On a lighter note…
In Spanish they use the same word for both “pet” and “mascot”: mascota. In English, saying that you have a “family mascot” surely sounds much more interesting and important than saying that you have a “family pet”, yes?
The family I am staying with has a cockatiel, which lives in a cage in the entryway of their home:
It doesn’t like me. In spite of my whistling and stopping to say hi whenever I walk by.
I mentioned this to the house mother (Cata) this morning, and she said, “I don’t think he likes us either”.
The problem might be that he doesn’t have a name. Cata explained to me that in Spanish the word for cockatiel is “ninfa” (which, incidentally, is also how they say “nymph”, and anyway it’s a cool-sounding word). So I think I’m just going to start calling him Ninfa. Maybe he’ll warm up to me?