Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Cagney: The Sadness

My return home was unbelievably sad.  I put the travel cage on the coffee table & lay Cagney on top.  By now he was wrapped in soft fleece, with just his head showing.  Bezukhov & Phineas had greeted me with loud chirps but then they fell silent.  I spoke to Bezukhov & said how sorry I was about Cagney.  Though I thought it important to have his body on show to help them come to an understanding, I like to think that Cagney, on his way to Rainbow Bridge, stopped by his old mates to say goodbye & they would have had forewarning & hopefully a sense that Cagney was in a good place.

Bezukhov missing Cagney

Bezukhov missing Cagney

They were not quiet for long.  I let them out so they could have a fly & be together.  Bezukhov spent a lot of time at the window.  I was concerned that he was not eating as much as he normally would, so offered him seed at intervals.

When it came to the evening, Bezukhov started to get confused.  He did not want to go to bed in the Manor but dozed on the perch on the outside of the Ferplast, where Phineas was already in bed on his swing.  The Ferplast doors were open if Bezukhov wanted to join Phineas but this did not seem to be an option for him.  He seemed a bit lost, like he did not know where to be.  With a bit of encouragement I got him into the Manor & hand fed him some millet.

He looked sad in the Manor on his own.

Cagney: The Sorrow

My beautiful little boy Cagney has gone.

How very hard that is to take in.

How could it be?  Only five years old.  He was flirting just hours ago.  What about Bezukhov?  How will I tell his best buddy Bezukhov?  No Cagney.  Anymore.  No… it was too much to bear.

I am not ashamed to say I wept uncontrollably.  I went into the consulting room where he was, carefully cradled in a soft towel, looking so beautiful, as though he were sleeping.  My heart knew what had happened but my brain could not work anything out.

Ms EHV calmly told me that the blood sample she got clearly showed that Cagney had lipaemia (fat in his blood) for some time.  As he came around from the anaesthetic his heart failed.  He had an underlying heart condition that we knew nothing about.  Of course looking back at his symptoms, this offered an explanation.  Ms EHV said there was no cure for this condition, although if the blood sample had not been taken he may have lived a few months more, though still, most probably, undiagnosed.

My Cagney has gone.

I left the vets with a heart so heavy I could barely walk.  And I had to face Bezukhov & Phineas.

Cagney that last morning

Cagney that last morning



Cagney: The Shock

Cagney during the day

Cagney during the day

Last Sunday, Cagney seemed a little off.  He was displaying some symptoms that prompted his previous visit to the vet: pale feet, reduced appetite, wetter poops, a bit wobbly.  He also had a new symptom of tail bobbing.  He was still reasonably active but I noticed after he did a lap of the room he looked out of breath whereas normally he would not be.  He still interacted & flirted with Bezukhov & Phineas so was not sitting fluffed up or anything like that.  In fact, I was unsure that day whether a visit to the vet was essential.  In the end, I rang to see if Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV) was available the next day.  She was available the following morning (21st Sept), so I booked him in as a precaution.

So, Monday morning, after giving Bezukhov his every-other-morning medication, I caught Cagney & placed him in the travel cage for the trip to the vets.

Ms EHV examined him.  She confirmed his tongue was pale, like his feet.  His heart rate was slightly fast but not alarmingly so like before.  His temperature was normal.  His weight was a healthy 49 grams.  Though I had no concerns about his feet, she also checked them, given his previous history, & confirmed his toes were gripping well.

Cagney in travel cage

Cagney in travel cage (last photo)

We discussed what we should do next.  It was suggested that perhaps he should have the same medication as before but to continue it for longer, approximately one or two weeks after he has improved; it was possible the previous medication was stopped too early.  However, before going down that route, it was decided to take a blood sample to rule out other things.  Whilst waiting for the results I was to make sure Cagney had plenty of fluids as she thought he was a bit dehydrated.

Whilst she prepared for taking the blood sample, I said to Cagney that I would be in the waiting room & would see him in a minute or two…

I waited in the waiting room.  The wait seemed quite long.  I was not overly concerned as I simply thought Ms EHV would be waiting for Cagney to become less groggy before returning him & was probably taking the opportunity to type up some notes.  Then she called out for the receptionist/nurse, who went into the consulting room.  Still I was not overly concerned, just thinking she needed another pair of hands to help with something awkward.

