It’s no secret that animals bring joy to our lives. They are nature’s most innocent creatures, and everything they do is natural, effortless and peaceful. Although they are capable of taking care of themselves, it is actually the love we have for them that gives them life.
Associate Professor Renée Kochevar’s life was forever transformed when she decided to bring a parrot into her home. Here is her story:
“A few years ago, when I was living in Honolulu, my neighbors had to move and I agreed to buy their cockatiel. I had never fed a bird before, but he was very sweet and would whistle at me when I walked by. I then read many articles about small birds and cockatiels from Mexico, Central America and South America. I couldn’t believe how cute they were, but I learned that people often abandon them because of the upkeep and expense. These little creatures are very small indeed, but require great care and careful care.
After that experience, I decided to adopt abandoned cockatiels who needed a home. So, after moving to California, I contacted Mickaboo rescue organization. Now I have four: Bertie, Kai, Daisy and Bella. I recently adopted another one – Ace.
Cockatiels don’t realize how small they are. They have funny and curious personalities, and they can be nervous and excited like Jack Russell Terriers. My day job is emotionally and mentally intense, and I’m in charge of a department that conducts clinical trials to save the hearts and brains of people experiencing medical emergencies or trauma. But when I look at my cockatiels, I forget all my tiredness and instantly feel much better.
My birds enjoy getting in pockets or sitting on shirt collars. Bertie sticks his head under my hair to relax when I’m sleepy. When they are comfortable, they squeak their beaks and make a distinctive sound. This is a sign of pure happiness and contentment. When they are happy, they hug and chirp and flap their wings.
Bertie enjoys taking a “sauna” while I’m in the shower. He comes with me, I place him on the glass shelf, and he walks right into the corner, closes his eyes and waits for the hot water. Then he goes into meditation mode and sometimes falls asleep. The mist from his tiny breath during this moment cheers me up every time I see it.
Cockatiels are like breathing sunlight. Life can be tough, and there are all sorts of pain, big and small, in life. But when I’m with these beautiful beings, I am able to forget about everything and just enjoy the present moment.