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Mimi's Progress

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Mimi's Progress

Postby Wolf » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:09 am

As some of you may recall, back in Feb. I accepted a 14 yr. old Yellow Naped Amazon. She was a total basket case and for the first few weeks spent all of her time hanging from the top of her cage weaving and screaming non stop. She would not allow anyone to touch her or take treats or eat anything but seeds. This bird was a total nut case.
After 2 or 3 weeks the majority of the screaming stopped, but with frequent relapses. Then she started talking and more of her story started to become clearer to us. She has quite an extensive vocabulary and I am still hearing new things from her past. She was taught that she could never touch a human and could only come out of her cage under very specific circumstances including the color of the clothing that you were wearing. She talked incessantly about other birds dying and about how she cried and wanted to cry ending with that she was given away. I don't know if they tried to give her to someone else or if I was the first one, but I think that I was the first one to be given her. Then most of what she had to say was Mimi's a bad girl or Mimi's being bad or I'm scared.
As more and more of this became clear, I got more and more angry, actually to the point that I almost lost it during one particularly intense session of Mimi's screaming and talking about the dead birds and the birds dying and her wanting to cry. I wanted so bad to put a bullet in these peoples heads. I had almost decided that it would be worth it to me to do this and then out of the blue and for the very first time Mimi said to me " I love you". It stopped me dead in my tracks.
Now she still has relapses and will probably continue to have them for the rest of her life, but she is making so much progress. I made a 6 ft. tall tree perch for her, even though she would not come out of her cage. About 5 weeks ago, she started to come out briefly onto a perch that I put on the inside of her cage door. It is so she can use it with the door closed and when the door is open as well. It allows her some security that she can quickly get back inside when she needs to. She uses it a lot now and hangs out there for the last half hour or so before she goes to sleep. Last month I found a way to trick her into coming out onto this perch and stepping up so that I could put her on her tree perch. At first she sat on this tree and would not move, and it started a new round of screaming for hours.
Fast forward to 3 days ago. She was sitting in her cage in the very back on her sleeping perch, making those happy beak grinding sounds. Then she said very sweetly " I want out". I reached in and she stepped on to my hand just as if she had never done anything different and I carried her to her perch. She has so far continued to step up from inside her cage to come out every time since. I am so happy for her, I lose words, but I am so happy for her.
Her speech has changed to mostly " Mimi's a good girl", " Mimi's being a good girl" , " I looove you" and she has started to whistle a little and she is trying to sing to us when we sing to her. Us singing is not something you would want to hear as it is enough to scare the dead. But it helps her. It has been a difficult journey and we still have a very long way to go but, finally, I can see that the healing process has began.
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8679
Location: Lansing, NC
Number of Birds Owned: 6
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
Yellow Naped Amazon
2Celestial Parrotlet
Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Mimi's Progress

Postby Pajarita » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:32 pm

Oh, Lord, poor, poor Mimi! Thank goodness she found you, Wolf! And yes, it's sometimes pretty easy to join the dots and get a good picture of what their lives were like just by observing and listening to them. My CAG came from a home where the husband was abusive and she would say things like: "NO! NO! STOP IT! STOP IT! YOU'RE MAKING IT WORSE! LEAVE.. JUST LEAVE! Oooooooh, Lord saves us! Ooooooooh, Lord help me!" This was obviously the lady talking but it gave me a pretty good idea of the type of environment the poor bird lived in for 8 years (and the lady said that her husband was a doctor and that he would 'experiment' on Sophie - I never asked what she meant by that because I simply did not want to find out).

But she is doing great, Wolf! And, so fast! It might seem like a long time to you but, in reality, it has just been a few months and the change for the better is truly remarkable! Plus, the good news is that they forget these very disturbing phrases and replace them with 'good' ones as time goes by (Sophie still uses the "SHUT UP!" said in a nasty tone of voice but that's the only remnant of her previous life). They are such incredibly forgiving and loving animals... and much more resilient that we give them credit for.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11156
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Mimi's Progress

Postby Wolf » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:07 pm

I really can't bring myself to post many of the things Mimi has said and screamed during this process and I know that from the outside looking in that this is pretty quick but it feels like an eternity to me. I still can't touch her other than moving her to her cage or her tree, or get her to take a treat. But she now get misted on a regular basis and her diet is much improved. But as I said the healing has began and I really think that more of it has had to do with Kiki and Kookooloo than it has to do with me. She sees everything that they do and our interactions and she really likes Kookooloo and has started saying, " Kookooloo, I love you."
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8679
Location: Lansing, NC
Number of Birds Owned: 6
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
Yellow Naped Amazon
2Celestial Parrotlet
Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Mimi's Progress

