Mar 17, 2010
Miss my boys!
We're leaving shortly to go out of state for a funeral, and on Monday my brother took the boys north to Weatherford for the week. I miss them so much! It's too quiet when I get up; yesterday I set aside some salad for them before I remembered ... I'm not worried about the care they'll get, it'll be so excellent that they may not want to come home! I can't wait til they do, though. It's just not right. Too too quiet. I don't like it.
Jan 18, 2010
Pollen protein project
Started last May, trying to find several good references on the protein content of various flower pollens as treats for our little guys. I was able to find some Australian studies, which are really good, and one from Poland; but needed information on flowers available to us in the US. Yesterday I finally found one, and it's fantastic. <a href="http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10113/30628/1/IND22081130.pdf">USDA</a>, 377 different pollen sources listed, and the mean protein content for each. It's a real treasure. I've copied it onto my hard drive, and now for the tedious work.
So far I've got about 40 plants listed. I've looked at many more, but they're not indigenous to the US, or only grow in very limited areas; or produce the pollen in catkins and not flowers. I'd like to use things that are available pretty much anywhere; and that have a fairly high count -- at least 25%, though some go as high as 60% protein. And, of course, the first consideration is that they be non-toxic.
I'm listing common name, scientific name, and protein percentage. When I finally get the spreadsheet done I'll put all the data into a regular document (with pictures if I can get them, or at least a good description), to add to the Gliderpedia. This is going to take some time, I can only work on it on the weekends. I hope to have the article ready by spring.
Dec 8, 2009
Mockingbird outside my window
Sunday, 12/6/09, was a gloomy drizzly day. I was sitting in my room when I heard a commotion at the window. Looking around, I spotted a mockingbird on the windowsill.
He tapped on the glass, then fluttered up and back down.
I moved to get the camera, and he went to the cedar tree just outside the window. A few minutes later he was back. I took some pictures, then scared him off -- but he wouldn't stay away.
For close to an hour he was there, up and down, it looked like he was trying to come inside. What a beautiful bird.
Feb 16, 2009
Yesterday and last night were a complete success. We had no fights, very little fussing, and lots of play!
I can't believe the difference in Shikoni, he'd never shown any signs of loneliness except sometimes barking in the night, which made me feel sad --- it sounded like he was calling out, and listening for a response that never came. Otherwise, he was happy: curious, energetic, good appetite and always willing to play with me. Well, in just one week of visits from Washi and a day of two new friends, he is now twice as curious and energetic, and playing with things I'd never seen him touch before, like the cat balls.
Yesterday afternoon, all three boys were snugged up in the nest. When I went in to find an herb book I checked on them, and three little faces crowded into the entrance hole looking at me, all had their eyes half-closed just like contented cats ... what a wonderful sight, I wished I'd had my camera with me!
I fixed them dinner: shrimp, mixed veggies, and frozen persimmon pulp. I made two bowls because I didn't know if someone would get possessive over the food; after all, it's their first shared meal.
Shikoni woke up as usual around 4:30. The other two habitually sleep until 8:30 or later; but yesterday Washi got up with him. When I brought dinner in they were scampering around and came over to see what I had, then went back to playing. I went to cook our dinner; when I came back in about 5:00 Kioko was up too! All three were eating out of the same bowl.
Later I saw Shikoni and Kioko on the wheel together. I'll be putting the Stealth into the big cage today; I'd put it into the small cage to trim nails. There just isn't room for two or more gliders in the Wodent wheel, it's fine for one; but the Stealth is lots bigger. And the cage sure is a mess, cat balls, monkeys and feathers everywhere ...
There were three fusses that I saw overnight. The first one, Kioko was in the nest and Shikoni just barged right in without asking first if it's okay; Kioko explained to him to mind his manners! Second, Washi was in a pouch with a yoggie and Shikoni came in; he's not really crazy about yoggies so I know he didn't want to take it, but Washi got defensive. Third, just a little while ago, I was handing out mealies and Kioko tried to steal Shikoni's; that didn't happen! He's always stolen Washi's treats and then Washi has to come to me for another (I guess he doesn't realize he's getting something with bites already taken, while Washi gets those first bites plus a whole new treat!) Anyway, I was glad to see Shikoni stick up for himself, and really glad Kioko accepted it.
