Weird Pets 101: The Story of One Designer and her Magical Pet Pigeon
Looking at designer Yuka Izutsu’s impossibly breezy, Japanese-draping-meets-California-cool garments, the phrase “free as a bird” might come to mind. And that’s before you meet the Atelier Delphine designer’s pet: a paper-white pigeon, named Pyululu (pronounced pure-loo-loo), who flits around her sunny mid-century home like part of the family (if the rest of the family could fly). Very intrigued, we sat down with Yuka to ask how she became a pigeon whisperer, Ace Ventura-style.
HOW DID YOU COME TO POSSESS THIS VERY UNUSUAL ANIMAL?
“I rescued him as a baby from the street in Hollywood. He was so beautiful—totally white. Is name is actually a mix of the word pure, because of his color, and these little baby noises he made when we first got him. He is a king pigeon, which means he is double the size of a regular pigeon. I took him to Magic Castle to see if any of their magicians had lost their bird, but they just laughed and said he’s too huge—he wouldn’t fit into any of their hats! They offered to send him to the foster bird house that takes retired magicians’ birds, but I decided to keep him with me as a family member. Now, it’s been more than 10 years—it’s so fun having a bird walking around the house. He is an extremely spoiled pet pigeon, but so fun to have around!”
AND HE JUST ROAMS FREE IN YOUR HOUSE?
“Pyululu lives in our sunroom—he is always free to fly around whenever my husband or I am home. He is usually sunbathing or making a nest for stuffed animals—he thinks those are his babies. He puts them under his belly and sits on them keep them warm. When we are out or guests are coming over, he has a cage that he goes into. He is potty-trained, too—I just sit him on the edge of the toilet and say poo-poo, and he does it.”
DO YOU HAVE TO FEED HIM ANYTHING SPECIAL?
“He eats wild dove food that we get at Petco. He also loves a mix of brown rice and sesame seeds. We’ll just say, ‘Sesame?’ and he goes to the specific spot where we feed it to him.”
HOW DO YOU KEEP HIM FROM FLYING AWAY?
“We don’t do anything to keep him from getting away. When we are on the patio, we put him in a small chihuahua bag that we got at Petco. We also sometimes go for a walk with him in the bag—people think it’s a cat. Some know that it’s a bird, and they think we are the weirdest couple in Pasadena.”