PMC Employee Pet Spotlight – Andrist Family Cockatiels
I was always interested in animals growing up, and would join any and all clubs that had to do with animals while I was at school. During my 8th grade year (about 15-16 years ago), one of the science teachers who ran the Wildlife Club at my school brought in three cockatiels that needed homes. The story is that they were from a breeder, but were deemed “unadoptable” for little quirks each one had. I didn’t know anything about birds at the time, but was ready to learn anything I could to be a good bird mom. So, I brought 2 of them home, with the high hopes that my parents would allow me to keep them. By that time in my life, I had already tested my parents’ patience by always bringing home different types of animals. My parents like animals, but not nearly to the same degree that I do. I was lucky to have had a cat growing up. To my great surprise, they said yes!
We named them “Little Fellow” (because of his personality) and “Little Yellow” (because he was yellow). Unfortunately, about 10 years ago, Little Yellow passed away on the surgery table while undergoing a wing amputation. He had grown a rather large tumor on his wing that required amputation. Around that same time, a cockatiel had flown into my grandparent’s garage and they were able to catch him. We welcomed him with open arms and named him “Little Nouveau” (which means “new” in French).
I have had them for quite a long time, longer than I’ve had my husband. Yet in all that time, I have never been able to teach them to talk. However, they were able to learn to whistle a few tunes! They have been a big part of my life; they have been with me through my high school and college years, my marriage, and the birth of my daughter. It’s crazy to think they have shared half of my life with me. Though they can be loud at importunate times, like when we’re trying to watch a movie, I couldn’t imagine my life without them!