I just went and checked a few minutes ago. All three are asleep, one in the nest and two in a pouch. And all the dinner's gone except one lone green bean, and a couple of carrot cubes that have fallen through into the tray.
I'm sure there were some more fusses but everyone seems to be intact, no blood or fur flying around. I know they'll sort it all out. For the time being, I'm going to forgo bathroom time and allow them to just get used to living with one another.
Feb 15, 2009
Sunday 2/15: Colony of three
It's only been a week since Shikoni and Washi decided to be friends! I've been shuttling Washi back and forth, morning and evening, to visit Shikoni and then back home. This morning I got Washi and Kioko, who were in their pouch, and Shikoni and we all went into the bathroom. I'd set up the room with two battery lanterns because Kioko doesn't like the bright overhead lights. I had to physically turn the brothers out, into the sink; Shikoni was running up and down my arms and shoulders. Washi came and joined him, and they jumped onto the towels hanging on the door. Kioko went to the floor, scurried around for a minute or two, then found the robe belt and up he went. They met at the top on the door hooks; I took a couple of pictures of them sniffing at each other; then they all disappeared into the dark space behind the towels. I sat down to wait and see what would happen.
There was not a single crab or fuss. I heard the tooth-clicking sound, and the soft hiss that always comes with it; and a couple of grooming sneezes. I saw the cloth swaying; every now and then a face would peek out, or a tail appear. At one point Kioko came to the top and tried to follow the door frame, but there was no where to go, so he went back down. I left them alone for a good half hour.
I brought the pouch over, and they all three ran right into it. Took them into the library and set the pouch down on the floor of Shikoni's cage; they all three came out. Kioko explored for a few minutes with the other two right behind him. Then Shikoni went into his nest; after a minute Kioko put his head in but waited, as if for an invitation. Again the clicking and soft hiss, then Kioko went all the way in! Washi soon joined them. I stayed just in case there was a fight, ready to destroy the nest if necessary to break it up. After about fifteen minutes Washi came out and went into a pouch. I looked into the nest; Kioko and Shikoni were curled up side be side, noses touching, eyes half-closed ... they're good friends already!
I believe that Washi acting as go-between made these two ready to accept each other. When he came to visit, he had Kioko's scent with him; and when he went home, he had Shikoni's scent. Both associated the scent of the other with their mutual friend, and so there was no trouble.
They've been together for an hour and a half now, from the first face-to-face to sleeping together. Dinner time will be the next challenge; I'll have two feeding stations set up and stay until they get it all sorted out.
If this works for twenty-four hours, I'll take the other cage to the basement and just have one, plus my small hospital cage. Then I can get a tent!
Feb 10, 2009
Yesterday evening I put Washi in with Shikoni. The boys were playing on the wheel, eating together and generally just having fun. Kioko slept late, when I went in to check on them at about 7:30 he was awake but moving very sluggishly. He had eaten just a few glider bites of a piece of chicken. He went and hid behind the wheel. He wasn't the least bit his usual perky, sassy self. I offered him a mealie, which he accepted, and while he was eating I got Washi back into their cage. He didn't seem to notice; I went to the back of the cage and tickled his feet until he got annoyed and moved away from the back wall, and when he saw Washi he immediately ran over and started washing his face! He was lonely!!! Now I KNOW they get depressed; he hadn't been up even half an hour, but he saw his brother and life-long companion in the other cage with the other glider, and it made him sad! Poor baby! I felt so bad ... They started running and playing, everything was okay once he had his brother back.
About half an hour later, I heard loud, persistent barking from the library. I went to check it out: Shikoni had gotten his cage door unlatched and was on the outside of the other cage, yelling his head off! He ran and jumped all over the outside, while Washi did the same inside. Kioko just watched all the excitement. I had to get a mealie to lure Shikoni back to me so I could put him away. Twist-tied the door shut for the night.
