Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: pets

Lennie Milestone: On my finger!

Some of my recent posts have been about milestones Moriarty has achieved as he settles in. But milestones do not need to be about the young or those in new, developing situations, they can also apply to the old, or those in well-established routines.

Take Lennie, for example.  From some point early on (post-quarantine days) he decided he needed to be wary of me.  He will always give me a wide berth – sometimes very wide!  His only slight exception will be if millet is involved.  Ordinarily, this would be a great training tool but since Lennie is very overweight, I decided it best not to encourage more millet-eating just so I could get near him.

So, you can imagine my surprise when, on the 1st of May, he voluntarily landed on my finger!

Alas, it was not a new-found acceptance of me but a need to not miss anything with Perry & Moriarty!

Lennie

 

Perry & Moriarty were on my hand, in front of Moriarty’s cage, flirting & running up & down my arm.  My other hand was beside them (between them & the cage).  Their flirting intensified & Lennie made his way over to the top of Moriarty’s cage to investigate.  I could see he desperately wanted to join Perry & Moriarty but was holding back as they were on me!  Nevertheless, I kept my free hand out, positioned where he could easily fly down to it, thinking he will never come, but he wanted to join in the fun so much that he actually flew down onto my finger!  He was not there long as he realised pretty quickly that this was an out-of-the-ordinary event & he did not want me to get the wrong impression!

Still, it was a nice feeling & nice to know that even when habits & routines are well-established, an occasional leap into unknown territory is possible!

Lennie

 

Reusable cage bottom liners

For a long time I have used newspaper to line the bottom of cages.  In recent years I have stopped buying newspapers & also not had easy access to free newspapers, so then started buying packs of ‘chip paper’ or packing paper.  This paper was particularly nice as the light, plain colour made it easy to check poop quality.

However, as I was using up the last pack I questioned if there was another cheaper way to line the bottom of their cages.

Lennie, Perry & Moriarty

I remembered I had an old shower curtain that was washable.  I cut up a trial piece & was pleasantly surprised with how it worked.  It is a light colour with faded swirls, so poop (& blood that it later had to cope with) is easily seen.  I thought it might be a bit slippery if Perry fell down on it but it seemed ok & no more slippery than anything else.  I cut up the rest of the curtain & got 6 ‘bottoms’ out of whole thing.  After some washing (either hand or machine) the edges started to fray so I hemmed them.

Having 6 means that I can have 4 in use, one drying & one to be (hand) washed.  When I take the last one away, I have 4 clean ones to put in (1 dirty one & 1 drying).

I bought another cheap, washable shower curtain & made another 6 for Dalai’s cage.

They lay nicely on top of the padding (fleece & towels) & are easy to roll up when you take them out.  Then I can scrape the poop off into a bag & put it in soak ready for a quick hand wash.  They dry very quickly.  And, as alluded to above, blood washes out well!

 

 

 

Moriarty Milestones: Window Perch

It took time, but finally, on the 5th April, Moriarty braved the window perch!

Due to Perry & Lennie’s current lack of flying ability, the window perches have been out-of-bounds for well over a year (certainly Dalai was the last to use them).  This has meant that Moriarty had to find his own way to the window perches, without anyone setting an example.

I would try & encourage him onto them when he was sat on my finger & a couple of times he would touch them & once even put his foot on one, but needed a bit more courage to take that next step.  On the occasion I had Perry on my finger, I would take him over, hoping he would remember the old days when he liked to sit on the window perch but if I got too close he got a bit worried so I would withdraw.

Moriarty regularly sits on the back of my chair & looks out of the window from there.  It was from that location that he took the brave leap to the window perch.  Unfortunately he was not there long enough for me to record the historic occasion!  However, since then, the window perch is now a regular haunt for him.  I am pleased about that because it provides more stimulation, from watching birds, squirrels, wind through the trees, rain, people passing through or children playing games.

 

 

The Koothrapalli Effect

Moriarty & Lennie

Moriarty & Lennie

Moriarty & Lennie

For those familiar with the US TV show The Big Bang Theory, they will know what I mean by the Koothrapalli Effect.  In summary, one of the show’s characters, Raj Koothrapalli, had an inability to speak to or around unrelated women – a medical condition known as selective mutism.

So, why am I bringing this up here?  Lennie has been suffering the Koothrapalli Effect with regards to Moriarty!  This was very frustrating, especially in the early days.  Moriarty would be tweeting & chirping through the bars & although Lennie was showing a response (feathers raised, eyes dilated, beak tapping etc.) he was mute!  It must have been off-putting for Moriarty, especially because at the time Perry was not interacting with him.  Sometimes, Lennie would chirp but he would turn or move away from Moriarty before making a sound!

It was interesting that for a time, Moriarty got into the habit of walking about or sitting on top of the cage, above where Lennie was, & would listen to all of Lennie’s chat, knowing that if he descended down the side to be in front of him, Lennie would go silent.

