Meet GoGo. He is our mascot, part of our family, and our inspiration. I never thought of myself as much of a bird person. I never owned a bird growing up and it wasn’t until GoGo came into my life that I realized how incredible and intelligent these animals are.
A few years ago, my boss came into the office visibly upset. He said that his brother left a door open while visiting and his African grey parrot flew away. He instructed me to start making flyers and putting up ads in our local community to help find him. Knowing how rarely he answers his cell phone, I put my phone number on the ads. Late one night, I got a phone call from a rescue volunteer saying that an African Grey was found in the area but needed emergency vet care. It was almost midnight and a holiday so someone needed to meet the person who found him at the vet with payment for care. I wasn’t sure if it was my bosses bird or not, but being someone who loves animals, I felt I needed to help.
I arrived with the cash in hand. The injury was severe. Like a curious toddler, oblivious to danger, Gogo saw other animals and got too close. He was attacked by a dog and lost one of his legs. His remaining leg was banded; he was not my bosses bird. He really needed comfort and care so I took him home and fell in love. A few weeks later, we got a call from the owner’s daughter on his behalf. She explained that her father was an elderly man who loved Gogo, but was struggling with medical problems and could no longer care for his energetic bird. He asked if we wanted to keep Gogo and we couldn’t say no. That’s how we learned his name, age, and back story. Oh, and the reason his owner’s daughter called on her father’s behalf was to translate for him. He hand raised Gogo and neither of them spoke a word of English. No wonder Gogo was so quiet; he only spoke and understood Czechoslovakian! We were given his cage, baby pictures, and his favorite toys. Gogo is now bilingual and part of our family. And that’s how we came to understand that parrots are too amazing and intelligent to be caged.
It’s amazing how inspiration and motivation can come from unexpected sources. We were happy with our careers and lived a happy mediocre American life. Thanks to Gogo, we want to do more. We want to start an organization that will truly make an impact on the way American’s see birds. We are ready to commit ourselves to Cut the Cage full-time!