Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: The meeting

Who’s chasing me??

Recent goings-on have reminded me of an episode of Frasier.  Bear with me whilst I explain…

For those who are interested, it is The Ski Lodge, Season 5, Episode 14.

Summary: Roz wins a weekend at a ski lodge, and trades it to Frasier. So Frasier decides to take the whole family to the ski lodge including Daphne and her friend Annie, a swimsuit model. Once there, they meet Guy, a gay ski instructor, who has an eye for Niles. After dinner, and much butter rum, a bedroom farce ensues, where Frasier chases after Annie, who chases after Niles, who pursues Daphne, who has fallen for Guy, who obviously thinks Niles is gay.

The ultimate reveal is that no-one was after the right person, and no-one at all was after Frasier.

Frasier: Oh, wait, wait, wait!  Wait, everybody! [everyone stops and 
         looks at him]  Let me see if I've got this straight.  All the 
         lust coursing through this lodge tonight, all the hormones 
         virtually ricocheting off the walls, and no one... was chasing 
         me?

~~~

Translate this to what has been going on here & we have something very, very similar:

Cagney chases Thomas who has an eye for Bezukhov.  Bezukhov fancies Thomas.  Thomas is keeping his options open & flirts with both Cagney & Bezukhov.  Phineas has the hots for Cagney.  Cagney & Bezukhov are mates & flirt with each other.

Phinny: Oh, wait, wait, wait!  Wait, everybody! [everyone stops and 
         looks at him]  Let me see if I've got this straight.  All the 
         lust coursing through the Ferplast today, all the hormones 
         virtually ricocheting off the cage bars, toys and perches, and  
         no one... is chasing me?

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The Jealousy Wing-Flap

Phineas is still obsessed with Cagney.

Unfortunately for Phineas, Cagney quite likes Thomas.

Phineas really does NOT like it when Cagney flirts with Thomas.

He expresses this dislike by wing flapping in a rather intimidating way.

The Jealousy Wing-Flap is not exclusive to Phineas though.  Cagney has also had a wing-flap when Bezukhov has flirted with Thomas.  The last time I saw Cagney wing-flap was on the very rare occasion that Bezukhov had a tiny flirt with Atilla.

With all the flapping chaos, I felt a cold shower would help restore order.  But that will be another post… 🙂   The top of the Ferplast has certainly seen an increase in jealousy wing-flapping since handsome young Thomas arrived on the scene.

Advantage Toyboys

Toyboys taking nap whilst visiting Thomas

Toyboys taking nap whilst visiting Thomas

Young Thomas is staying in the Ferplast.

Both Cagney & Bezukhov originally stayed in that cage during their quarantine weeks.  When they moved in with the Puddings, the Ferplast then became a chill-out cage (mostly for Raspy to get away from Cagney when he was being a little overbearing!) & extra play area.  There are many pluses to the design of the Ferplast cage but one negative is the size of the doors.  All four doors are small.  I have found that sometimes budgies do not like going in & out of small doors & sometimes need some persuading.

However, the toyboys are old hands at tackling the tiny doors.  When I opened one of the doors for Thomas to come out, it did not take too long for Cagney & Bezukhov to find their way in.  Young Thomas has coped very well with his new visitors.

Cagney visits Thomas:

Bezukhov visits Thomas:

So, what do you think?  Friends?  More than friends??  I suspect Thomas is a little enamoured with Bezukhov…

A pet shop

I no longer have a lounge; I have a pet shop.

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My lounge is now dominated by three cages:

  • The Manor with the toyboys (left)
  • The folding cage with Phineas (centre)
  • The ferplast with Thomas (right)

The playgym is temporarily in my bedroom.  It used to be where Thomas’s cage now is.

So, both Phineas & Thomas, after quarantine & staggered introduction, were wheeled in to be with the toyboys.

What a loud welcome Cagney & Bezukhov gave them, though I think most of that was for the return of Cagney’s shadow, the inimitable Phineas!

So, the plan was to keep Thomas in his cage for a little while to let him acclimatise to his new surroundings, the new room occupants & our routine.  I would let the others out so they could make their introductions to our new boy.

Phineas was the first to say hello & was followed quickly by Cagney.  Interestingly, but not surprisingly, Bezukhov was conspicuous by his absence.  He held back in meeting Thomas.  He let Phineas & Cagney inspect the new boy whilst he stayed in the Manor, minding his own business.

The following day however, Bezukhov did go over to Thomas but unlike the others who were very upfront, he did not really show great interest in Thomas himself but in his seed bell that he could eat through the cage bars.  This turned out to be cunning plan.  Thomas chose to eat the seed bell with him.  I suspect this quiet & more low-key approach was a more rewarding bonding moment that all the fuss & furore that Cagney & Phineas were creating…

Staggered introduction

When Thomas arrived he had to go through the obligatory quarantine period, in another room from the others.

He seemed to adapt well (better than Phineas did) but did get obsessed with looking out of the window.  One thing is for sure, his eyesight is very good. 🙂

When it came to introducing him to the others, I decided to go for a staggered introduction by wheeling Phineas in to him first.

I felt a bit mean wheeling Phineas out of the lounge away from the toyboys.  There was lots of shouting going on.  Although the toyboys are not particularly bonded with Phineas, they still clearly see him as a mate as they were quite vocal about him disappearing.

So, Thomas was introduced to my little grey man.  Their cages were put side-by-side.  Initially, both were a little shocked, but they gradually relaxed & became more comfortable.  Over those few days, they showed some interest in each other & would sit close to the other one but to be honest, both were probably still more interested in looking out of the window.  There was a lot of talk between them but I sensed they were both having different conversations at the same time.

Was the staggered introduction the right thing to do?  I am not sure.  Hindsight tells me I should have perhaps persevered with this arrangement a little longer than I did.

