(pets you)

if its not in the best interest of the animal, that should be the end of the discussion
  • person: i'd like to keep x and y fish together, can i see your x and y setups? :D
  • me: x and y fish aren't compatible for a, b, c reasons...i know i'm raining on your parade but its whats best for the fish <3
  • person: thanks, but i've seen people do it so i'd like to try as well!
Things People Don’t Tell You about Pet Birds

Here’s a list of things nobody told me before I got my bird.  You’re welcome to fact check and add your own experiences!  I hope this helps someone!

Possibly disturbing images of animal neglect below.

NEVER get a pet bird who lives alone a mirror for their cage.  They can choose their own reflection as a mate, which needless to say isn’t healthy and can be extremely sexually frustrating.  It’s much healthier to get even small birds foraging toys to entertain them.

BAD!

GOOD!

ALL birds need lots of social interaction if they’re going to remain mentally healthy!  This is especially important for birds that live in large groups in the wild like cockatoos, finches, and parakeets, but also true for “loner” birds like Senegals and African Greys.  Without the proper social interactions (hours a day with people or other birds) birds can get bored and pick up destructive habits like feather pulling, biting, and screaming, and even develop mental illnesses like depression or anxiety.  Yes, even parakeets.

Feather pulling removes a bird’s main way of staying warm, which can lead to life threatening things like hypothermia.

Parrot’s body temperatures are around 103 degrees Fahrenheit, much higher than humans, and largely thermoregulate through their feet.  Because of that and their small body size, they can get hyper or hypothermia fairly easily when compared to humans.  In hot months it’s important to provide them with a shallow dish of water they can cool off in, and in cold months, a heating pad or perch they can sit on to keep warm.  Parrots do best in a stable, relatively warm environment; while they can take slight changes, drastic changes in temperature can be very detrimental. Non-tropical/arid birds are a bit different from what I hear, so can’t really talk about them.

Parrot beaks constantly grow, so it’s important to provide lots of chewing fodder (I like to call them sacrifices) for your parrot to chew on or get their beaks trimmed by a professional.  

These can be hard calcium treats, wood, and other natural materials.  Some can be plastic but I wouldn’t recommend those as they can be swallowed and impede digestion or become a choking hazard.

Birds are prey animals!  They’re typically very nervous because they’ve been hardwired for centuries to be on the lookout for things that want to eat them.  They’ll get nervous around new things, strange noises, and new people.  They can learn to overcome some fears by careful desensitization, lots of social interaction, and a calm, careful owner.  It’s VERY important to keep them away from predatory animals (dogs, cats, etc.), as it can cause unnecessary stress on the animals.  If they absolutely have to interact, do so in a controlled environment and with one or both in separate carriers, cages, or pens.  Know your animals, pay careful attention to their body language, and be prepared to step in if either looks stressed or aggressive.

My parrot Apollo meeting my friend’s cat, the right way.

Just like humans, birds have dietary needs that must be met if they’re to remain healthy.  A few of the most important are Vitamin D (sunlight!), calcium (especially important in hens), and protein (required to grow healthy beaks, claws, and feathers).  The easiest ways to take care of the first two is to provide your bird with lots of sunlight (direct or indirect depends on the bird) and a constant supply of cuttlebones or calcium treats.  There are several different diet plans out there for all kinds of birds, but all agree that birds CANNOT live off nothing but seeds.  This can cause fatty liver disease and early death, even in otherwise healthy birds.  All parrots are usually fed a diet of pellets, fruits, and vegetables, but the ratios really depend on who you ask.

Here’s a few food pyramids for parrots:

Birds absolutely CANNOT be fed:

  • Avocados
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Any greasy, salty chips/popcorn or any processed “human food” 
  • Dairy
  • Alcohol (I shouldn’t have to say this)
  • Apple seeds
  • Feel free to add on

Before you feed your bird ANYTHING, please look it up and make sure it’s safe!

Newt Scamander: Every Zoo is a petting zoo if you try hard enough.

Everyone else: NO.

I roll to pet the dog.

DM: okay, so, Spoons (the party’s bard) is up first. the dog is charging at you. Natalia (the lady we were fighting) is seeming to charge some sort of magic. what are you gonna do?

bard, OOC: i’m gonna do this. -plays the kazoo to cast speak with animals-

DM: you can communicate now, it’s like

DM, as dog: give her the fucking book. I’m an angry dog.

bard: why are you so angry?

the dog explains why he is so angry.

bard: I mean…I think I know what can solve that. how ‘bout a tummy rub?

DM, as dog: gonna have to roll a nat 20 on persuasion my dude.

bard, OOC: aww a nat 20? come on!

-proceeds to roll a nat 20-

bard, OOC: oH MY FUCK -the sounds of hyperventilating-

some disbelief and one screenshot later:

DM: -whispers- what the fuck.

bard, OOC: I’m gonna pet the FUCK out of that dog.

DM, still in disbelief: the dog…is a pacifist now. you get to pet it. it walks away. he slinks away into the shadows.

bard, OOC: no! first I’m gonna tell him he’s a good boy!

the DM then proceeds to make dog noises for the bard as the dog is pet and praised, and the party has one less enemy to fight.

2

Hey so this is a really long shot but my cat is lost. I depend on her for so much. She’s the living embodiment of my fight for mental stability, I adopted her exactly a year after I was released from the hospital after threatening suicide. She means so much to me and she’s lost because my dad let her out of the house when she was annoying him. I live in Plymouth Minnesota. It’s cold as fuck here and it’s supposed to snow tonight. Please try to get the word around.

On lists of “words to replace ‘said’”

stop. 

Replacing “said” is this trend apparently, either Snobby Writers or misled schoolteachers are telling you that using this word is bad. Using it improperly is bad, i.e.: 


“I’m going to work,” John said. 

“Okay,” Maria said. “See you later.” 

“Bye,” John said.

That is bad writing, But it’s bad writing for a number of reasons, and if you replace every instance of “said” with “hopped angrily”, it’s still bad writing. Using the word said, or any replacement thereof, is supposed to be done sparingly, i.e.: 

“I’m going to work,” John said, reaching for his coat.

Maria didn’t look at him. Instead, she kept her eyes focused on her bowl of cereal, shifting the spoon aimlessly. “Okay.” 

He sighed, shaking his head, shrugging the coat on and opening the door. He paused, turning his head over his shoulder. 

“Bye.” 

Silence. 

Relying on said, or any other verb, is bad writing when you’re relying on it to tell the story happening around it. But I argue that when you must use an descriptive verb like that, 75% of the time you should use ‘said’. Do you know why? 

When it isn’t every other word, you don’t even notice ‘said’. 

I find that most of the time, a ‘more creative’ synonym for that word jars the reader and breaks suspension of disbelief. Instead of thinking about what’s happening ,they’re thinking “oh, that’s different”. 

And while it might be novel for a second, I don’t care about being novel. I care about suspension of disbelief. 

So there, that’s why the endless river of tumblr posts decrying the use of the word said really irritate me, because high school English teachers and snotty English students have decided to tell the unwashed masses that using a perfectly useful tool in your writing arsenal is bad just because They Say So. 

  • Hufflepuff: I've planned out our day, and I think it's going to be a lot if fun!
  • Ravenclaw: I want to go to the aquarium.
  • Hufflepuff: That's not on my planner...
  • Ravenclaw: But I want to learn about the jellyfish and how they eat.
  • Hufflepuff: Maybe another day?
  • Ravenclaw: And you can pet the stingrays.
  • Hufflepuff: Okay, let's go pet some stingrays.