This day, last year, was a very, very sad day indeed. Our Raspy left us. At the time it felt far too soon for her to go & 12 months later it still feels that she was with us for too short a time.
She is often in my thoughts. Recently I have been remembering how, when I sat on the (popular) poang chair, she used to spend ages chewing my sleeve, my jumper, my trouser leg, or the chair itself. Many times I would sit for longer than I intended as I did not want to distract her from her obviously very important mission. 🙂
Phineas is currently obsessed with Cagney. He is Cagney’s shadow, whether Cagney likes it or not. Cagney, though he appears a little overwhelmed by the attention, does lead Phineas on at times.
Bezukhov is still very much on the outside looking in at all the shenanigans. I keep telling him we are playing the long game…. Phinny’s obsession is bound to wear out, that is if Cagney does not wear out first.
However, I thought the novelty would have worn off days ago….. but no, Phinny is still VERY excitable! He also appears to have lots of hormones raging around, judging by his behaviour at times so it is possible we will have to wait for him to age before he starts to calm down. 😀
At times, Cagney gets visibly worn out so I help him into the Manor & shut it up. At this point, Bezukhov will also join him. This leaves Phineas prowling around on the Manor roof. Sometimes, usually when the toyboys are dozing, Phinny will calm down & almost lay down on the Manor roof to rest himself but still with his eye on his two friends. If I get the timing right, Phinny will allow me to ruffle his cheek feathers for a few seconds. 🙂
Phineas never shows any sign of returning to his own cage so each time I have to grab him & put him back myself. He does not appear to hold this grabbing against me. For the time being I am keeping the Manor a “safe haven” for the toyboys.
Stage 6 can be summarised as “Chaos” but I have broken this down into more manageable sections:
Stage 6a: Finding the door.
This stage is the nerve-wracking time when the Meetee’s cage door is opened for entrance into the shared flying space. Phineas has had some difficulty finding the door, even though there were conveniently placed perches both inside & outside. He has spent many an hour manically pacing up & down, right past the open door, not noticing (or choosing not to notice??) it was open. The only way to encourage him out was to use a Meeter as bait, in this case, Cagney.
Cagney would sit on the perch outside the door (or the plant pot stand, tactically positioned in full view of the open door) & eventually there would be some beak-fencing until Phineas finally stumbled out into the big, wide space of the lounge. Then onto the next part….
Stage 6b: Mad flying.
In Phinny’s case, his flying was not really “mad”. He was actually quite controlled from the beginning. The madness aspect was really where he was working out where to fly & more importantly, where to land. His flying was pretty good & he stayed at mid-level rather than landing up at the ceiling. He also managed a bit of hovering that proved useful when working out where to land. Of course it was handy for him to follow the toyboys. He mastered landing on the Manor quite quickly, followed by his cage & the playgym. He has struggled with landing on the window perches, managing to do it today for the first time, after a rather acrobatic near miss where he landed but failed to apply the breaks & was left hanging upside down, though only for a few seconds before he flew off again. Once this stage was sufficiently broken he could concentrate on the next part….
Stage 6c: Catching up with the Meeters.
In Phinny’s case, “the Meeters” means Cagney. He appears to have a soft spot for Cagney although this is probably because Cagney has been the most sociable. Bezukhov has been far more cautious. The simple way to catch up with Cagney is to fly to him. The problem is that Cagney keeps flying away. Cue mad chasing around the room. Bezukhov tends to fly with Cagney so there are 3 of them tearing around at the same time, with Phinny supplying some creative landings like forward rolls across the Manor landing platform landing on the inside perch.
At intervals, they are all so worn out that they briefly call a truce to catch their breath. At this point, I have managed to get Phineas back into his cage, or have locked the toyboys in the manor, to give them all time to rest & reflect on what has happened. (Well, perhaps Bezukhov would do some “reflecting”….)
It is possible that the presence of Phineas has upset the toyboys’ bedtime routine. The other night they did not go to bed until half past midnight! And that was only because I prompted them.
For some strange reason, during the evening, they kept dozing somewhere other than the Manor. This made it impossible to close them up at normal bedtime. Normally if I approach them outside the cage nearing bedtime they would take the hint & start stretching wings & then retire to bed, perhaps having some more seed before the cover goes over.
This particular time they both settled on the swings on the playgym. By “settled”, I mean head-under-wing-fast-asleep settled. My little hints & prompts were making no difference to them. Finally, at 00:30, I decided enough was enough & they would have to go to bed as I was tired & I wanted to go to bed myself!
But still no movement.
This called for drastic measures. Bezukhov was on the nearest swing. I very carefully unhooked the swing from the playgym & transported him, still on the swing, across the room, over the spare cage (with a sleeping Phineas) & into the Manor where he stepped up & I placed him on the bedtime perch.
Cagney was on the swing that was behind Bezukhov’s swing. He was sleepy but had noticed his mate had gone back to the Manor. With a little persuasion I got him to step up & I transported him across the room, over the spare cage & into the Manor, where he joined Bezukhov. I covered them up & wished them sweet dreams & then retired to bed myself….
Phineas has always been a bit wary & suspicious of me. If I was very careful & very slow, he would eat millet from my hand… sometimes. Since joining the toyboys in the same room he has relaxed a lot more. When I put my finger between the bars of the cage he stopped running away & gradually plucked up courage to peck. He found he really liked biting & chewing this soft, wriggly thing!
I decided to work on his liking for chewing fingers as the millet did not seem enough to tempt him. I started putting my hand in the cage & twiddling my fingers enticingly. He soon discovered that a hand can be fun – fingers to chew & bite, fingernails to talk to & a nice bouncy surface. We would have bonding, biting sessions!
I would not recommend this method to others but it works quite well for me as my leathery fingers have already been toughened up by Pudding bites. 😀
The toyboys are moulting again. Bezukhov is looking particularly tatty. He has lots of pins on his head & some scattered about his body.
I gave them a dill misting. Cagney had a little rummage in the greenery but, as expected, Bezukhov was the one who really went to town getting wet. He was throwing himself across the dill & falling over in it, having a brief rest then going back for more.
Curiosity famously killed the cat, but has not so far killed my toyboys. They have been curious enough to sit on the plant pot stand that I craftily put near Mr Little grey man. Cagney is the more extrovert of the toyboys. Bezukhov has been far more cautious. Mr Little grey man is happy for anyone to go over & talk to him though he is still very wary of me.
Stage 5: Jealousy.
A potential stage is jealousy. It is possible that Bezukhov is a little put out that Cagney is “making eyes” at the newcomer. I also suspect that my little grey man is a little jealous when he sees & hears the toyboys bonding & running around together.