How wrong was I?

Ms EHV came out the consulting room & told me my beautiful little boy had not survived.




Sorrow, Sadness and Shock

It is with great sorrow,

                       … great sadness

                                … & great shock

                                        … that I announce the passing of my very dear boy Cagney.




Cagney, I truly hope you are with Atilla now.
We all loved you very much & always will.
Thank you for those very special 5 years, my dear boy.


The Big Corn

When I give the boys corn, it is usually baby corn.  It has been some time but I decided to treat them to ‘proper’ corn.  A big chunk of sweet corn with juicy nuggets for them to get their beaks into.

My memory fails me as to whether Phineas has actually had the big corn before.  If he has, it was a long time ago & there is no record of it!  The last blog post on the proper corn was Juicy Corn, that shows Cagney & Bezukhov tucking in.

After the initial shock of seeing a big, bright yellowy ‘thing’ on the landing platform, Phineas took a brief swipe at it as he passed.  He must have got the taste of it as it did not take long for him to tuck in.  Then it seemed he could not pass by without indulging in some.

(Click on photos to enlarge)


Remembering Atilla: Three years on

Three years ago today, our beautiful Atilla made her way to rainbow bridge.


Still in our thoughts.

Love you my dear girl.



A welcome misting

The Thomas bath is often in use but not as a bath.  I usually put something leafy in with water to entice either Cagney, Bezukhov or Phineas to have a bath.  They may go over to it & nibble at whatever goodies are there, but never have a bath.  Recently though, Bezukhov had a paddle.

That day the bath had dill.  It was a rare moment that Phineas was not guarding his dill (all the dill, wherever it is placed) & Bezukhov took the opportunity to put both feet in the water.  He had a little shake, as if to imitate having a bath but in reality only his feet got wet.  Anyway, I took the hint – it was time for a celery misting.

This misting, a few days ago, was enjoyed by all.  I let Cagney & Bezukhov have their go before I let Phineas out.  Both toyboys were eager; Bezukhov started dancing in the wet celery leaves before I even started spraying water over them.  Cagney, who can sometimes go ages without a bath/misting, was also keen.  I felt that he wanted to wash his recent vet & hospital visits out of his feathers.

Once the toyboys had finished, I let Phineas out for his turn.  He was a bit confused as he was torn between having a wash under the spraying water or eating the celery.  He managed to do both (video below).




The All Clear

Cagney had a follow-up visit with the vet on Tuesday 1st September.  I nearly cancelled the appointment as he seemed so well but thought it best to take him in case the Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV) spotted something that I had missed.

Reunited after Cagney's vet visit

Reunited after Cagney’s vet visit

Cagney having a flirt

Cagney having a flirt

We arrived on time but there was a delay so we were waiting for about half an hour.  In that time, Cagney was getting more & more stressed.  It was difficult to calm him down with all the different noises at the surgery.  He was even panting at one point.  I thought this would affect his heart rate.

When it was our time, Ms EHV was visibly cheered to hear that Cagney had improved.  She said that just looking at him he looked much brighter.  She asked if he had been vomiting or if he had had trouble flying, which he has not.  His heart rate was checked & she declared it completely normal!  This was a relief, particularly as she said that on the Saturday (22nd August) his heart rate was “through the roof”.  I noticed she had not used that phrase at the time, probably so as not to make my heart rate go through the roof with worry…

As Cagney appeared so well, she said all medicine (antibiotics at this point) could cease.

It is thought he had an infection.

So, right now, we are very happy that Cagney is back to normal, with pink feet, a normal heart rate, normal temperature & the energy to eat, fly & flirt!

Medicine & millet

Previously, I reported on Cagney’s return from the hospital (click here).

