Cooney The Cockateil

A photo on Google of a cockatiel...not Cooney.
A photo on Google of a cockatiel…not Cooney.

Let me introduce you to another pet from my childhood.

In the summer of 1982, I was counting down the days (not really) before I entered Largo Middle School. One day during the summer, my dad asked me to accompany him down to near downtown St. Petersburg. He was going to buy a pet cockateil bird for our amusement. With the recent heavyweight fight between Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney fresh in my father’s mind, he named the pet Cooney in the defeated boxer’s honor.

Soon afterward, Dad gets Cooney a companion whom we simply called Mama. He had a bigger goal in mind: breeding cockateils to sell them off. By the fall, Mama started having eggs, and those eggs began hatching. I was going to school by this point, and I had a new duty on top of my schoolwork: aiding in the feeding of these baby cockateils.

My mom insisted Dad curtail his breeding ambitions, and by 1983 we were back down to Cooney and Mama again. One morning that summer, Dad told me that Cooney had accidentally died, breaking his neck in the cage he and Mama shared, probably showing off for her. That pretty much was the beginning of the end of that hobby of his, with Mama sold off a few years later…or did she pass away in our care one day? Can’t seem to remember what happened to her.

As for me, I could see a time where I could get interested in cockateils once my duties with Harry The Cat conclude, which may be a long way off. Cooney was quite the character, though.

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Author: tbpauly

Former radio professional (1989-1996), currently residing in Pinellas Park, FL. Blogging since 2004, at least.

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