Now this morning when I let Washi play with Shikoni, Kioko was fine. Maybe he knew Washi would be coming back?
I cooked chicken breast in apple juice, then cut it up into chunks and froze them. Domino asked for some, but turned his nose up when I put it into his bowl. I guess cats don't like apple juice! Anyway, the boys love it. Sprinkled the chicken with sesame seeds, celery and frozen strawberries. Everyone ate everything, there was half a strawberry in Shikoni's dish and about six celery slices in the brothers' dish. I like my clean platers, they leave just enough that I know they got full.
Right now (6:30) Washi and Shikoni are together. Kioko is eating his dinner. And all's peaceful in Gliderland.
Feb 9, 2009
Monday 2/9: Success at last!
Keeping on with introduction of Washi and Shikoni. For the last week there has been no fighting, but they had essentially been ignoring each other. This morning:
Getting Washi into the second pouch proved to be a great challenge. He just wouldn't go in, he was running around all over the outside of his cage and even leapt over to Shikoni's cage. When I finally got him he fought me and bit savagely! I basically shoved him into the pouch, got Shikoni out (he's always willing) and off we went.
Once in the bathroom, Shikoni made immediately for the door which is his playground. Washi however stayed on my shoulders, wouldn't get off me for anything. Shikoni kept coming back and then running off again. Finally after about ten minutes Washi crept onto the towel and disappeared into the folds. Shikoni was already there. They stayed there for at least forty-five minutes, I could see the cloth shaking as they moved around. I tried to leave them alone, but every now and then I would peek in and see them close together, sniffing at each other, possibly grooming though I didn't bring them out into the light to make sure. The only noises I heard were the clicking and small chirps.
Well, at about 4:20 my cat started really fussing, he needed his breakfast and then outside! now! so I managed to get Washi into the pouch again without getting bit; Shikoni immediately followed. The only previous time they had been in a pouch together it led to a fight instantly; not today! I took them into their room and opened Shikoni's cage, he jumped in and Washi was right behind him. I stayed and watched; Washi went exploring with Shikoni right behind him. They visited the water dish together! I took care of Domino, poor patient kitty, and went back into the room. Turned on the lamp for light, they're running around and playing. I've left them in there, it's been over half an hour now and there's been not one single fussing sound. I just went and checked; they're in the pouch together!
I'll give them a little while and then get Washi back into the cage with Kioko. Don't want Kioko to suffer separation anxiety. I'll keep up with Washi and Shikoni every morning, giving them play time probably in Shikoni's cage, then put Washi back with his brother.
Next Sunday when I have unlimited morning time I'll start bringing Kioko into the mix, starting in the bathroom again. It'll be a Sunday and Monday thing until they are all three getting along well; but it looks like we're on the way of having an all-male colony of three.
Feb 3, 2009
I got the boys together again this morning. Today I skipped the tub completely and had them on my lap when I opened pouches. They both came out slowly and met in the middle. Sniffing and some moving around, though very slowly; they stayed within a few inches of each other and almost always nose-to-nose. After a few minutes, both on my right leg, Shikoni started grooming Washi. Again, very slowly, almost hesitantly; at one point Shikoni took a toe of Washi's left foot into his mouth and just held it for about ten or fifteen seconds, until Washi pulled it away. Shikoni was marking Washi with his chest gland, and trying really hard to push his head under Washi. Washi was very passive though he did return some of the grooming activity, kind of nibbling and licking Shikoni; and would not allow him to put his head under.
They stayed on me for about twenty minutes, after I stood they moved around, still keeping within a few inches of each other. Then Shikoni jumped down and ran to the door, up the robe belt and peeked out; Washi didn't follow. I think Shikoni was disappointed; he came back and ran off two more times. It was as if he was saying, come on, let's play. Didn't happen. When Shikoni made for his pouch, I got Washi into his also and took them home.
