Random cats and new stand for Keela!

First up, the random cats. :)

This was ALMOST a picture of all three cats cuddling before Jelly went away because the camera came out.

Jelly says, ‘Who me?’

Giant pile of cats on the rug, hint of doberman outside being sad.

This is a picture of Nemo eating strawberries while Y looks on perplexedly.

And… yet another pile of cats, this time on the dog bed.

Nemo and Noire are buddies, unlike most of the other cats. Noire is a very active dog, and the girl cats find her offensive.

Not a cat, but the Best Dog Ever, right after getting groomed.

Now that we’ve made our way through the random cats (and impromptu dogs), let us discuss Keela! Keela has spent most of her out time hanging out on a bucket with a perch in it.

The bucket with a perch in it had a Sad Accident(tm) because Keela likes to stash things in her bucket, and Noire stuck her head in it, got it stuck, and broke the bucket. (It was actually a very funny accident.)

However, it meant that Keela needed somewhere else to hang out. Thus, she needed a new stand.

She finds it acceptable.

Acceptable, if boring.

The whole stand, pre-blinging out. It’s a plywood base, with vinyl on top, three dowels, and a triangle of perches at the top, two of elm, one of lilac, all from our yard. It’s attached with glue and screws — some screws are accessible to the bossy grey, but she never messes with metal, and she’s always supervised on the stand. Should she bother with them, I will cover them. :)

And now, post-entertainment.

It’s a rough life, being a tiny grey bird.

Since I took these pictures, she’s spent the entire day making wood chips.

Someone else is doing the same thing. You’d be amazed to find out how far we find bits of wood throughout our house.

Posted in Akeelah, Cats, Crow, Dogs, Jellylorum, Macavity, Nemo, Noire, Parrots, Theodore, Youngsmile | Leave a comment

The little birds get some photo time!

Life here has been crazier than usual thanks to two trips and a bunch of job stuff on my part. Now that things are shifting back into normal, I’m working on catching up on some of the fun things that one has to do, such as laundry and eating like a normal person and cleaning parrot cages.

As part of the latter, I took the camera downstairs and took some pictures of the little birds.

Since I mention them significantly less than the bigger birds, a quick recap.

Tea is an 11 year old male sun conure (Aratinga solstitialis) and also my first parrot.
Ani is an 11 year old female cinnamon turquoise green cheek conure (Pyrrhura molinae).
Artichoke is a 1 year old male black capped conure(Pyrrhura rupicola).
Radish is a male cherry headed conure (Aratinga erythrogenys) of unknown age.

Now onto the pictures!

Artichoke is so pretty.

Ani too, even if the flash washes her out.

She has such a sweet face, and is so happy living with Artichoke.

This guy also has a sweet face. He hopped right out of his cage today and began his usual tricks of flying from cage top to cage top.

Tea’s cute too, honest!

Radish on top of one of the empty cages downstairs.

Tea says ‘Hi!’

It’s so good to chew on leather and get a head scratch.

This is a naked parrot going somewhere he shouldn’t.

In fact, him being where he shouldn’t (and Tea moving into the pyrrhura cage) made me randomly decide to switch up all the cages. So, Tea is living in the pyrrhura cage, Radish is in Tea’s cage, and the pyrrhuras are in Radish’s cage. Tea is thrilled, the pyrrhuras are perplexed, and Radish is slightly traumatized. I’m doing this both for environmental enrichment and to stem the tides of UBER hormones that are going on downstairs this year.

I’m sure they’ll upgrade to happier over the next few days, and eventually, I’ll let them trade back.

I’m also strongly considering an Amazon cage flip, too. So, with that, I’ll leave you with a wet Ky.

Posted in Anisette, Artichoke, High Tea, Kyklos, Parrots, Radish | Leave a comment

Cats, birds, and dogs, oh my!

I know I’ve used that title a thousand times before, but what you get here is exactly that. Some cats, some dogs, some birds. :)

It was quite hot a few days ago, and all the pets drooped around looking hot despite the A/C being on.

Crow even droops in an elegant, attractive way.

Noire is capable of rolling into the smallest ball imaginable. Tiny doglet ball.

Stripey cat Y is also a small ball of cat.

Then, it got cooler and nice again, and we have caws, being cawful, eating foods and watching them eating foods.

It’s fascinating to see how differently their heads and beaks are built.

Warning: cat sex picture ahead.

Some explanation, for whatever that’s worth. The cat on top is Fetch, a 13 year old neutered male ex-feral cat. The cat on bottom is Macavity, a 15 month old INTACT male. No, it makes no sense. Yes, it happens all the time.

As you can see, Youngsmile and Nemo are getting along just fine.

All stripey cats, all the time! (These are, in fact, our only two genetic tabbies).

