I just don't understand people who get cockatoos

Never mind dating, the whole rest of your life will be changed by a cockatoo.

Cockatoos are smart – smarter than a human three-year-old and about half of mid-level managers – they’re strong enough to bite a broom handle in half, they’re famous for picking locks, and they’re loud – you can hear them a mile or more away when they want something, like “out of cage,” “head rub,” or a cracker.

They have the emotional range of that archetypal human three-year-old, and the same self-centered willfullness.

They also have lots of physical contact with their pair-bond partner in the wild, which translates into wanting to be held and cuddled by their human. That’s really charming at first; but six to ten hours a day will wear you down.

Pampering and waiting hand and foot on a cockatoo is a drag. NOT doing so is essentially cruel. They require A LOT of stimulation in order not to be destructively bored, and a lot of direct attention – a cockatoo had better be your hobby, and not just a roommate. Many pet cockatoos end up ignored and lurking unhappily in covered cages, plucking out their own feathers, slowly going mad.

I love birds. We have four (smaller birds) currently. I would regard bringing a cockatoo into the house as a catastrophe to be dreaded.

To be fair, I have known a few well-adjusted pet cockatoos. Without exception, all lived with stay-at-home spouses or retired couples. There’s a reason for that.


Other than the hair sticking to your tongue it’s not a bad way to make a living.

About 25 years ago, I was friends with a guy who had one. I hated that bird. Everybody except the owner hated that bird, in fact. It was loud, aggressive, and possessive. Visiting the owner at his apartment was a test of one’s willpower, as it was impossible to be around said bird for more than a couple minutes and not want to kill it.
He lost the apartment, BTW, over the bird. He invited the cute girl across the hall to come over for coffee. While she was there, the cockatoo bit her on the face. The landlord had already had complaints about it screaming, the bite was the last straw.
He moved back with his dad for a little while and_surprise!_dad hated the bird too. I lost track of him after that; so I don’t know what became of him or the bird. As long-lived as they are, I can easily picture him living in a hovel somewhere with the cockatoo, friendless, spouseless, and with birdshit on his shoulders.

Hey, I once wrote a song parody (parroty?) titled “Birdshit on my Shoulders”. I used to work at an aviary. We had a cockatoo that stayed in the front office, she was very sweet but a little psycho, god help you if you were petting her and you stopped.

And I have groomed cats as part of my job but I am not a cat groomer by trade, but I guess that still disqualifies me from a fulfilling relationship with Dr. Drake. Darn.

"My mouth feels like the bottom of a parrot’s cage this morning.

“Well, it had a cockatoo in it last night!”

What exactly does a cat groomer do? That was one of the reasons I got cats. They groom themselves for the most part. Yeah, every once in a while you get a nasty hair knot, but giving them a bath? Oh, hell no.

I would imagine it would mostly be bathing and brushing. Yes, they can be bathed, they just don’t need it that often. I have had to groom cats before because they are so matted they can’t function and have to be anesthetized in order to shave them down. Your average groomer can’t do anesthesia so it has to be done at a vet’s. I’ve also had to bathe many a cat in order to decontaminate them or clean them up to go home from the hospital. It’s not my trade but I often end up doing it as part of my job. Most cats are not that bad about baths, once you get pussy wet and dripping they usually just lay down and take it.


The comment (which was facetious!) was inspired by a video I saw once, pre-internet, about a woman who was obsessive about housecleaning. Every day, after vacuuming her living room in the same triangle pattern, she would sit her cat on a stool and vacuum it with the brush attachment.

Why do you cockatooed people always get so defensive? Look, all I’m saying is that society has certain perceptions about people with cockatoos, and employers and customers will often react negatively to them. Some people will assume that you’re the kind of person who’s going to come to work and snort all the coffee creamer. That’s fine if you plan on working in a store that sells cockatoos where everyone drinks their coffee black, but what if you’re trying to land a cushy job in a place that sells coffee creamer and birdseed?

But what kind of a message are you sending to your cockatooed customers? Are you telling them they are not welcome in your establishment?

I think the expectation in an aviary is different than in other types of businesses. There is a shopkeeper in our neighborhood who greets customers and performs much of his job (printing) with a large bird shitting on his shoulder all day long. It’s a real turnoff, I must say.

Anyone who gets a Cockatoo are cheeple, IMO.

That’s just because you’re not listening closely enough. Hollyhocks are very fast growers.

(Win. Reminds my of one of my favorite jokes:

You hear about the new disease you can get from birds? Yeah, it’s called Chirpes. It’s a canarial disease. Completely untweetable.)

Once, that wasn’t far from the truth. It seems like every time I met a girl, we’d go on a couple of dates and everything would be great, but then she’d take me back to her apartment and show me her cockatoo, and it would be a total turnoff. In retrospect, some of the blame falls on me; I probably shouldn’t have kept going back to that same bar over and over. Those days are over now, as I’m happily married to a nice girl who does not own a cockatoo. Mind you, she does have a rather large tattoo of a cockatoo on her face, but that’s hardly the same thing.

Since cockatoos do live that long, isn’t it actually better to get one when you’re younger? If you get one in your 30s or 40s, it will, most likely, outlive you.

Again, I have nothing against people with cockatoos. I just said cockatoos look silly, that I would never date or employ anyone who had one, and that I, as well as many other people, believe that those who get cockatoos were lacking in judgment and foresight. I never said I wouldn’t take money from them.