We’ve visited Paolina, a beautiful Mexican girl who has lived in Vicenza for more than ten years. She’d made us curious because she’s often seen walking around the city with her parrot, Kiwi, sitting on her shoulder, especially during the summer months.
Why did you pick a parrot instead of a “classic” dog or cat?
Back in Mexico, my family has always had parrots. When I felt the need to have a small pet, I pondered long and hard, and came to the conclusion that a small eclectus parrot could be a good idea. This exotic bird also reminds me of my origins, and he’s also easier to manage than a dog or a cat. I travel often for business, which means that I sometimes need to leave Kiwi with someone else while I’m away. It’s also easier to find someone to take care of him on a last-minute basis.
Who would you advise a parrot to?
Whomever has time to dedicate to it. Unlike what most people think, parrots must not be kept caged all the time, and they need to be entertained. I got him several wooden toys to keep him busy, colourful and in different shapes, that I can attach to the cage.
Was it easy to educate him?
Kiwi moves freely around the house. He has his cage for the night and another very large cage, always kept open, during the day, filled with all the toys he loves. He also has a perch, but he loves sitting on this specific lamp in the dining room. He’s very familiar with his home, but I do need to be careful at all times. Any household is home to dozen of hidden hazards, so when he’s free I need to keep an eye on him, to make sure he doesn’t bite a power cable or eat something he’s not supposed to. For instance, computer keyboard keys are apparently irresistible for parrots.
What about when he’s roaming free and needs to go to the toilet?
You need to know your pet well. I know when he needs to go just by looking at the way he moves, but in general every 40 minutes I take him to his cage, where he’s free to do whatever he needs to do.
Do parrots need to be washed?
To be honest, he’s the one who comes over to me when I’m taking a shower, of his own will. He loves water, so he places himself under the water jet all by himself. He also does it in the kitchen sink. Having such a pet is a lot of fun, and he’s also very sweet. We watch TV together in the evening, and he rests his little head on my cheek or my shoulder.
Thanks to Paolina and her hospitality! If you want to tell us your story, write to firstname.lastname@example.org