So the most popular pets in the United States are cats and dogs but history tells us that the first presidential pet was in fact a parrot. Martha Washington wife of the 1st president of the United States had a parrot. Thomas Jefferson loved pet birds and had a mockingbird as a pet. James Madison had a parrot. Andrew Jackson had a parrot. William McKinley had a parrot named Washington Post. Theodore Roosevelt had parrots too. In modern times however Presidents seem to prefer dogs and cats. Can one surmise that history is for the birds?
Why do modern day Presidents not have birds and parrots as pets?
1. Dogs and cats seem more mainstream. In the early history of our country, rugged individualists like Roosevelt, a nature lover, were favored over the more telegenic politicians of our time.
2. Parrots seem more exotic and colorful than cats and dogs. Cats and dogs appear to be more touchable and cuddly.
3. Parrots seem high maintenance with people thinking that they bite and poop all the time even though this is not always the case.
4. Current politicians want to appeal to the masses and there are more cats and dogs kept as pets than birds.
5. There are misconceptions among people about birds and parrots. Birds and parrots seem mysterious and alien.
6. Finally maybe current presidents don’t want to worry about a parrot repeating back what they said in the White House in private.
So while maybe the politicians and mainstream America are not voting for parrots as 1st pets, parrot people know that parrots are indeed loyal like dogs, cuddly like cats, and playful, silly, and oh so intelligent.