A woman is appealing for help after her pet cockatiel went missing from her Rotherhithe home last week.
Lu Spearman bought her “little best friend” Elvis around the start of the Covid-19 pandemic fifteen months ago. He has served as an indispensable companion through the year of isolation, she said – until he got “spooked” and flew out of an open window last Monday (July 12).
Cockatiels are small parrots and are often kept as pets. Elvis is grey and yellow with orange cheeks and is about 30cm in length head to tail.
Lu, who lives by the Albion Canal near Canada Water station, said: “Elvis goes away around lunchtime, he goes to his cage for food and a nap. During nap time I open up all my windows and doors to air the flat out.
“But on Monday I suddenly heard him flap towards me, and the window was wide open. It spooked him. I jumped up to close the window and me jumping up spooked him even more and he just flew out. It was horrendous.”
Elvis has since been seen as far away as Ladywell in Lewisham, but more recently is thought to have flown back to Jamaica Road in Bermondsey. Lu said she was certain from photos people have sent her that Elvis is the bird that has been spotted.
She is asking anyone who sees him to keep their eyes on him and call her as soon as they can, until she arrives to bring him home. If possible, people could try to approach him by walking towards him with a finger out – Lu has tamed him and he will hop on people’s hands. She said she is happy to pay people for their time if they can help her take him home.
She is also concerned that he may not be getting enough to eat and drink, especially in the recent sweltering weather. Elvis is usually fed seeds, nutrient pellets and fresh fruit and greens, she said. Lu added that she would be grateful if anyone living in the Bermondsey or Rotherhithe area could put out some food, even just bread.
Lu, who lives alone and was made redundant from her job in the events industry at the start of the pandemic, is convinced that Elvis did not flee her home, but flew out of the window because he was startled by her sudden movement.
“He loves me so much. He mostly sits on my shoulder. When I got him he wasn’t tame, he was my little project. He sings all day, and they don’t sing if they’re not happy.”
“He loves the sound of phones ringing. His favourite programme is Who Wants To Be A Millionaire because of the ‘phone a friend’ section. He sings I’m A Little Teapot, he even wolf whistles all the time. He loves sitting on my shoulder when I’m cooking. He’s just so friendly and lovely and he loves exploring everything. I can’t really fathom life without him.
Lu said she will do whatever it takes to get Elvis back.
“I know that he wants to be home with me, and I just want him back,” she said. “He’s such an important part of my life. I feel pretty lost, my soul is pretty empty without him. I’ve spent a week crying.”
Asked why she called him Elvis, Lu said: “I just think he’s got a huge personality, Elvis is obviously iconic, they have similar quiffs, he obviously sings. I just felt it summed him up.”
If you spot Elvis, please call Lu as soon as you can on 07963251116. You can also report a sighting here: https://www.nationalpetregister.org/mp/99053?fbclid=IwAR2WP4RDMq5JW2Rij9Vcum5ajVuXb1158GVdL5HZmTeZrcr0depsHZheri8