Little Smokey by Charise Mixa
Little Smokey, a Congo African Grey, was hatched February 14, 1992. She came to the Mixa household in 2002. Having lived for 5 years with a couple going through what I think must have been a very nasty divorce she was versed in a wide vocabulary of colorful and profane language–language she would spew from a seemingly innocent beak, catch me off guard, and make me laugh so hard, only to encourage her to do it more! The next 5 years of her life found her with a loving couple, Bill and Sandy, that truly doted over her. But when they could no longer care for Little Smokey, they searched for a home that would understand and love her unconditionally, despite the fact that she was feather plucked and looked a little like a ragamuffin! That’s how she found her way to my flock. Bill and Sandy kept in touch, even took a vacation to visit Little Smokey, and became my good friends until they both passed.
Little Smokey was genuinely sweet and intuitive, happy to entertain herself for hours playing in her cardboard boxes. Oftentimes, and for seemingly no reason, I would hear her discharge profanities across the room at Mr. Bird, another Congo African Grey, then go about her business. Could he have been looking at her inappropriately? Both my boy Greys solicited her affections, but she shut them down every time. Sinclair would stare at her and spread a wing out and hold it, extended, like a statue, in what seemed an attempt to impress her with his plumage. Nope, didn’t work. When Little Smokey would play in her boxes, Mr. Bird would visit and stand guard over her, as if waiting for an invitation to join in. But she wasn’t going to have any of that tomfoolery!
The bathroom was her favorite place in the house. If left unattended, she would toddle off, silent as a church mouse, and would literally entertain herself for hours chewing up the bathroom baseboards! (Not that I know from experience!) Once, when our pet sitter, Sandra, was staying over night, Little Smokey snuck away into the bathroom. When Sandra tried to take her back to her cage, Little Smoke gave her a bite, which was very unusual, but in an attempt to communicate her desire to remain in the bathroom! Sandra was so upset, not because the bite hurt, but because her feelings were hurt.
Little Smokey passed away quite unexpectedly of an aneurysm, April 3, 2015. One minute she was busy doing Little Smokey things, playing and chewing up her cardboard box, and the next minute gone. I’m still in shock–so sad to have lost this precious soul, but grateful that it was quick and painless. I’m so very blessed to have shared my home with this sweet and benign little being and miss her presence every day. Fly free Little Smokey. Say hi to Bill and Sandy for me.