Since presenting Moriarty to Perry & Lennie on the 8th November, we have embarked on a gradual introduction programme.
The first priority is to ensure that Perry feels safe & protected. His health issues have highlighted extra vulnerability in particular with limited mobility. I decided at the outset to ensure his cage is a safe haven & therefore to not allow entry to Moriarty.
Of course preparation is key. Before letting Moriarty out, I needed a way to encourage him to go back in! I had noticed that Moriarty does not eat much during the day & although he likes millet, could leave a fresh piece untouched all day until evening time. It seems millet would not be an adequate enticer. Enter the green peg! Yes, he seems attached to a green peg. This would be my means of control! With that decided, after giving Moriarty a week to acclimatise to his new surroundings, I let him out on the 15th of November. Perry & Lennie were locked in.
Moriarty strolled out onto the door platform to greet the green peg. He was immediately intrigued by the curtains just by his cage & stepped up on my finger where I could take him closer whereby he had a good chat. He returned to the peg on the door platform. He then plucked up courage to have a fly! He did several laps of the room & then landed on Dalai’s cage. He again returned to the green peg. I ushered him inside so we could all recover! Perry & Lennie were a bit shell-shocked at suddenly seeing this mad green thing zooming around the room!
First time out:
Unfortunately, because I was closely monitoring Moriarty’s adventures, there are few photos/videos. Plus, the days have been so dark, photos look pretty bad!
We proceeded with short outings, building up to 30 mins to an hour (depending on when he would voluntarily go back inside his cage). These would happen up to three times a day.
I will detail some of the outings in further posts.
We have got to a point where Moriarty regularly visits Perry & Lennie. Perry finds it stressful when Moriarty is prowling around on top of their cage so I put a line of curly paper along a perch that Perry usually sits on. Moriarty is indifferent to curly paper, though he likes crinkle paper. For a time, he avoided the curly paper meaning Perry was comfortable beneath. It was not long before he started chewing it though, so I switched to a covered strip of lino which, so far, he has not paid attention to.
Once secure in knowing Moriarty was not crawling about above him, Perry could relax & have a grumble, a snooze or a preen. Sadly, he has chosen not to interact with Moriarty & I think his general well-being has coloured that decision because under normal circumstances I am sure he would have been very welcoming. Fortunately he is not jealous that Lennie is pursuing a friendship with Moriarty.
Lennie & Moriarty have lots of beak taps & flirty moments through the bars. When Moriarty is locked in, Lennie now regularly visits him. Admittedly, millet played a part in prizing him out initially, but gradually he has become more confident & routinely goes over to Moriarty’s cage & sits on the visitor’s perch.
On the 11th of December, we had another milestone where Lennie & Moriarty met ‘in person’, i.e., without cage bars between them! That will be detailed in another post!
I am very proud of Moriarty. He has an easy confidence that helps enormously when he is negotiating new surroundings. I am also very proud of Lennie. He has summoned courage to come back out of his cage & to jump & leap ‘into the unknown’ (as far as he is concerned). Though Perry appears to have opted out of a new friendship, he has graciously allowed Lennie to forge ahead without displaying anything negative, such as jealousy, to hold him back.
I have three very different, but amazing boys!