Nemo is clearly a huge user of his feet.

When people come to visit our house, we try very hard to get the attack dogs to eat them.

As you can see, Noire continues to be vicious and monstrous to people. Look at the terror on our friend Tracy’s face.

There you have it, our life in a nutshell. Now I’m off for a conference for a few days. Don’t burn down the internet while I’m gone!

Posted in Cats, Crow, Dogs, Fetch, Macavity, Nemo, Noire, Parrots, Theodore, Tlalli, Youngsmile | Leave a comment

Y is too easy.

This is probably going to be the final ‘Official Cat Introduction’ update because Y is simply too easy. We’ve had her eight days, and she’s handled everything we’ve thrown at her and then some. She ignores the parrots, she’s met the Hater, she’s over the dogs.

I know, I know, pics or it didn’t happen.

How about a Y and a Hater?

I won’t say they’re buddies, but they’re capable of being in the same room together, and with only intermittent hissing. We’re leaving them alone out all night without issues.

How about some dogs?

Please note that I have two good dogs, and one dog who is so old that she’s decreed she no longer has to do any sort of obedience.

She’s learned how to get on top of the cabinets, which is required.

And, finally, here she is tonight, showing how terribly concerned she is by dogs.

All in all, she’s one of the easiest adult cats I’ve ever introduced to a household. We’re learning all of her little quirks, and I’ve accepted somehow that I’ll need to figure out how to expand my lap, because she wants to be in it 24 hours a day, and oh hey, so do a number of our other cats.

Eventually, we’ll get a picture of her cuddling with the Hater, which will be hilarious. But for now, Y is home, and all is well.

Posted in Cats, Charlotte, Crow, Dogs, Jellylorum, Noire, Youngsmile | Leave a comment

Adult cats are easy… and hard.

The last time I brought home an adult cat, it was Gus in 2006. Since then, all the cats that we’ve brought home have been kittens or adolescents (generally four to six months old). Kittens are super easy to integrate with other cats, generally pretty okay with dogs, and extremely challenging with parrots. This is because kittens play with everything in the world, and think the world is nothing but a play toy for them.

Adult cats are generally challenging to integrate with other cats and dogs, and generally super easy with parrots.

So, how’s Youngsmile (hereafter called Y) doing on all these accounts?

Cats:

What do you think?

Nemo thinks she’s pretty fun, and would like to play with her a little more than she’d like to play with him. Macavity spent two days singing beautiful songs for her, but backs off when she smacks him around. She hisses at Fetch, but they mostly ignore each other.

Most of the time, they’re more like this.

She’s almost convinced that it would be okay if Nemo played with her.

Jelly’s gotten over the smell of the other cat in the house and has stopped hissing at the boys. Tonight, Jelly will sleep in the spare room while Y has full access to the house, and we’ll continue to alternate that for a few more days. Then we see.

Things are going super, super well though, better than I expected.

Dogs:

This is the expression of Youngsmile watching the three dogs trot around the house. The dubious ears are quite nice.

She is SURE that she ordered a house without dogs.

But alas, they are still here. We are letting her watch them from safe places, and she’s already calming down. The first time she saw the dogs, she got big racoon tail and we mocked her with love.

And last but not least, parrots.

She met Tlalli, was bored.

Here is her reaction to Keela less than 10 minutes after seeing the little, flying parrot.

Look at the fierce prey drive of Y… grooming herself.

This is a cat who does not give a crap about birds.

She just completely doesn’t care. In fact, while I was writing this, she climbed into my lap and then walked across the table past Keela, and when Keela lunged to bite her, she hunkered down and ran away.

Finally, the love? How is the love?

It’s hard, but I think she’s settling in okay.

You may have stopped petting me.

Mac thinks she’s a little crazy.

Rub my belly!

I don’t think she’s normal… so she fits right in here.

Yes, I think she can stay.

Posted in Akeelah, Cats, Macavity, Nemo, Parrots, Youngsmile | Leave a comment

Youngsmile, Day 2.

Joining our household comes with a whole slew of new experiences for a cat, and requires the right cat. Youngsmile completely is the right cat. It’s been an exciting second day for her, and it’s only 2 pm!

I will intersperse my giant amounts of text with some pictures. :)

Today, Youngsmile learned about cat trees (and I actually took decent pictures of her — isn’t she gorgeous?)

She played with toys.

Queen of the cat basket.

Stared thoughtfully out the window.

Played with toys some more!

Then, she got to meet someone else.

Can you guess who? (Hint: Look at her whisker pads.)

Yes, Youngsmile got to meet Tlalli. I always introduce cats to the macaws first because most cats are not stupid. Youngsmile stared at her, whiskers trembling, and then went back to love.

