“I’m coming! I’m coming!” said Momanita. “You sound like a rooster crowing!”
“I didn’t cock-a-doodle-doo you awake. I heard the coffee perking and the refrigerator opening and the faucet running. You ignored me.”
To other hootmans this sounded like squeals and whistles, but not to Momanita. She MOSTLY understood cockatiel speak. I MOSTLY understood hootman talk.
“I didn’t mean to ignore you.”
Momanita tugged off the blue cover from my rolly coop and tucked it into a low drawer. That’s where she kept my millet.
“I didn’t follow my routine this morning,” explained Momanita, “so I’m late. Here’s your millet.”
Momanita snipped a generous portion from the sprigs she kept in the plastic container and popped it into my seed dish. I climbed from my roosting perch to the food dish. I picked a seed from the sprig with my beak, rolled it around my mouth, and savored the sweet insides.
I was in heaven. Coos escaped.
A Question of Time
“I think you heard all my morning sounds – creaking steps, perking coffee, and splashing water,” said Momanita. “Then you knew it was time to uncover your rolly coop.”
“Don’t forget the refrigerator opening,” I said between millet mouthfuls. “The door swooshes when it opens.”
“I wonder how roosters know when to crow,” said Momanita. “They crow before dawn.”
“I don’t care about roosters! I care about millet.”
“There’s one way to find out,” said Momanita.
“Let me guess. You’ll Google it?”
“We’ll Google it, Squeaks,” said Momanita. “You’re interested how other animals live.”
“Right now, I’m more interested in millet.”
Momanita plucked the millet sprig from my rolly coop food dish and dropped it in my writing nest food dish. She knew how to motivate me.
I followed the food, and in a blink of a cockatiel’s eye, Momanita set me on her desk. She shared information about roosters crowing while I picked the millet sprig clean.
“Sunlight doesn’t trigger roosters to crow,” said Momanita. “They anticipate dawn, think about it before it happens, and then crow. It’s their internal clock.”
“I anticipate that I’ll finish this millet and I’d like more, please,” I said.
Momanita tapped the keyboard,
In The Nick Of Time
“Bees know about time, too,” said Momanita. “Flowers hold pollen and nectar that bees eat. Different flowers open at different times. Being there when the flowers open saves the bees’ energy.”
I knew one answer to one question wouldn’t be enough for Momanita.
“Maybe the bees and all the other animals hear the rooster,” I offered.
“Bees know when to take off and find food when the hive warms to a certain temperature.”
“It’s warm in here! Time for more millet.”
I figured it was worth a try.
All In The Timing
“Dogs know when their humans are about to come home,” said Momanita.
“Do they anticipate like roosters or warm up like bees?” I asked. “I’m a smart cockatiel, but this is confusing.”
“They smell it,” said Momanita. “Or actually they don’t smell it.”
“Dogs are smelly. I remember when Maggie and Zoey rolled on dead fish. I smelled them when they came near me.”
Cockatiels are smarter than dogs. They would never roll on dead fish.
“Dogs know their humans’ scent. When their humans leave for the day their scent is on everything they touched in the home. During the day the human scent wears off. When it’s almost gone, dogs know their humans will return soon and they wait to greet them. Scientists figured this out.”
“I think the dogs are waiting for milk bone treats.”
I didn’t need scientists to figure THAT out.
“Hootmans give treats to dogs if they shake hands. I write ‘Squeaks Says’ posts. I think that deserves another treat like maybe more millet.”
Momanita stopped typing and reading and starting thinking important thoughts.
“Roosters and bees and dogs know when it’s time to crow and buzz and wait.”
Cockatiels know when it’s time to stop eating millet and listen.
“It’s important to know WHEN to do something, but it’s more important to know if WHAT you’re doing is worth the time doing it, Squeaks,” said Momanita. “We never get back the time we waste.”
“I think we shouldn’t waste time and write a post about it now,” I said, “but maybe I could have more millet to keep my strength up.”
Momanita opened a new Word document. I climbed down to dictate my post. Being an inspiration worked up an appetite. I’ll eat later.