Introduction: Stage 8, the final stage

Previously I posted on stage 7.

Stage 8:  Patience.

20130113_124434_sh21It is coming up to 3 months since Phineas was introduced to Cagney & Bezukhov.  This particular introduction has been a perfect example of not rushing things!  We are still taking it slowly.  My actions on what to do & when have largely been dictated by the boys themselves.  I am keen for them all to live happily together even if they do not become bosom buddies.  However, they all appear to actually like each other & any upset is either due to “over-friendliness” or a slight confusion over boundaries.

There has been a tiny, tiny, tiny amount of progress in that Phineas is managing to take his eye off Cagney for more than a few seconds at a time.  This opens up a new world for him, not least another friend in Bezukhov & another friend in me (or my hand as that is currently his preferred jiggy-jiggy location, & my thumb as that is his preferred object to regurgitate to).

So, the Introduction is on-going.  I have chosen “Patience” as the name of stage 8, the final stage, as this seems to perfectly encapsulate what is needed.  And, if truth be told, it is highly possible there will not actually be an end date for the use of Patience.

You looking for trouble?

Well I wasn’t looking for trouble but somehow trouble, in the form of Phineas Fog, has found me!

Phinny has another name – Trouble.  With a capital T.

There has been little to no progress on Phineas joining the toyboys in the Manor.  He still has no off switch.  He is still obsessed with Cagney.  If the toyboys are out & Phineas is locked in, the boys choose to sit right by Phineas’s cage.  They must like him to want to be near him?

When Phineas is out, the Manor roof is his domain.  From there, he can easily monitor the toyboys (Cagney mostly, of course) who tend to retire to the loft area when Phinny is out & about.  That said, there is often a lot of flying about by all three of them.  Phineas usually chases Cagney & lands wherever Cagney lands, though he still has some difficulty landing on the window perches.  Phineas keeps wanting to “chat” to Cagney & literally runs around him so Cagney is almost hemmed in & unable to escape.  Phineas also chases Bezukhov.  Initially I thought he was chasing him away from the Manor, where Cagney was but then he seems to also chase Bezukhov back to the Manor.

In short, I am still unable to work out how Phinny’s mind works!

Phineas still likes to jiggy-jiggy.  When he is in his cage he likes me to put my hand in so he can regurgitate to my thumb & often, after a bit of a tail-wagging dance, leaves a “deposit”.  He gives me a certain look when I approach the cage that suggests he would give my hand a welcome.  Outside the cage he largely ignores me, but then he has Cagney to fixate on.

He still does not entertain the idea of going back to his own cage by himself so I still have to catch him.  As an aside, clever Bezukhov has found that when Phinny is out, it is handy eating the seed in his cage.  Eating seed in the Manor can be difficult (if it is open) as Phineas wants to run about & cause mayhem.  Many times I have held seed up to Cagney in the loft area so he can get some food inside him.

So, in short (again), Phineas is Trouble!

Phineas however, is also incredibly handsome, despite looking a bit of a mess as he throws himself about & his feathers (particularly tail) are ruffled.  He has a very cute sulky look when he does not get his own way.  He puffs his cheeks out & if he had a bottom lip I am sure he would stick it out!

You looking for trouble? You come to the right place…

Introduction: Stage 7

Phineas monitoring the toyboys from the landing platform

Phineas monitoring the toyboys from the landing platform

Previously I posted on stage 6.

Stage 7: Establishing a routine.

We seem to have a routine of some sorts.  A strange one at that.

In the morning, I pull the cover back on Phinny’s cage first, so he can see the toyboys in the Manor.  There is usually a lot of chat between them all.  I then let the toyboys out to have a fly & mooch about.  Often, Cagney’s first port of call is to go over & say hello to Phineas.  Sometimes Bezukhov goes over too, but Phineas usually does a lot of wing flapping when he does.  Just when I deduce that the wing-flapping means he is not keen on Bezukhov, Phinny then wing-flaps at Cagney….. & then at me…. & then just for the hell of it….

The toyboys have their quality time together.  I think they appreciate this as once I let Phineas out he tends to curtail their activities.

Of course, Phineas needs his out of cage time too & he gets this later in the morning.  He knows where his door is now & is out as soon as I open it, & proceeds immediately to the Manor.

There may be some flying about by all of them, usually Phineas chasing Cagney & Bezukhov flying alongside.  The toyboys then retire into the Manor loft area.  Phineas then goes on prowling duty.  He paces back & forth over the Manor roof, watching the boys & getting excited when they say something or move a feather.  Strangely, he does not go into the Manor.

Phineas inside the Manor. :-O

Phineas inside the Manor. :-O

Well, he has recently gone into the Manor but his visits are generally very brief.  A quick in & out.

The toyboys appear relatively safe in the Manor, even with the landing platform down & the main front door open.  They also seem safe when sitting on the swinging perch (with mirror) that I sometimes hang from the landing platform.  In this situation, instead of sitting above them on the Manor roof, Phinny will sit on the landing platform above them.

Phinny still needs help to go back in his own cage (i.e., I am grabbing him).  If left to him I think he would be a permanent fixture on the Manor roof.

If truth be told, I was hoping they would all live harmoniously in the Manor together.  This may still happen but for the time being I am letting them work out their own schedules & procedures.


Introduction: Stages 6a, 6b, 6c

Previously I posted on stages 4-5.

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”….)

To be continued…..

Phineas finding the door:

Flying about:

Introduction: Stages 4-5

Previously I posted on stages 1-3.

Stage 4: Curiosity.

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.

To be continued…..