We were sitting very straight in his office, trying to make a good impression. He would be our landlord at the Newport House just as soon as we signed the lease in front of us.
“So do you have any questions before you sign?” He asked.
My roommate, Carrie, and I glanced at each other, then I began.
“So…it says here ‘no pets’…”
It was a non starter. From two first-time renters, he must have expected a few softballs about the utility bill or trash pick-up. Now he probably had visions of three Yorkies yapping all day while two kittens tangled themselves in the blinds.
“How would you feel about a few parakeets?”
He seemed so startled for a moment that I looked over at Carrie to make sure she hadn’t produced the birds in question from the pockets of her sweater. She hadn’t, but I was glad I checked. Our landlord recovered himself quickly.
“Birds,” Carrie and I repeated, in unison.
“I…Well, I don’t see any problem at all with a few birds.”
We bought Judy & Phil, two days later – our first important purchase for the new place. They were to be guests in my mother’s kitchen until Carrie and I moved into the Newport House. But it wasn’t long before problems arose.
“What do you mean she ‘leaped’?” I asked incredulously.
“She tried to jump onto the table and get them,” my mom explained frantically. “Not just front paws, either – I mean all four feet. All four feet flying in the air.”
“Wow…did she make it? Which one was it?”
Dumb questions. I have two dogs, both Golden Retrievers. Neither of them can clear a jump onto our kitchen table, and only one of them is crazy enough to play Evil Knievel. This stunt had Ellie written all over it. She’d been stalking Judy & Phil for days, pacing circles around their cage in a trance-like state. My mom announced one evening that she feared we were “losing her.” To which we all replied that we’d lost Ellie years ago, after she stalked, captured and devoured her first sparrow.
And so we accepted that Ellie was feral and sent the keets to Carrie’s house so they would not meet the sparrow’s fate. Still alive and well, Judy & Phil are ready to be moved into the Newport House any day now. Hopefully the neighbors are ready for some music, because the best things happen when you’re dancing.
*Have you figured out where we came up with the names Judy & Phil? Comment your guesses below, and I will reveal the real answer in the picture frame tomorrow!