Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Monthly Archives: September 2012

Old habits die hard

Some time ago, January 2011, I posted that Bezukhov likes to feel food beneath his feet.  Old habits die hard.  He still likes to feel food beneath his feet, especially a broccoli floret.

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Atilla’s song

Atilla had her own song, “Lavender Blue“.

I used to sing it to her when she was not well or during the car journey to the vet.  The song caught my attention as her cheek patches were a light, lavender blue colour & of course she was green. 

The lyrics were changed slightly to make more sense.  For example, instead of “dilly dilly”, I sang “‘Tilly, ‘Tilly“.  Instead of “I’ll need a queen”, I sang “You are our queen“.

A couple of weeks before she passed on, another song came into my head – “To Know Her is to Love Her“.  No need to explain why that song seemed appropriate…

Atilla-less

So, how are we coping without Atilla?

The first evening, Cagney struggled.  He shouted a lot.  He kept going to all corners of the Manor looking for Atilla.  In the end I think he wore himself out & settled down to sleep on the peg.  Both boys must have had a restful night judging by their little overnight poop hills.

The following morning Cagney was desperate to get out the Manor.  He was pacing up & down & shouting.  He seemed hyper & a little manic.  I hurriedly opened the manor & he flew around for a bit. I got the feeling that he knew Atilla was not in the Manor so therefore he must get out.  Either way, getting out did not really solve his problem.

However, gradually Cagney has calmed down, & I thank Bezukhov for his calming influence.

The toyboys have always been good mates & their friendship will prove invaluable now.

As for me….. I am still struggling…. Everything seems….. “normal”.  Atilla was not a normal bird.  She was special.   Her presence was huge.  I have yet to remove the tea towel from the back of the poang chair (protecting it from Atilla’s chewing).  I have yet to remove the cushions from around the base of furniture (in case Atilla landed on the floor & slid into anything hard).  I have yet to remove her “stairway“. 

For the boys sake, I removed the electric blanket & the covers are in the wash.  The Manor has been rearranged slightly, mainly to take out some perches to give the boys more flying room.  It had got quite cluttered with all the perches to help Atilla get around.  Like I say….. it’s more “normal” now….

We continue to take each day as it comes.

The Leader’s last 24 hours

Atilla had gradually been getting weaker.  The last couple of days she ate less & less & slept more & more.  Cagney would often sit by her.  He would wait for a sign from her for regurgitated seed.  He never let her down.

On that last day, I gave the toyboys a basil misting.  Cagney really went to town & tunneled through the basil getting very wet.  Bezukhov did not seem to be in the mood for a misting so shouted at Cagney from the sidelines.  Atilla just stayed where she was.  She did not have the energy to join in.  I offered her some wet basil leaves & she licked them a little, but then went back to sleep.

Towards the end, I noticed she started getting a bit unsteady when going from perch to perch, so much so that at one point she lost her balance & was half off the perch, with one foot clinging to the side.  That was my cue.  I scooped her up in my hands & held her to my chest.

She was so still but I could feel her heart beating.  I told her we loved her.  I told her she was beautiful.  I thanked her for all she had given us.  The boys were looking on intently.  Cagney looked like he wanted to be with her, so I lifted her up to him on the landing platform.  He gently tapped her beak & preened her head but she could not open her eyes.  Her head was resting on my fingers.  Then suddenly she got some energy from somewhere & started flapping her wings but that was her last movement, as her little heart stopped & she was gone….

There was relief that she was free from illness & (hopefully) able to fly the way she used to, I like to think, with her little sister Raspy.  But there is also great sadness that she is no longer here with us.

When she passed, I sat on her beloved poang chair, just holding her.  In that hour that I sat there, Cagney flew over countless times & landed on my hand or arm & would gently touch Atilla or just look at her.  Perhaps, like me, he could not quite believe that she had gone…

End of an era

Atilla the Hen

5th August 2008 – 13th September 2012

The hot corner & the chilly window perch

Atilla is still very unwell. 😦

We have a routine now.  Each morning, after freshening up the paper at the bottom of the Manor, & replenishing seed pots & water, I then clear Atilla’s poop from her lump.  I usually wait for her to move a bit before doing this.  If she is ever sleeping restfully then I leave her be.  In fact, surprisingly, for the most part, Cagney leaves her be too.