  • Follow-up vet visit

On Tuesday 25th, we saw our regular vet, Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV).  She confirmed that the barium x-ray did not show any obstruction.  An examination of his poops at the hospital did not show any parasites or anything to be worried about.  She examined Cagney again & said his temperature was still high, though lower than before.  His weight was the same.  Otherwise, she thought he looked generally brighter than when she last saw him on the Saturday.

  • Medicine

It was decided that Cagney have metacam orally (0.03ml), twice a day – mainly to bring his temperature down.  This is to be administered every 12 hours.  As he had a dose during the consultation, that meant approximately 9am & 9pm for the next 4 days.  She also wanted to include an antibiotic (baytril – 0.03ml) in the 9pm medication battle slot for a week.   Medicine to be reassessed during follow-up visit a week later.

  • How to administer medicine!

Cagney feels very different to hold than Bezukhov – more fragile – so I expressed concern about getting the medicine inside him, not to mention attempting to catch him at 9pm when he has worked out that going back to ‘bed’ means he will be caught again.  She said I could bring him to the surgery twice a day where a vet or nurse could give the medicine.  I seriously considered this for a moment!  In the end, we decided that I would give him the medicine in front of her & she would tell me what I was doing wrong!

We used the cloth method, which I have discounted with Bezukhov as he manages to burrow down into it!  With Cagney, the cloth seemed to be the way to go.  She suggested holding his head between my thumb & index finger.  Cagney still managed to turn so I was pointing the syringe at the back of his head (the film The Exorcist comes to mind…), but after much maneouvring I managed to squirt the medicine in his beak.

To make things slightly easier, Ms EHV trimmed Cagney’s toenails to limit the chances of them getting caught in the cloth.

  • Progress

Read more of this post

Cagney’s return

As previously posted (click here), after 24 hours at the hospital, Cagney was allowed home.

With much relief, I got him home & carried him into the lounge.  Still covered over, he joined in the mad chirping.  That in itself was lovely to hear as he had not been chirping at all.  I placed him on the table & uncovered him.  Joy all around!  He was so happy he started to heartily eat his millet.

I thought I would leave him in the travel cage to recouperate for a little while but after his millet he wanted out.  Bezukhov was also desperate to get out so I let him out first, then Cagney, who shot over to the manor, then the ferplast.  There was much excitement.  Phineas was ecstatic to see his beloved & Cagney even managed make some flirty eyes at him.  Bezukhov initially seemed a bit confused & I wondered if there was a touch of guilt there as he had been flirting with Phineas only that morning.  Either way, it was not long before the toyboys were hanging out together as best buddies.

Cagney was still weak, weary & wobbly so I decided not to let Phineas out as he can be a bit boisterous.  In the meantime, I let Cagney sleep when he wanted (most of the time) but each time he woke up I made sure to offer him food.  He ate lots of sugar snap peas & more millet & even some seed.  I made sure he had an early night so he could have a long sleep.  I imagine he did not get much sleep at the hospital with the interruptions through the night for his treatment & also the constant noise of other things going on.  I padded the bottom of the manor in case he should wobble during the night & fall.

It was mentioned before that Cagney’s poops had improved.  They were splattered white poops but then became more solid.  Because of the barium x-ray, his poops would look a bit ‘milky’ for the next day or two.  Here are the obligatory poop pictures that tell (a vet at least) a detailed story:


The next day (Monday 24th) Cagney was still not right – he was very tired & sleeping a lot.  When offered, he sometimes ate a tiny bit of seed or millet.  Sugar snap peas seemed to be welcome though – I do not think he refused one pea.  Though he was very tired, he wanted to come out of the manor & basically slept on every perching spot around the room, including the playgym & the window perch.

Because Phineas had not had much time out of the cage I decided to let him out under strict supervision.  He was predictably over exuberant.  At one point, when Cagney was trying to sleep on top of the Manor, Phineas was running around him, tapping him on the beak.  Normally Cagney would either flirt back or tell him to back off but this time he was just too weary to respond.  In the end, I got Phineas back home again so Cagney could rest properly.

When I let Phineas out again later he reined in his buoyant nature a bit so was able to stay out longer.  Here are some photos of a tired Cagney, his best buddy Bezukhov & admirer, Phineas:

To be continued





Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 171 other followers