July 5, 2000 – October 31, 2008
Jai Jai is the first parrotlet we had.
The name is rather unimaginative, just meaning “little boy” in Cantonese. We always felt a bit embarrassed when people asked us his name, guilty that we didn’t seem to spend much energy in giving him a proper name. We did try though. But somehow Jai Jai is the name that stuck.
I have tried to teach him to speak. The closest we got is for him to squeak when I say “pretty”, kinds of go like “pree” with his wings raised a bit.
He loved ice cream. He also was an avid tea drinker, like us. He would give this sing-song little chirping noise when he perched on our cups, drinking happily.
I would like him share my meal too, when Michael is not home. If he saw me eating at the dining table, he would come over to inspect my meal. He would stand on his toes and extended his neck, to look into my bowl to see what I have. Sometimes he would take a bite and then walked away, indignantly with a huff. But if he saw something he liked, he would be quite determined to get to it. His favorite is sesame, rice and noodles. He hated vegetables and fruits, despite my repeated effort in telling him that it’s supposed to be part of his diet. If it’s a bowl of noodle, I would dangle a strand by the side of the bowl, to let it cool off so he could see its way up. His table side manner was awful and would fling half the food all over the place. Once he took a sip of the soup Michael made, and gave his seal of approval with a happy chirp (that goes like “juiiii” from high to low).
He liked to play tunnels in my shirt. When I wear an oversized shirt, he would climb in through the neck, and went exploring inside my shirt. Sometimes he would make his way out of my sleeves. Or sometimes he would just bite my belly so I would let him out from the shirt’s end. When he made his way out, he would climb back up my shirt to get in again.
For some reason he seemed to be very possessive of glasses and cups. Once he targeted one, he would get really mad if you lift the cup up or drink from it.
He also liked to charge across the room to bite your big toe, should you let your guards down.
But when he was sweet, he was really sweet. He would stand on your shoulder, chirped tender loving baby chirps into your ear, while you scratched his neck. He would turn his head around, eyes closed in total contentment. Should you stop, or be a bit too rough, he would not hesitate to give you a quick bite to remind you that you should give your 100% dedication to him, nothing less. He had an undisclosed appointment book, and would spend time with us according to it. If he was playing with, or sitting on the shoulder of one of us, and the other extended a finger over, he would not hesitate to bite to remind us to be patient and take our turn. Then when it’s time, he would happily hop onto the other finger and got transferred over to to receive any massage, kisses or praises we may shower on his Royal Highness.