ChikChook Chose Me
Do you believe that our pets are actually the ones who choose us ...?
Do you believe that our pets are actually the ones who choose us and not the other way around? It does seem that way, at least between ChikChook and me.
The first time I took notice of the African love bird was when I went visiting at a cousin’s place. It bothered me that the bird was caged all alone without a partner. I had actually ended up offering to get my cousin a partner for his caged friend.
That had been about five years ago. The next I came to think about this breed again was when I happened to drop by a pet shop and just “looked around”, without any intention of purchasing any pet at all.
After leaving the pet shop though, my thoughts turned to wanting to have a pair of my own. These breed of love birds have really bright colored feathers and lively voices that it is hard not to get attracted to them. But I told myself, no, I am not buying. It might just be a spur of the moment whim. I can come back to the pet shop and make a purchase some other day, after enough time has lapsed to ensure that the attraction is not just a passing fancy.
So there I was after several weeks, back at the pet shop. I was talking to the shop keeper regarding the details of the purchase, including the cage, feeding, water dispenser, etc. I chose a round fuchsia cage to complement the theme of our living room where the love birds were to be kept. I was to purchase my African love birds the following day.
Come the great day. On my way home from work, I had come up with the idea for a name for the male bird---Michael, after the archangel Michael. As to the female bird, name was yet to be determined, but this did not dampen my excitement.
After what seemed like eternity riding home, I got to the pet shop, not quite far from where we lived. The cage was all set. All I had to do was to choose the pair of African love birds. The first bird I chose, I chose because of the brightness of its almost neon green feathers and the loudness of its chirp. The shopkeeper caught it from inside the large cage where it was kept with the rest of the African love birds for sale and transferred it to the fuchsia cage.
I thought to myself that to complement the green of the male, I wanted a yellow female. But there were so many yellow female birds; it seemed so difficult to choose. (I had some sense of which were the female ones, as distinguished from the male since my brother raised the smaller breed regular lovebirds when we were still teens.)
But there was this one yellow bird that just inched forward me, as I peeked through the cage’s wall, instead of flying away. That does it. I told the shopkeeper, I pick her.
Would you believe, that on our way home, the yellow bird still moved within the cage toward me instead of moving away? I explained this to myself as probably because she was being traumatized by the new experience of riding on a bumpy road on a Pedi cab. Whatever the reason was, that behavior of her moving towards me earned her the name ChikChook, with the “Chik” part originating in a vernacular term meaning “to snuggle.”
Growing Pains. I was apprehensive over the next few days, first few weeks as to whether MikMook (Michael’s evolved name) and ChikChook would adjust to their new environment, our house, without getting sick. Every now and then, I visited the pair and noticed more details about them.
Several weeks later, I noticed that some of ChikChook’s toenails seem to be cut off. This worried me as I wondered if there were rodents preying on the pair. So we continued to observe, especially if at night the pair would make some unusual panicky noises to signify they were under attack. The noises never came, so it seems that they have never been attacked. The cut-off toenails remained unexplained.
The School Bully. Three months later, a new friend came to visit and ChikChook and MikMook, our living room mainstays, naturally ended up as topic for conversation. Synchronistically, our new friend used to breed African love birds! There was so much to talk about, it just seemed endless. Somehow in the course of the conversation our friend noticed the cut-off toenails. Apparently, this is what usually happens to weaker birds in the cage of many when they are being bullied. The stronger birds, using their sharp, pointed beaks, snip off the weaker birds' toenails.
That is why ChikChook, even in the pet shop, had wanted to snuggle up towards me through the cage wall. That is why ChikChook snuggled towards me on our bumpy ride going home. She was running away from bullies.
She chose to be free of the bullies and somehow learned to snuggle towards a human being although flying away from was the usual behavior.
She chose me to be free of the bullies.
Next time you think you chose your pet, think again. Looking back through the history of your pets, you may recognize a common theme---your pet actually chose you.
The depth and breadth of the workings of the universe unfathomable to the human mind may actually be clearer and more tangible to the smallest of creatures.
I know ChikChook knows that much.
ChikChook chose me.
And what is this about the souls of our children actually being the ones, during their pre-earth existence, to choose their parents? Could this be true too?
If so, is the relationship established by our pets choosing their owners and our children’s souls choosing their parents in accord with the same universal principle?
“Be patient with what is known; do not expect what is next to know. Search without anticipating; receive what arrives. Attend without interfering. Always be on the edge of this known, falling with perfect balance into the silence of the next known.” –Ray Grigg, “The Tao of Being”
See also: Providing a Home for a Pet Bird