I’m aware, with the bird, that she is a wild animal. That she doesn’t think like I think, that her perception of the world is quite different, that her priorities aren’t mine and that her feelings are probably not like mine either. She appreciates me as a cushion, she understands me as a living creature separate from herself (I believe) and distinct from the other living creatures (aka the boy and the dog) but I honestly don’t know what more she’s capable of. Lately I’ve been trying to train her not to chew on power cords and she sort of seems to be getting it, but she looks at me with a posture that says she’s trying to decide if what I’m saying or doing is meaningful to her, rather than any evidence that she actually understands what I’m saying.

With the dog, everything I do has meaning. (She definitely doesn’t understand everything I say, but I think that’s lack of interest.) But every movement I make, every shift of position, every tone that comes out of my mouth, she’s attuned to it all. It makes it remarkably hard to go out for lunch and leave her behind. This dog has me wrapped around…her perfect black ears.