A little while later, she climbed up on the kitchen table, and seriously considered playing with Tlalli’s tail. Tlalli climbed down from the orbit, leaned down at the cat beak first, and Youngsmile sauntered away with the expression of ‘I was never ever going to try anything, honest, and this is completely my idea, and I do not find macaws scary at all.’

Quick side note — cats are extremely dangerous to parrots, and need to be introduced appropriately. If you don’t know what you’re doing, read my zoo safety page for more details.

Back to cat shots!

Less macaw, more love.

Then, she got to meet someone else. Actually, she met Nemo the first time this morning when he barged into the room, and reacted by hissing at him a few times, but no escalation and nothing else. So, later on, we let them both out together.

It’s been pretty simple so far.

Wait until we get to Jelly. Whee.

Our plan for the rest of the introductions is pretty straight forward. Youngsmile will get introduced to Fetch and Macavity, who will likely be the same as Nemo has been.

Then, for the next week to two weeks, she and Jelly will essentially ‘crate and rotate’ with only one girl cat out and the other in the spare room, alternating girl cats.

Once they’re calmer about each other’s smells, we’ll do a slow and supervised introduction.

And of course, we also have dog intros and other parrot intros to do. Should be a fascinating time full of interesting cat behaviour.

And trying to figure out how to stop her from drinking out of my water glass and also figure out how to grow a bigger lap, because it’s already pretty snug with three orientals, and now there’s four. :)

Posted in Cats, Nemo, Parrots, Tlalli, Youngsmile | Leave a comment

Meet Youngsmile.

We attended our first cat show in August of 2012, and have been going off and on ever since. One of the cats who was doing phenomenally well at the shows back then was a gorgeous chocolate lynx point female imported from Germany that belonged to the same cattery that Nemo (and Skimble) came from.

She was shown for two years and attained the title of Master Grand Champion. She also produced a few litters of kittens, all undoubtedly as beautiful as she is. At the last show, in April, it was mentioned that she might be retired.

A note, here, for those who don’t hang around with cat breeders. Since good cat breeders want to plan their litters (not have whatever happens happens), and since most of them have both males and females, all breeding cats usually separated into various small groups, based on who likes each other, etc. In addition to that, most breeders breed their cats a few times when they’re relatively young. Since the point of breeding is to continue to (hopefully) make better cats and since breeders can’t reasonably keep all their cats forever and have them taken care of properly, the breeding cats eventually get spayed and neutered, and in most cases, rehomed — aka ‘retired’.

Back to Youngsmile. I’ve wanted her since the first time I saw her, both because she’s gorgeous, and because she loves showing, and because I think she’ll do wonderfully showing as an alter. And it turns out there’s another bonus — she’s the sweetest cat in the world. She’s four years old, so she’s got a whole lot of life ahead of her, and life that will of course be spent in our house.

Which is a really long way of saying… please meet MGC Bestcats Yesterday’s Youngsmile of Just Oriamese, who moved in with us today.

(Yes, she’s a little pudgy. We’ll fix that.)

Mostly in focus is the best we’re going to get, because she was too busy either exploring or having EXTREEM love crisis.

Really aloof cat, this one.

Minion, you may have stopped petting me.

Full body petting!

Here’s the sort of cat this is. We took her home, in a strange place, trimmed her nails, and then decided to bathe her to get her clean and make her smell like the rest of the cats.

She handled it by… wanting more love.

One blurry picture to show off her beautiful blue eyes.

And with that, a final brief show update. Jelly got in one final, 8th best all breed alter. Macavity lost 4 rings out of 4 to a gorgeous red tabby that I frankly would have put up over Mac too. And, oh, did I mention our new beauty? :)

Posted in Cat shows, Cats, Introductions, Jellylorum, Macavity, Youngsmile | Leave a comment

Oh, right, pictures.

Hi all! Sorry for falling down on the posting of zoo pictures for the past bit. I will make up for it with tons and tons and tons of pictures now, and undoubtedly more soon.

This weekend, Mac and Jelly are off to prove their wonder and gloriously prettiness at a cat show wayyyyyyy east of here, so there will undoubtedly be updates from that. And maybe some others. :)

For now, have some cats and birds, and maybe a dog if you’re very good.

There are few things in the world as entertaining as watching the greys chew toys obnoxiously at each other.

Also, in actual exciting news, Tlalli wore her harness (it’s an Aviator) for the first time outside, and found it interesting.

She’s beautiful all the time, but she’s even more beautiful in the sunshine.

Beautiful, rumply, and barbered but hey.

The other night, my cream dog and my cream cat were laying on the dog bed together.

Also found on the dog bed — cats in various varieties.

Jelly and Nemo.

