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Minister Wings It in Church Rites for Max the Parrot

January 22, 1987|DEBORAH CHRISTENSEN

--Max will be remembered for his love of a steamy shower in the morning, his fascination with women as they put on their makeup and his tolerance of grocery shopping. He will also be remembered as perhaps the only African gray parrot to receive a full church funeral. Services for Capt. A.G. Maximilian Cricket--"Max" to his friends--were held at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Clara, Calif., with the Rev. Wayne Faust presiding. "There's no replacement for Max," said a tearful Robin Patterson, Max's owner. "He'd shower with me in the morning. He'd sit with me if I was sick. If he did something bad, he'd turn around and say, 'What are ya doing?' " Five-year-old Max died three days after a car door was inadvertently closed on him. Patterson wanted a proper funeral for her best friend, and she called a number of churches before she found a receptive ear. "I'd never done anything like this before, only for my kids' pets in the backyard," Faust said. "But to Robin, Max was a friend and part of their family. His death was very traumatic."

--Rosie, a seven-foot pet boa constrictor, got a different kind of send-off after she growled like a dog, bit her owner on the ear and had to be subdued with a fire extinguisher. The normally placid snake was packed off to the New England Wildlife Center in Hingham, Mass., for observation for her decidedly un-snakelike behavior. Her owner, Mary O'Rourke, of Weymouth, Mass., was cleaning Rosie's terrarium when the boa snapped at her ear. The aggressive snake forced O'Rourke to take refuge atop her bed, where she called police from a bedside phone. Patrolman Ralph Campbell threw a blanket over Rosie and animal officer Bill Quigley sprayed her with carbon monoxide from a fire extinguisher to temporarily paralyze her. O'Rourke said Rosie had dined on three live rats and may have gotten salmonella poisoning.

--Those of you who don't happen to share a fascination with animals will be gratified to learn that television host David Letterman's "stupid" pet tricks have earned him the title of dullest American of 1986 by International Dull Folks, Unlimited. Running a close second, according to Chairman of the Bored J.D. Stewart, was Sam Walton. "America's wealthiest man drives an old red-and-white pickup and stands in line in his own Wal-Mart stores," Stewart said.

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