Way back, before I was the sophisticated and worldly sheila I am today, I lived with my parents and owned a galah as a pet.
Galahs are not smart. This particular bird, named Fred, used to gnaw through his own perch and then squawk in surprise when, as a result, he fell off.
Despite a distinct lack of brains, galahs are supposed to be reasonably good at mimicking. You know – like Wolfmother.
Nonetheless, my family only had minimal success in teaching Fred to talk. We'd stand in front of his cage, repeating inane words and phrases over and over, trying to get him to mimic us. After many months, we only succeeded in getting Fred to say "Hello!" and "AAAAAARK!".
Little did we know that Fred was just being selective, and was most impressionable and open to instruction first thing in the morning.
My father would always be the first family member to get up each weekday, and was a smoker at the time, often lighting up his first stogie in the loungeroom in his pyjamas.
It took us all an age to figure out what Fred was trying to say whenever he greeted us with a raspy "CaaaaHHHHrrrr! Cah-Cah-CaHHHrrrr!".
Then we realised he was mimicking Dad's smoker's cough.
Warning: Smoking Around Pets May Cause Soiled Hilarity Underpants.