Acquired: Pet store
Posted Jun 13, 2014
Pikachu looked like his namesake, with orange cheek circles on a pure yellow body. He was a beautiful bird with great temperament. My son, who was 8 years old at the time, wanted a parrot but I didn't think he was ready for that kind of responsibility (nor was I). When I saw the gaggle of juvenile cockatiels at a small, local petstore begging to be fed, they were incredibly cute and since my son was enamoured of Pokemon, a yellow one would be perfect. The store owner was raising them by hand and would not let them leave until they were old enough to steadily eat adult food, so we put a deposit on Pikachu and my son was able to handle him at the store. Even after we brought Pikachu home, the store owner asked that we bring him back in a week to be weighed, to ensure he was eating well. From later experience with buying a cockatiel from a chain petstore, I believe this was a good policy.
My son loved taking Pikachu out from his cage and carrying him around the house on his shoulder. They would talk to each other like old friends (although Pikachu never learned to speak intelligibly). We kept his wings clipped just enough so that he could flap around a bit in the house. Unfortunately, we got complacent after a year or so and didn't keep up with the clipping. One nice December day my son decided to take Pikachu outside to see the world (without my knowledge) and Pikachu decided to take full advantage of this gift. We were surprised by how well he could fly, given no real experience with it beyond a few flaps up to a curtain pole. Hearing my son cry out, I ran outside to see a bright yellow streak headed into the sky. We never saw Pikachu again.
We tried other cockatiels after that and had a couple of bad experiences (one, from a chain petstore, we acquired too young, another got eggbound). Finally we bought Kokopelli from the same small store we got Pikachu from, and he was a good companion and excellent whistler for years.