Ran across a question on the bird forum this morning that I thought was interesting. There are always birds posted that either someone found on Craigslist or Kijiji or that someone has gotten in over their heads and has to get rid of and invariably, you get people posting “oh, I wish I could take it…” or “I just have too many right now, sorry…” These are people who are constantly on the lookout for as many birds as they can find and begging anyone to take them in.
Today though, I saw someone who simply said “I don’t want any more birds”. It’s simple and to the point and I respect that, certainly more than the endless parade of bird fanatics who, if they can find another few feet of space in their tiny apartments, will take in yet another bird into their already overflowing flock. Yes, I am serious, there are people there who have been chased out of their bedrooms, who have taken to sleeping in a chair or on the floor so that there is more space to stick in bird cages. There are a couple who have said they lie to the government so they can get SSI because they just can’t tear themselves away from their birds long enough to get jobs.
I, however, have plenty of space for more birds, I don’t live in a tiny apartment, I live in a large house. I can afford to pay for the care and feeding of any animals I choose to have, unlike a lot of others who are constantly whining about how they don’t know how they’ll make ends meet… and they just got another bird. However, I’ve long recognized that I don’t really “want” another bird, in the sense that I’m not actively looking to go out and buy another one. I’m happy with what I have. There isn’t some hole that I’m looking to fill. So why do I ever pay any attention to the “please take this bird” section of the forum? Because while I don’t want another bird, my heart is always big enough to take one that needs my help.
That’s really the problem I have with so many of these “bird people”. It’s all about them. They want more. They need a constant supply of new birds coming in their door. I suppose in the dog and cat world you find the same thing. The term “crazy cat lady” didn’t magically appear out of the blue. However, none of them really seem to be concerned with having too many, in fact, lots of them say they’re already over their limit, but still want more. There’s one in particular that’s been bugging me of late. There’s clearly something mentally wrong with her, just reading what she writes. She’s in her 30s and moved back in with her mother because she was unable to hold down a full-time job. Now, she works part-time at the family store and says she can hardly handle working that much. She struggles for money all the time, even though she lives rent-free, but boy, does she want birds. She has two, she wants more. People are constantly talking her down. Her latest was a brown head Pionus she saw on Craigslist that she just had to have, but she couldn’t afford the $280 the person was asking. What could she do? She just had to have that bird! This happens every couple of weeks, she sees some bird that she can’t live without, she only wants one more, really! Now you might chalk it up to whatever her particular mental deficiencies are, but it’s not at all uncommon to see people doing the same thing, wanting bird after bird after bird. They call it MBS (multiple bird syndrome), I call it a distinct lack of self-control and responsibility. They want it, but for the entirely wrong reason.
So no, I don’t want another bird. I don’t want another dog. I don’t want another cat. I’m entirely satisfied with what I have and lack the slightest interest in going to find more. If one pops up and desperately needs a home, they can find one with me, but that’s opportunity falling into my lap, not me going to look for opportunity.
And that’s the way it ought to be.