"His Name is Woogie"

by Kay Marcus ScottProud mother of Nolan Marcus who worried that I might be lonely.

"It was Christmas and my son was preparing the two of us for his launch. He was going to college, leaving me to sort out what was left of my life. My mother had moved to Houston and my husband had passed away. The house was going to be very empty.

His Christmas gift to me was a parakeet, very small, very white, and very messy. He said he didn’t want me to be lonely. That was the beginning of 13 years of not being lonely because of a parakeet and four cats! I already had the cats, Zephyr (a mixed breed), Lucy (Zephyr’s mother), Boris (a Siamese) and Pester (a Maine Coon).

Boris and I sat in the big recliner for hours. I tried to work with the darn parakeet, but he just flew around our heads. I named him "Ed."  He never said that word. One day I heard him say "Woogie" and it occurred to me that he already knew his name and it wasn’t Ed. It was our breakthrough event!

What happened next is what my son called "the ruination of a perfectly good bird."  We learned to talk to each other!

I taught Woogie to say "Christmas bird." And he heard me giving the cats fits when they’d go missing or get on my last nerve. He knew my meaning, which always took me by surprise. Most of what he said was "talk salad"--my son’s interpretation of gibberish.

But, one day Woogie said, “Where’s the cat?”

“Over there.” I pointed to the chair.

“Meeeeeerry Christmas, stupid cat!” he says drawing out the word merry.

I taught him to say, “Hey lady, what’s your point?!” and “Big, stroooong bird.”

One time Lucy decided to do what cats do to birds. She leapt from my lap and nearly grabbed him before I could grab her. I was shaking and holding her very tightly when Woogie landed on my shoulder.

“Strong lady!” he announced.

Many people visited me in the following years. Almost everyone heard Woogie say something that made believers out of him or her. Those who went away non-believers were the unfortunate ones.

Woogie died a couple of years ago. I cried when it was time to say goodbye. He was worth all the mess he created. Would I do it again? No, there won't ever be another Woogie.

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Anonymous said…
Tia sure misses Bella sitting on the porch and she has to chase the cats all by herself. Of course she never catches them either but I am thankful because of the consquences if she did.
Hope your stay was good and that you will return...perhaps in March when it is a little warmer. Rita

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