Mac, Nemo, and Jelly (and a dog ball all covered in doglet slobber).

And now, for something different…. an Amazon!

Ky gets some love (non-evil looking because I am far away).

Cin has a good stretch.

Cody has some crazy.

Looooots of crazy.

Cody has decided that he thinks that I’m pretty awesome, and no one else. No one else except for this beauty. He thinks they’d make beautiful crazy babies together.

She doesn’t want to make babies. She just wants to be on my shoulder, ALL THE TIME. Or at least if I move.

Cin said something odd, and she was standing directly below him.

And last but not least, the lovers again.

That’s all for now! More will come sooner rather than later. :)

Posted in Akeelah, Cats, Cinereo, Cody, Crow, Dogs, Jellylorum, Kyklos, Macavity, Nemo, Parrots, Tlalli | Leave a comment

Goals update for May!

I’m separating out goals posts into their own category so that they can be easily referenced later.

To find the previous updates on goals, click here, or on the category Training goals to the right.

1) Diet.

My diet preferences can be found here.

In our last update, we had the three new parrots not eating fresh foods.

Two of the three are now happily eating fresh food without any additions.

Who are they? I’ll give you a hint.

Hint #1.

Hint #2.

Who thinks it’s still gross and refuses to eat it even if there are pellets and seeds mixed in?

Hint:

This doesn’t bother me in any real way — I generally expect it to take a bit for parrots to transition, and Cody is eating pellets like a champ, and his vet check came back in perfect order. He’ll transition, given time, just like everyone else.

2) Feather destruction.

Tlalli still barbers her feathers some, and she’s torn a few of her new feathers. However, her environmental enrichment and destroying of the world is going well and she’s definitely barbering less.

She is, however, a VERY busy parrot, who needs a lot of enrichment and has a lot going on. As one way to help that, we’re working on harness training. She will, after only a few days, shove her head happily through the aviator harness piece, so pretty soon (possibly next weekend), we’ll put it on and go outside.

If she’s always barbered, then she is. It’d be nice if her outside matched her inside, but she’s beautiful either way.

3) Cohabitation

You win some, you lose some. This isn’t coming as quickly as I would like, but it’s also not really something that can be pushed.

Tlalli and Theo have been put in the same cage a few times, however, Tlalli is extremely active, and Theo is partially handicapped (he cannot extend one wing due to a joint issue, and thus has very bad balance). Until they’re capable of being together without any fussing out of the cage, I’m not willing to try putting them together again. They will sit on the same stand and mostly ignore each other though. We’ll see how this goes. To see if it makes any difference for Theo, I’ve been encouraging him to stretch out his good wing as much as he can (it’s also atrophied), which may get him more balance over time.

Keela and Cin are also progressing — they’ll stay on the same stand, but generally, if I’m here, Keela wants to be Right Next To Me(tm), which makes it hard to hang out with Cin. We’ll see how it goes.

However, in really good news, Cin with a slight decrease in the number of pellets he gets daily, has begun to be significantly more active and willing to eat food.

SIGNIFICANTLY more active.

Cody is still ridiculously in love with Tlalli and mostly ignores Ky, which is sort of funny and sort of not. For extra bonus fun, Cody has decided abruptly that I am his favouritest person in the WORLD, which wasn’t exactly in the plans. However, you work with what you get.

And what I get is…

‘I luuuuuurve you.’

4) Flight training

Tlalli has finally upgraded to having enough feathers to start reasonable flight training. We need some better perches for her to work on the ‘stretch and flap’ method, but in extremely encouraging news, Cin flew around the house earlier, and she flung herself off the stand too.

Keela is working on a little bit of recall intermittently, but nothing formalized.

Cody and I have just begun step-up/recall training, so hopefully I’ll have an update on this one next month.

‘I shouldn’t need to step up. I should just sit here and be beautiful.’

That’s where we are now. :)

Posted in Akeelah, Cinereo, Cody, Kyklos, Parrots, Theodore, Tlalli, Training goals | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday, Tlalli-bird!

As part of my in-depth investigation of her past, I discovered the pet store chain that sold her originally, and through that, her birthday.

So I can tell you, for certain, that on April 30th, 2008, a greenwing macaw was born in Ontario.

A toast, to you, Tlalli!

Would you care for a birthday avicake? Yes, yes, she would.

Words can honestly not express how much I love this barbered, demanding, crazy parrot, or how much she’s done to remind me of the joy of owning parrots, rather than the sadness and death. The fact that she waves around treats while saying “Hi!” and “Cracker!” while tipping her head is just one of her many, many charms.

Happy birthday, Tlalli. May we get to celebrate many, many more together. Six years old is just the start of the journey.

Posted in Parrots, Tlalli | Leave a comment