Fortunately, over time Lennie has loosened up.  It began with the odd chirp inadvertently escaping whilst Moriarty was close (Moriarty would be so excited when that happened!)  Now, you would not think there had ever been a problem!

I am including some videos below to show the various interactions, silent & otherwise.

 

Silent Lennie:

 

Chatty Moriarty, grumbling Perry & silent Lennie:

 

Lennie still mute even when actually going over to visit Moriarty:

 

Moriarty circling above a chatty Lennie:

 

Silent interaction:

 

Mutism?  What mutism?

 

Further fresh grass deliveries

After the first delivery, more & more came!  All gratefully appreciated by Perry, Lennie & Moriarty!

 

~

 

 

Thank you, rosebudgie!!

 

Moriarty Milestones: Bath

When Moriarty arrived here, I was told he liked the yellow bath, so during quarantine days, I would hook it up.  However, he never went in there when it had water in.  He would just stand on the edge & take a drink!

I was not too concerned as I thought that once he is with the others he will be able to use the Thomas Bath.  Time went by, with various bath opportunities that were not taken up on, until the 5th February.  That day, I hooked up the yellow bath, with water in it, & he went in!  Later on, that same day, he even had a dunk in the Thomas Bath!  Unfortunately, none of this was recorded, but here are some pictures from a subsequent bath.

 

Moriarty Milestones: See-Saw Swing

The see-saw swing is one of the most popular toys here.  There is one in Perry & Lennie’s cage & also one in Dalai’s cage.  Moriarty does not have one in his so his first encounter was when he was out & about.  He ignored it for a time but after a little encouragement & tapping on it he finally, tentatively climbed on.  Unsurprisingly, it was an instant hit with him!

 

 

The see-swing does, of course, require another to be sat on it for it to be used to its full capacity, so I am pleased to report it is used by both Lennie & Moriarty.

Moriarty & Lennie on the swing

 

Moriarty Milestones: Wild Grass

It is very possible that prior to Moriarty coming here, he had not had wild, seeded grass.

When the first grass of the season came through my letterbox, courtesy of very kind & generous follower, rosebudgie, my first thought was “wow, what an amazing surprise”, followed quickly by, “I wonder what Moriarty will make of this?”

 

Lennie wasted no time & tucked in immediately.  Perry was a bit reticent, like he had forgotten what fresh grass was, but this did not last long & he too, tucked in.  This left Moriarty, a bit bemused, wondering what his two friends were doing!  He circled around for a bit but eventually curiosity got the better of him & he tried it.  Unsurprisingly, he found he liked it.  Then he was running around like a demented fly, trying to eat all pieces that were pegged up!

 

Thank you, rosebudgie.  The fresh grass is much appreciated, especially by newcomer to the experience, Moriarty!

 

 

Favourite head rubbing perch

Perry often rubs his head on the ‘triangle’ perch.  He steps down into it & rubs his head on a knobbly bit:

 

One time he fell asleep mid rub:

Perry

 

Shift in flock relations

My last post on relations within the flock was awhile ago (click here).  Since that post at the end of December, things have moved on.

Perry appeared disinterested in a possible new friendship with Moriarty & I put that down to him just simply not wanting a new friend, or perhaps him not feeling too well.  However, something changed mid-January.  It is likely Perry began feeling better from all the ‘abscess‘ health drama that happened at the end of December/beginning of January.  It also indicates he was not feeling right in the lead up, hence shunning Moriarty in those early days.

Either way, on the 17th January 2021, Perry began to flirt with Moriarty through the bars!

This was an unexpected development!  Whilst I was pleased to see Perry engaging with Moriarty, it unfortunately meant Lennie taking a step back from his friendship with Moriarty, which was a shame as it had been developing well.  It also meant Lennie was effectively rejected, which is never a nice thing!!

Moriarty & Perry’s bond grew over the days to the point that each morning, when I unlocked Perry, he was straight over to Moriarty’s cage to say hello.  The first time, he overestimated his flying ability & landed on the floor, so from then on I gave him a little help to get over there.  His activity levels definitely increased!

The next step was Perry & Moriarty meeting without bars between them.  This happened with just the two of them, in Dalai’s cage, on the 30th January.  This meeting was highly animated with Moriarty even putting his foot up on Perry’s chest a few times!  You would think they were long, lost friends just reunited!

This friendship has continued & currently all three are together during the day, but still back in their respective cages at night – I think Perry & Lennie still appreciate that rest from young Moriarty.  Though the stronger friendship now appears to be between Perry & Moriarty, when Perry is resting, Moriarty is happy to interact & play with Lennie.  If Lennie is also resting, as a very last resort, Moriarty will turn to me for entertainment!

Some videos:

Perry & Lennie visiting Moriarty

 

Moriarty visiting Perry & Lennie

 

Eating together (almost) harmoniously