet for a bit by appeasing him with a Goldie’s cracker, which (as you had Googled in the night before) did NOT have avocado content and would not kill him.
Your life is now:
Wake up (Cīsō wants a cracker and to be let out of his cage to flap around your tiny flat)
Start working (wear noise cancelling headphones because more than fifteen crackers would be bad for a human, let alone a bird)
Lunch (Cīsō doesn’t like cabbage)
Work again (but this time Cīsō is napping)
Tea time (quietly whisper to your mom as to how you’re SO GRATEFUL)
Spending time with Cīsō (you’ve taught him how to not attack people so far)
Working again (noise cancelling headphones)
Sleep (Cīsō is a very considerate bird and is quiet once he sees your blanket is out and you are sleeping at your desk because you bed is covered with paper and bird poop)
Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked.
Everything changed when your mom came over to visit.
From the moment she entered, you knew you had to be careful with your mom’s and Cīsō’s interactions. Here they were, two strong personalities bossing around a poor standby (you). Sure enough, they butted heads.
That week, a fight emerged in your flat. It was between your mom and Cīsō, and as you expected, your mom won. Cīsō was reduced to a quiet, well-mannered bird that didn’t start screaming as soon as you stepped towards the kitchen. At least, for the time your mom was staying.
The next few weeks, Cīsō was very very careful whenever you opened the door, fearing that the short lady with the beehive hair would return. But, bless you, he’d forgotten all about it within a month, and returned to his old habits.
Christmas week came by. One day, when Cīsō was inside his cage, you remembered nostalgically the night you stayed up to Google things about birds. Your train of thought was rudely interrupted by a text message. The tension in the air was so thick, even Cīsō would have difficulty biting through it.
I’m coming to your house for Christmas. Tell Cīsō darling that I’m bringing him some lovely broccoli.
“Cīsō, Mama’s coming home for Christmas. And she’s bringing you broccoli.”
The bird recoiled at the sound of the word. He had no idea what broccoli was, but he decided he didn’t like it.
You glanced up from your screen. “You might even like it!”
Cīsō did not like how the human who gave him food was talking. He screeched in your direction to feel like he was in power again, and pecked out another bead from the toy you bought him only last week.
Only four beads left. Only four days left.
Your mother arrived, with one suitcase, a bag of broccoli in one hand and a new video game in the other (writers needed lots of breaks and lots of inspiration).
When she arrived, Cīsō was sitting on your desk. He physically stopped, reared his head in her direction, then to you. He didn’t screech, instead, he hobbled back to his cage like an injured old man and stayed there for the rest of the evening. (“Aww, he’s become so disciplined! You actually did something good!”, she remarked, and for your ego’s sake, you ignored her.)
Cīsō would definitely remember the short lady with the beehive hair for a different reason now. Your mother showered him with broccoli and he liked it, so now she’s ingrained into his memory as the lady who first gave him something better than a cracker.
If I said that he didn’t start screaming from the moment she left, or didn’t destroy any more toys, or became a quiet and well-mannered bird even after your mom left, I would be lying.
One thing that I’m not lying about, however, is that you honestly did love him. He did scream and he did break things and he did poop on your bed: but he also loved you. He just… showed it in another way.
(I think. He could’ve been a maniacal bird who wanted to take over the universe, but it’s not like I know.)