Postby Pajarita » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:06 am

Awwww, she sounds like a real sweet girl, Wolf! It must break your heart every time she says something that gives a peep into the kind of cruelty she had to live with, the poor innocent angel! And yes, you are right, they do get better faster when they see that other birds trust us. Amazons are not, usually, very touchy-feely birds. They do like their occasional head scratches but most of them will draw a line right there. What I have found the sweet ones like is to sit on my shoulder and very gently preen my hair but I assume you don't wear yours long enough for that -LOL
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11156
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Mimi's Progress

Postby Wolf » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:09 am

Oh yeah! I love long hair and mine is shoulder length with a beard to boot and my birds just love it all.
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8679
Location: Lansing, NC
Number of Birds Owned: 6
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
Yellow Naped Amazon
2Celestial Parrotlet
Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Mimi's Progress

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:23 am

Well, there you go! Put her on a surface (could be a perch) at the same height of and very near your shoulder and just sit there talking to but not looking at her and see if she doesn't step up on it to preen it.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11156
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Mimi's Progress

Postby Wolf » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:59 am

So far, no. I stand by her when she is out on her tree, with my shoulder touching the branch she is on while looking in another direction. I actually do this quite often, although I was just offering her my shoulder and didn't know that she might want to preen my hair. Thank you for the tip.
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8679
Location: Lansing, NC
Number of Birds Owned: 6
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
Yellow Naped Amazon
2Celestial Parrotlet
Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Mimi's Progress

Postby Harpmaker » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:27 pm

Oh, Poor Mimi!! It makes me want to cry just reading about her. But Wolf, if you had settled the score for her, who would take care of her? I like to think she saw what it was doing to you and found the perfect way to stop you in your tracks. At any rate it would have stopped me!

I am very glad that you are helping her so much, and she is improving so quickly! Thank you for posting her progress!
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Harpmaker
Amazon
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 636
Location: Southern California
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Meyer's Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Mimi's Progress

Postby Elaihr » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:28 am

Thank you Wolf for sharing this story! It makes me so happy to see that there are people out there in the world, who have enough space in their hearts to let these wonderful animals in. I'm sure she'll live a good life with you, even if there's a long way to go it seems like her life has already improved heaps! Amazing! :dancing2:
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Elaihr
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 87
Location: Sweden
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Blue-headed Pionus (Pionus menstruus)
Flight: Yes

Re: Mimi's Progress

Postby Wolf » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:30 am

I really haven't updated this thread in quite a long time, although I have written several other ones concerning Mimi and her progress. There are some things that she is no longer doing but she has still made lots of progress in yet other ways. Mimi is not stepping up for me very much and rarely goes onto her tree perch at this time but she is bonding quite well with my Lady and as far as I am concerned it is a near perfect match. Mimi just seems to come to life when she hears my Lady's car coming down the road and she starts getting a bit worried if it is not on time.
Mimi goes back and forth on whether she will climb about on the outside of her cage but she is at least playing with the toys that I put up for her on the outside and as long as my Lady is at home, Mimi spends most of her time od the perch on her door and my Lady goes over to her and plays with her. Of course my Lady does get bitten a few times every evening while playing with Mimi. This is a difficult thing to work through as for 14 years Mimi was not allowed to touch any human for any reason and was also not given treats by hand either. Most of the bites do not break the skin and appear to be the result of Mimi getting a bit excited and putting too much pressure rather than any real attempt to bite.
My Lady is beginning to get Mimi back into the practice of going to her tree perch and on occasion Mimi will miss her grab as she is playing with a toy and flies out into the room and across to my Lady and will remain with her for a while perched on her knee and then flies back to her cage when she has had enough.
We keep trying to get Mimi to take a treat from our fingers or hand and because she was never allowed to do this it is a great way to receive a few bites as Mimi will reach for the fingers or hand instead of the treat and since it is a fast grab most of the time that means that it turns into a bite. However patience and persistence as well as understanding of what Mimi has been through is slowly winning in this area and for the past couple of days my Lady has managed to get Mimi to pick up an almond from her hand very gently. It does take several attempts to reach success but it is happening.
Although it doesn't occur nearly often enough, Mimi is starting to come out of her cage to the door perch to talk with me while my Lady is at work.
Mimi is very quick to pick up new words and phrases and even if she doesn't always retain them very long she has on several occasions repeated a phrase after hearing it only once. Her not always retaining it is due to the fact that some of them are rarely said by either of us.
She has learned that it does not matter if it is something that she doesn't want you to do or if it is something new that she wants to do that there is never any pressure on her to do or not do anything. I think that this no pressure has been responsible for the new things that she tries now and then. We want her to redevelop her natural curiosity if she can.
Any way that is the best that I can do with updating this topic. I am so happy and pleased with the progress that she has made.
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8679
Location: Lansing, NC
Number of Birds Owned: 6
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
Yellow Naped Amazon
2Celestial Parrotlet
Budgie
Flight: Yes

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