By Tora Matys
In the spirit of the Valentine’s issue, I figured I should write about love of some sort. I’m not here to give any love advice, or tell any gushy story. What I am here to do is talk about the unconditional love you receive from pets. It’s a love like no other, because once you have a pet in your life, you become their life. Your pets live for you to come home.
Now, anyone that knows me knows I’m a crazy pet lady. With enough animals to qualify as a zoo, I’m never alone or without something to do. A majority of my animals are reptiles, and that’s a special bond within itself. But I have a couple of ferrets, and a pair of parrots (which I call chickens because they act like them) as well.
Even though I’ve always had a love for animals, my passion really took off for them when I started working at Petland after I graduated high school. At the time I had 7 fish tanks at home, so it just made sense that I’d work in the fish and reptile department. Prior to this I’d had very little contact with reptiles, maybe the odd iguana in Mexico but other than that, they made me a little uncomfortable. Nowhere near as uncomfortable as my child nemesis…snakes. Overcoming that is another story for another day. But working five days a week, hands-on with all the different types of animals, not only lizards, was eye opening.
During my time at Petland, a little green cheek conure claimed me as his owner. I say he picked me and not the other way around because honestly I never thought I’d grow up to be a bird person…but here I am. This bird is about the size of my hand, but his attitude is big enough for a T-Rex. Because of this I gave him the name Rex. Rex was the meanest bird I’d ever met. I mean he would literally lunge at people and bite them, everyone but me. He’s definitely tamed down over the years, but he is still to sassy for his size.
We bonded over our general hate for people and when I left Petland I couldn’t leave him behind. It’s been 4 years now and I wouldn’t change a thing. A few years ago I found him a girlfriend, Luna.B (bird), and she is the exact opposite of him, but they are the perfect pair.
I’m lucky enough to have birds who talks quite a bit, always giving me some- one to talk to. He always says the right things like “gimmie kiss *smooch*” and “yeah, good chicken.” You can really blow his mind to when you’re talking to him, he will start saying “really?” and gets more and more excited every time. They love to sing and dance with me at any time. As soon as you drop a beat they both start dancing as much as a little bird can and try their hardest to sing the tune.
It’s those simple things that only pets can give you that make their love so special. It’s the “goodnight chicken, love you” my bird says before bed every night. It’s the little dance he does you get some veggies for him because that makes his day. It’s the excitement they get when they hear me come through the door because to them, I am their world. And even though they are the size of my hands, they are my world too.
Photo by Tora Matys