The electric blanket is still over the Manor.  I am constantly assessing whether it should be on & if it is on, what temperature it should be.  On one corner I have thrown over one of my fleece tops.  I call this the “hot corner“.  Atilla will often sleep there, on the wide perch, leaning on the side of the cage.  She has lost weight so heat is important for her.

Occasionally, usually inspired by the toyboys, she decides to have a little outing from the manor for a change.  She is weak so the Hand Navigation System (HNS) works well.  A few days ago I was taking some photos of the toyboys messing about on top of the spare/folding cage.  Atilla wanted to join in & came out onto the landing platform.  With a little help she was able to mooch about herself on the spare cage & spend some time nibbling the iodine block in the little cardboard box.

Today, the boys were having a silly half hour, whizzing around the room, doing laps, doing strange loops & twists & generally letting off some steam.  They then spent some time at the window.  I could see Atilla peeking out from the Manor, looking at them tap, tap, tapping with their little feet around on the window sill.  I called out to her & she seemed to respond so I went up & offered her my finger which she readily took.  It was time for another little outing.  This time she wanted to go over to the window.  She did not even go there when she was well.

She sat on my finger, acclimatising to the new view, & then settled on the window perch for a little while.  But she kept looking down…. she wanted to go where she had seen the boys tap, tap, tapping!  So, the HNS came into play again & I lowered her down.  She did a little of her own tap, tap, tapping.  Then she wanted to go on the fish tank (another play-haunt of the boys) & managed a brief chew of a lollipop stick.

After all that activity Atilla wanted a rest, & was happy to sit on the window perch again, preferably close to Cagney.  She looked a little cold away from the electric blanket so I can only assume she wanted some warmth.  At one point, when she was dozing, I had my hand underneath her & my other hand over her (a fraction above, not touching) to keep her warm.

The whole window outing probably lasted about an hour.  Back at the Manor, she had a little seed & then rested.

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Dodgy foot

Cagney has injured his foot again. 

I noticed, as he has been holding it up quite a bit.  It is not as bad as the last time as he does not appear to be limping, at least his limp is very, very slight.  Unfortunately, like last time, he has developed a pressure sore on his good foot from having to rest his dodgy foot more.

Shortly after I took the photo below of his sore, I managed to discreetly dab a bit of savlon on via a cotton bud, through the landing platform, whilst he was distracted by the tasty cucumber.  I am not sure it will have done much good as he then toddled off & the cream was then smeared over the perches…

Holding up dodgy left foot

Pressure sore on good (right) foot

Today he has been holding his dodgy foot up but curled up & tucked into his feathers so I am hoping it is already on the mend.

Love is….

……. preening each other:

……. preening together:

…… cuddling up at bedtime:

~xxx~

Fluffy fascinator

The toyboys are moulting again.  The weather has been very changeable so I am not too surprised.  There is fluff everywhere.  The boys tend to have a bit on their heads, ceres & beaks & occasionally stuck to a wing or a belly.  Bezukhov has learned that if fluff falls off, leave it, do not peck at it.  Cagney will panic when there is fluff on his face but when he finally manages to get it off, he promptly pecks at it & it gets stuck to his face again.

Here he is, wearing a fluffy fascinator on the back of his head:

Height of fashion, yes?

Bezukhov is lop-sided.  He has lost his spots on one side of his face.  The other side still looks fine.

Spotless right profile

Spotty left profile

Green beak

Cagney has had a green beak for a couple of days.  Somehow, he managed to get a piece of spinach stuck to it. 

The spinach worked its way off today though, so he is back to his handsome, well-groomed self.

Let’s add broccoli to this spinach covered beak…