Tex the parrot may have instigated his own birdnapping.
"If you knock at the door, he'll say, 'Come in,' which isn't so good," his owner, Jackie Miller of Northeast Philadelphia, said yesterday as she and her family frantically searched for Tex, a 24-year-old bluefront Amazon parrot that apparently was stolen from her house while the Millers were at the Shore.
The whole family is "devastated," but Tex and her son, Jake, 13, are particularly tight, Miller said in between posting fliers and checking out tips on the bird's whereabouts.
When Jake leaves for school in the morning, Tex yells, "No, no, no," Miller said.
"He [Tex] knows when Jake's coming home from school because he starts getting real rambunctious."
Miller and her husband, Barry, were instantly alarmed when they returned home Friday with Jake and daughter Carly, 4, to find that a rear sliding door had been forced open.
"Tex's cage is in the front of the house," Miller said. "We said, 'Oh, my God, Tex's cage isn't there.' "
Miller said the cage had been dragged to the sliding doors.
A cream-colored leopard throw also was missing. "I think that's how they got him out,"she said.
The thieves also took electronics but, "Tex is our No. 1 focus right now," Miller said.
The family has posted a reward but none of the tips they've received have panned out. "I've been getting people telling me they've seen birds in Pennypack Park," Miller said.
They've also checked with the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and were sobered to learn that a bird caught several days ago by animal control had died. That bird turned out to be a parakeet, Miller said.
"I've never been so devastated." Miller said of Tex's loss. "I grew up with Tex. My parents bought him as a family pet.
"He's like a child," she said of the loquacious bird, which "gives kisses," can make a noise like a door squeaking open or closed, imitate a cat call, and pose the question, "What up? What up?"
She said her bird is particularly fond of children.
"He's madly in love with Carly. They pick and choose who they love," Miller said.
The Millers are offering a reward of an unspecified sum, with no questions asked, and urged anyone who has seen Tex to call the Millers at 267-253-7742.