North side neighborhood searches for missing parrot
You see fliers for missing pets all the time, but one in particular is catching a lot of attention. That's because Joey is an unusual pet.
He's a two-year-old African Grey Parrot that took off from his north side home Halloween night. Owner Michelle Matlock thinks Joey was spooked by the trick-or-treaters.
"I just went to the door to show him (to the trick-or-treater) and Joey just took off out the door and up in the air," Matlock said.
She thought Joey would float to the ground, as his wings are clipped, but instead he "shot up in the air eight feet and landed in a tree," before taking off again.
"We immediately rolled his cages outside, put a light on and the put the bird sounds CD on that Joey listens to all day," Matlock said.
The cage in front of the house is full of food, water and toys. The door is open with a blanket and heat lamp nearby by.
Asked how often she checks it, Matlock said, "every hour on the hour, often, yes."
While there have been a couple of sightings, there's still no Joey. Matlock's biggest concern is the weather. African Greys can't survive below freezing. She hopes Joey has found shelter inside a garage, up against a house or beneath some bushes.
Matlock drives and walks through the neighborhood, searching for her feathery friend. She's not alone.
Getting a bit emotional, she said, "Fortunately, I've had the support of the neighborhood. Forest Hills has been just wonderful."
Long-time resident Susan Vinicor agrees, "This neighborhood pulls together."
It has sent out emails and alerts on Joey's disappearance, along with numerous Facebook postings. Many neighbors have joined in the search for Joey.
Vinicor, who lives a few houses from the Matlocks, said it's hard to see that empty cage on the front porch.
"I check every morning when I go out to get the newspaper to see if he might have come home and I check every evening and when I drive by," she said.
Jim Garrettson said everyone's pulling for Joey.
"If you've had an animal for any amount of time and it goes away, it's heartbreaking," Garrettson said.
Matlock said she's hopeful Joey is still out there and that someone will spot him. She's very glad to know she's not the only one looking.