This is one of the things that prevents me from getting a pet over here – I am away for several weeks at a time twice a year and I don’t know how I would be able to have my pet looked after in the style to which it had become accustomed.
The only pet I’ve ever had who has been my responsibility and mine alone was the parakeet – similar in format to Mrs Beeton though, it has to be said, much more amiable – this guy, Newton, would, could, and did go anywhere. He really didn’t care who he was with, and what you wanted to do, as long as he was included. To wit: one Easter he spent with a dear friend of mine, foraging for seeds on the carpeting listening to opera. When I arrived to pick him up, he came running over to see me but frankly, I don’t think he was terrible keen to leave. Apparently a nice, quiet, thoughtful weekend was had, with a bit of singing but nothing too loud. Another time, he stayed with Crazy D, and again, spent a lot of time foraging for his own dinner on the floor (this might sound a bit unorthodox, but the parakeet loved it). He didn’t even mind when Crazy D accidentally leaned back and relieved the bird of most of his tail feathers. A good soak in the tub can indeed fix most of life’s problems.
I mention this not to brag (well, a bit) but to point out the dissimilarities in this parakeet and Mrs Beeton, who is rather more reserved and particular as far as a house guest goes. It’s sort of like having Dame Maggie Smith over to your house – I mean, sure, she’s great company but you mind your Ps and Qs.
I feel that, were I easier to reach, or perhaps were Mrs Beeton able to fly herself all the way over to the UK, that I would be the number one host to the parakeet for the duration of The Mom’s travels. Which would be quite nice actually, on the face of it, though knowing Mrs Beeton as I do…
She is quite rigid in her schedule and if I’m honest, when I’m home visiting The Mom the bird is none too keen on interlopers whatsoever. If I deign to come into The Mom’s room in the evening, for a chat or a film, Mrs Beeton gives me a look – as much as a parakeet can do – that transmits her displeasure in no uncertain terms. She won’t do any of the interesting things The Mom maintains that she does – like eating oranges, lettuces, instead she just stands there, looking judgemental. Which is not so much fun in a house guest.
The Mom expects Mrs Beeton to sort of suffer through her holidays and when they are reunited, the bird will dance and swoop and spin in happiness. Now, I’m not saying that this won’t happen, but I do happen to know from L’il Sis, who is currently in charge of the parakeet arrangements, that things are going quite well. L’il Sis is a bit of a bird whisperer and so it is no surprise that she’s getting the bird to do all sorts of new things. I wonder if this time the parakeet will be ever so slightly sad to leave her current holiday location.