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Monroe (the Meyers) 

Monroe (aka Money, Ro-Ro, Mon-Mon, Money-Moe, Monroberto, Mr. Softy…does everyone have 15 nicknames for their pets?) is an almost 11 year old Meyer’s parrot who has been with us from one hand-feeding a day.  I picked Monroe over "his" (we have no idea of gender) clutch-mate for reasons I can no longer recall but it was a good choice.  (We call Monroe "he" but because he ended up being about half the size of his sibling, I have a suspicion that "he" may really be a "she" but it just doesn’t matter to us.)

Monroe is something of an "evil sweetie".  He’s so incredibly cute and soft (hence the Mr. Softy nickname) that you really just want to squeeze him which he loves, with one caveat: my husband must be the one doing the squeezing.  Monroe loves nothing more than for my husband (Johnny) to rough house with him.  Monroe calls to Johnny in his unbelievably cute voice, "Money, Money, come ‘ere, come ‘ere, Money" while swaying manically back and forth until Johnny picks him up.  At this point Johnny proceeds to man-handle Monroe.  I mean honestly, there is nothing else to call it.  Johnny grabs Monroe in both hands with only his head peaking out.  He sort of shakes Monroe back and forth quickly, he smashes and rubs Monroe all over his face, he puts Monroe in his pocket, he gives Monroe "razzberries" on his belly and Monroe just makes happy clicking sounds and tries to preen Johnny’s face. 

Now, don’t get the wrong idea.  Monroe likes me too and when he’s hanging out on his cage, he’ll come over to me as far as he can and scratch his head with his foot over and over until I give him a head rub.  He loves my head rubs and turns his whole head upside down so I can get under his beak more easily.  I can kiss him on his head and I can even pick him up and pet him but … I cannot put him down.  Monroe does not appreciate it when I want to put him down so he attaches himself to me – painfully.  One would not think that such a small beak (he really is small) could inflict so much pain but while he may be small, he is mighty.  Monroe cannot be out on his cage when I’m vacuuming because he likes to jump on me and not get off.  If Monroe finds himself on the floor and Johnny’s not immediately available to pick him up, I make Monroe step onto a portable perch.  Monroe fluffs up to what he believes are enormous proportions and attacks the perch but he does step on and the number of holes in my body remains at a constant number.  I suppose with more time and patience than I possess, I might be able to "wean" Monroe from this unpleasant behavior, but after 11 years the "work- arounds" have become habit and I just accept this as part of Monroe’s "evil sweetie" charm.  Of course I do tell him how lucky he is to be so darned cute because nasty personality quirks would not be quite so forgivable otherwise!

Like a lot of humans I know, I’m not entirely sure how smart Monroe is.  For instance, we cannot seem to get him to convert to a water bottle even with Johnny repeatedly putting Monroe’s beak right to the tube.  On the other hand, when we are disinfecting the bird cages outside (Monroe is joined in our household by a CAG and two Maxi Pionus ... which I'll share stories about them another time), Monroe sits on a portable perch on the kitchen counter bar.  If I’m handy in the room, he’ll climb down from the perch and walk around pushing his beak along the countertop in front of him like a plow.  (This is very funny to watch.)  However, when I start to leave the room and tell him I’m going, he runs back to his perch and climbs up until I return.  It certainly appears that he knows he needs to stay put if I’m not there to supervise.  Perhaps the water bottle thing is more stubbornness and lack of motivation than anything else. 

We’ve been through a lot with Monroe, and he with us, during our nearly 11 years together. There have been a couple evacuations, a couple local moves, one big cross-country move, and who could forget the "busted butt" incident?  (When he was very young, Monroe was constantly jumping off his perch and bouncing along the floor which resulted in his breaking off every single tail feather.  During one of these "tailless" times, he jumped, bounced and broke his little bottom open requiring stitches.)  By now we’ve just come to accept all of his cute sweetness and semi-evil quirks as part of the joy of sharing our lives with the Meyer’s who is Monroe.


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This page was last updated on 08/17/2012

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