It’s been a long time since Zorro has had a blog devoted to him. In fact, his first and last one may have been his announcement and welcome to the family blog. That was a loooong time ago! Since then, he’s settled in nicely here and is an ever present overly spoiled member of our family. He’s often called ANY name but his real name, Zorro Jay. Names like “Zee-Bee” and “Bear,” Joel’s personal pet name for him. Aaden calls him “The President” but I’m not sure why. He just does! A few others: “Lettuce,” “Pistachio,” “Edemame,” “Kiwi” and all other green fruits and vegetables are Mady’s creative names for him. Every day she seems to add a new “green name” to her already long list of names. Sometimes, I even hear her say, “oh come here, my little salad.”

Yes, this bird has quite a long list of admirers. Who are not green. But could be considered to be “green with envy” when Zorro is kissing and nuzzling another member of the family besides YOURSELF! He rarely spends time in his huge palace of a cage, and is most often found riding around the house on someone’s back, tucked neatly into their shirt, with only his head sticking out the top. He is often referred to as “BackPack Boy,” because of this favorite way to “ride.”

In our house, it’s become “standard” when being hugged to begin the embrace and then announce, “I have Zorro” which is interpreted as, “hug me gently so you don’t hurt Zorro, who is somewhere inside my shirt.” Alexis has even taken that a step further and has made, and worn-mind you, a sign she places on her forehead that says, “Zorro is in my shirt!!!” Silly girl!

Last night, we had a tornado warning in our area, so Mady volunteered to scoop Z up and snuggled with him in my bed to keep him safe. As she tucked him into my blankets, we discussed our “tornado plan” for Shoka and the little kids if one became necessary. I didn’t want to unnecessarily wake them from their sleep, unless it became mandatory. So as I sat, glued to The Weather Channel, I overheard her saying to Zorro, “Oh, my little pet, what would I do without you? I mean, I didn’t even know I could love a bird this much!” I share her feelings and fully understand them, but still it melts my heart to see the love that my kids extend so freely to our pets! They are truly members of our large family!

This morning, for some reason, I decided to take Zorro to the bus stop with us. We’ve taken Shoka on occasion but since he despises the car, we haven’t done it often. So, since the mornings have been warmer, I decided to give Zorro his fair “bus stop trip.” I even planned ahead and packed him a plastic-shopping -bag-lined-plastic-leftovers-container for his “toilet,” which was to simulate a plastic bag lined trash can that he has been “potty trained” to use when he is out and about in the house. At home, any trash can will do and it works perfectly. And he rarely has “potty accidents” anymore ever. So, off to the bus stop we went plus one little “green bean” and his potty. He rode on Alexis rather uneventfully TO the bus stop. He seemed to enjoy his ride, all tucked quietly into her uniform shirt. Then it was time for Alexis to hand him over to me for the ride home. The kids kissed me AND him goodbye, and we parted ways.

Zorro decided he wanted to ride home perched on my shoulder versus tucked into my jacket. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t convince him that this wasn’t a good idea. Much like a kid, the bird’s going to do what the bird wants to do. So, I let him learn for himself. Well, actually, I really didn’t have a choice. With a green bird perched high on my shoulder closest to the driver’s window, I made a quiet as possible exit from the bus stop parking lot, hoping to avoid other parents seeing the bizarre goings on in our vehicle. I can only imagine their thought processes had they seen us! The only thing worse than my usual “bed head” appearance at the morning bus stop would be my “bed head” appearance with a bird on my shoulder! Oh Lord! Thankfully, I don’t think we were spotted!

As we turned onto the road, Zorro chirped happily as I slowly drove home, trying to avoid dizziness, or whatever, as he took in all the sights. It wasn’t long before he decided he had to go potty. Of course, memories of having two year olds came flooding back! Ha! I decided to pull over, and only then realized it was too late. He mistook my most comfy bus stop pajama-type sweatshirt for his “potty” and used it generously. Gross. Sigh.

At that point, I insisted he nestle into my sweatshirt to ride, because I figured for him to “go potty” in such an animal like manner (ha ha, I’m laughing at myself now. Yes, yes, I AM aware that he IS an animal, although I AM guilty of forgetting at times. Seems like “one of the kids” more often than not. And, well, he IS potty trained so doesn’t that make him ALMOST human at very least?) Perhaps he was a bit worried about this car ride thing. But, once again, he had other plans…. He decided to pop out of my shirt and walk up and down my arms, cocking his head to the side as he investigated the interior of the large moving vehicle. Mind you, none of this exploring distracted me from driving as I’m very accustomed to doing almost everything with Zorro attached to me. He does his thing and I do mine. In fact, I’d elaborate and explain that I’ve even rushed off to the bathroom a time or two before, only realizing once I’m in there that I’m not exactly, er, alone, but that information may just send anyone who is not a die-hard pet lover straight over the edge, so I’ll just stick to the story at hand…

Eventually, Zorro settled into a “flat salad” (a term we use to describe him when he relaxes all puffed up and lays FLAT like a human) position on my lap for the remaining ride home. He finally sprawled out all comfortably during the last thirty seconds of the ride…I said out loud to myself and to Zorro, “this has been the longest drive home from the bus stop, ever. Never again, Z Boy!”

For all future NECESSARY car rides, he will need to ride in his little carry case that he despises, mainly because I think it makes him feel like a BIRD, of all things. Imagine the horror of that!



Zorro Jay

November 25, 2013

We found him “by accident” sometime back in October. Cara, Mady, Collin and I were at the pet store picking up some water conditioner for our beta fish, Fizzy and Finn. A store employee, with a green and black bird attached to her shirt collar, approached us and asked if we needed any help finding anything. I smiled and jokingly said “No thanks, but do you know you have a bird attached to you?” She laughed and said “yes, this is Zorro.”

We followed her over to Zorros enclosure and spoke about him and our other pets for the next hour. As it turns out, this store manager has Shokas brother! We traded information so that we could get our dogs together to play and continued discussing Zorro.

He’s a five (almost six) month old Black Capped Conure, a small parrot, who is very intelligent, affectionate and can learn to talk. He loves and bonds with people and will live for 30+ years! The more research I did on him, the more I decided that he’d be a great fit for our family! But, I carefully thought through this big decision and decided he’d be a great family gift for Christmas.. Since the store wouldn’t officially hold him til Christmas, we made nearly weekly visits to see him until I had the research done and his cage and supplies ordered. Yesterday was the day for pick up so we all loaded up and very excitedly headed off to the pet store to pick Zorro up! It was a wonderful experience as we learned final instructions from the store staff. They all kissed him goodbye as we placed him into his little travel case we bought for him.

He was quite frightened at first, but once we had his cage set up (his “big” permanent cage hasn’t arrived yet) up and had him inside of it, he settled down and began to explore. After a celebratory pizza dinner, we took turns letting him ride on our shoulders all night… The most heart warming part of our first evening with Zorro was when he began his nightly chirping.. From way across the room, Alexis imitated his sound and they continued to “communicate” back and forth all evening while we were doing after dinner chores!

The kids and I are in love already.. I even got up earlier than normal this morning to cut up banana bites for Zorro and I served them with dry organic Cheerios!

Oh what fun! With 1 dog, almost 50 chickens, 2 fish and now a parrot, named Zorro…. Go ahead and call me “Mommy Doolittle!!!!”