Good morning!

It is not often I get up early enough that the Toyboys & Phineas are still ‘in bed’.  I peer into their cages, under the cover & see they are still in their bedtime positions.  If it is very early they will stay in those positions until it is the proper time to ‘get up’.  Naturally, I tiptoe around the room until they wake.

Most mornings they are already awake.  When Phineas sees me he runs up & down his ladder waiting for my finger to regurgitate to.  Cagney & Bezukhov peer at me under their cover, patiently waiting for me to fold it back so their seed pots are no longer in darkness.

Here is Phineas, up & down the ladder:

Here is Phineas waiting for my finger:

Here is an impatient Phineas & the patient Toyboys:

Phinny's cage with cover pegged up so he can see the Toyboys (on left under beige cover).
Phinny’s cage with cover pegged up so he can see the Toyboys (on left under beige cover).

The Toyboys & Phineas have already greeted each other as I always peg up part of Phinny’s cover at the side so they can see each other come morning.

I had noticed before, when I did not do this, that Phinny, on seeing the Toyboys (actually, probably Cagney) would let out this really loud TWEEET!  That was his morning greeting. With the opening in the cover, I do not witness this particular TWEEET so often but think it is better for them to greet each other as soon as they wish, rather than wait for me to uncover them.



Last weekend I thought it was time to make the Manor more Atilla-friendly.

The main changes are as follows:

  • Seed pot reinstated.   This was the seed pot that was originally in the back-left position.  It was moved to the right side of the Manor as Atilla kept pooping into it.  She has not pooped in that location for some time now so I thought it would be nice to put the pot back & then they have 3 pots in a row & can eat together.
  • Perches alongside the seed pots.  Atilla has been looking a little uncomfortable perching on the edge of the seed pot itself.  I doubt that her lump helps, particularly from the balance point of view.  They now have perches close to the seed pots so they can eat seed from the comfort of a perch.
  • Lengthways perch.  I included a big perch that originally came with the cage.  It is the length of the manor.  This has been put along the top part so Atilla can simply walk from one end of the cage to the other.
  • Ladder1.  This ladder goes from the lengthways perch up to the loft area.
  • Ladder2.  This ladder goes from the iodine block down to the water dish.  Atilla now routinely slides down the “bannister” to get her water & then climbs back up.
  • T-perch.  I had already installed a t-perch that was helpful breaking up the long vertical bars that Atilla struggles to climb up.  I purchased another & put it on the other section of vertical bars.
  • Bedtime swings.  Since Cagney’s foot/leg has now healed, I have returned some more swings to the loft area.  They now have 3 swings & a perch.  Atilla sleeps on the perch.

Whilst I was making all the changes, Atilla was busy chewing the poang chair.  When she returned, all the work had been done so she promptly reviewed all changes, stepping onto new perches & trying the ladders out.  All met with her approval.

Atilla has not been out of the Manor in the last week.  Is that because she likes the new arrangement?  Or is it because she is slowing down?  I continue to watch & observe…

Favourite swing reinstated

I have made some changes in the Manor.  I used to change the layout fairly often before, but now Atilla has her lump, I am more inclined to keep things mostly the same as she has tried & tested ways of getting about.

Having said that, I decided to return the ttmss swing.  This was originally taken out as I felt it was having a detrimental affect on the puddings’ feet so it was only available sometimes outside the Manor.  However, now it seems that feet are the least of Atilla’s problems so I have reinstated it, in place of the Alan swing.  It is now the preferred place to poop from.

Alongside that change, I also fitted a ladder up the back wall of the Manor as a way of introducing horizontal climbing bars where the vertical bars are. (You can see a bit of it to the right in the photo above).  The vertical bar sections are quite long & sometimes Atilla struggles to get up them & when she pauses for a moment, she slides down. I am pleased to say I have seen her use the ladder.

As an aside, Raspy’s swinging perch is still in the Manor.  I did take it out recently for about 5 minutes but felt drawn to put it back.  It is almost like a little shrine.  Apart from an initial three or four occasions when I saw Cagney go on it briefly, it has not been touched since her passing.

Hide & seek with a tea towel

Atilla is still obsessed with the back of the Poang chairShe spends a lot of time on the ladder, chewing the tea towels I have draped over the back to protect the chair cover.  She likes spending time under the tea towel & many times Cagney has to bend down to feed her underneath it or sometimes he hangs precariously from the ladder so he can get food into her whilst she is hiding in a hanging part of the tea towel.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Reflections on a ladder

Atilla has always been fond of her mirror friends.  I think she sees them as part of the flock. Sometimes she does the “rounds” & gives all of them a kiss & a thump to remind them she is still the boss.

The ladder system has a section with an inbuilt mirror.  Atilla is very sociable with this mirror & also a tad territorial.  If one of the toyboys dares to touch it, she throws herself down the vertical section of the ladder to warn them off.  I often think how scary it would be to suddenly look up & see a fluffed up & agitated Atilla descending rapidly!

Here are some photos of her with the latest mirror addition, the orange ladder mirror….


Plus a couple videos….

The Poang Playgym

Atilla is obsessed with chewing the back of the chairKnowing how single-minded she is I decided to work with her rather than against her. 

  • To protect the chair I draped a tea-towel over the back so she is chewing on that rather than the chair cover.
  • I hooked an empty seed pot over the chair frame so she had somewhere else to grip onto.
  • I moved the plant pot stand nearer the chair so it was easier for her to get there/leave there.
  • Finally, I assembled a recently purchased ladder system & hung it from the back chair frame to make her experience more comfortable.

In other words, I have turned the IKEA Poang chair into a play gym.  I should also add to the above list the fact that I moved my futon back into the room so I have something soft to sit on whilst she is busy chewing.

Once in position, she rarely leaves.  She may go for a little mooch about but not for long.  She will rest in-between chewing sessions on the ladder.  She has no need to go back to the Manor for food as Cagney sits on the ladder with her & regurgitates his seed.  In general, she goes back to the Manor for bedtime just after 9pm.  Bezukhov is usually a bit agitated by this time as he wants to settle down for bedtime but cannot do so until the leader is back home.