I was curious to see how Kioko would react to Shikoni's scent on his brother. There was really no reaction. Kioko was awake and running around the cage. When I opened the door to put Washi in, he came scurrying immediately, sniffed a couple of times and then wanted his treat. I gave everyone a yoggie. When I went to hang Shikoni's pouch he jumped out onto the floor, and ran under his cage. I closed the room door immediately, finished hanging the pouch and got a mealie. He came right over, of course, and I got him put away.
Right now everyone's tucked away in pouches and barking. I hope they're saying, Hi, neighbor!
Feb 2, 2009
Monday 2/2 Intros: big step today
I've been pursuing the introduction of Washi to Shikoni. There hasn't been much progress; they had quit the serious fighting but wouldn't have anything else to do with each other. Both boys seemed quite distressed and I didn't let the sessions last more than ten minutes, partly because of that and partly because of my morning time constraints.
This morning everything went differently. I put Washi into a clean pouch and took Shikoni's nest. I put them in the tub as usual, with a towel down. They sniffed, and spat and hissed, but no contact. Then they BOTH jumped up onto my arm! I stood; they climbed around on me up and down, back and forth; every time they came face-to-face they would stop and sniff, but no hostilities. Both ended up on the floor; Washi went under the sink and Shikoni stayed outside that area; they were face-to-face again. Shikoni sniffed all over Washi's head scent gland, while Washi crouched down and let him. His ears were laid down and he seemed totally submissive.
Then Shikoni ran for the door and up the bathrobe belt. Washi followed him; it took him a minute to figure out the route (he was jumping at the door itself, then turned around and saw this convenient vine). Up he went too, and they both disappeared into the folds of the towel. All was perfectly quiet; I could occasionally see the towel shake, but that was it. After about ten minutes I peeked; they were right next to each other, kind of snuggled up head to tail, tummies together,and both wide awake.
I held the pouch up for Washi to climb into. He hurried in, and Shikoni followed! They settled in, then after just a minute I heard them fussing. I let it be for a couple of minutes, and when it didn't let up I took Shikoni out and put him into his nest. Both back to their cages, where a mealworm awaited.
I don't think they're ready to sleep together yet. But I do think I'll have to get up earlier to continue with this, every day, giving them more time and more room. I had been trying to keep them confined to the tub as a neutral and confined area, but they did lots better with the whole room to run around in. Once they're doing well I'll have to start with Kioko. I won't separate Washi and Kioko yet, as they've always been together; but I am so ready to eliminate one cage altogether. I will allow Washi and Shikoni more play time together and soon put them into the same cage for an hour or so every evening.
When I start introducing Kioko I will do it one-on-one for a while, then try bringing all three together. That may be the more successful strategy, but I don't want them to gang up on Shikoni. My main goal is that no one get hurt.
Jan 27, 2009
Tuesday 1/27: intro problems
I've been trying to get Washi and Shikoni together. It's getting kind of frustrating.
I put a towel in the bathtub, and then both boys. I have to carry them in pouches, so those are in the room with us. What happens is, as soon as they see each other they ball up. Shikoni is usually the aggressor in this first encounter. The last few times I've let them go at it, it usually lasts about fifteen to twenty seconds and then they break apart. So far no one has gotten hurt, for which I'm grateful. Once they break apart there are no more confrontations. Washi will typically hide under the towel, tunneling around and coming out from time to time, then back under. Shikoni jumps onto me. I'm right there sitting on the floor beside the tub. I put him back; he marks the towel on the spot where Washi is and then jumps back onto me. I try to leave them in there for fifteen minutes, but Shikoni is getting more distressed the whole time, I can see it. Washi is also pretty upset, he just doesn't know how to handle the situation. Shikoni aims for his pouch, he just wants in there; he can see it from where we are sitting. I've tried hiding it but there just isn't a place; if I leave the pouches in the sink, he finds them; he's even gone up my sleeve.
I haven't even tried to get Shikoni with Kioko; he's bigger and also the more aggressive of the two brothers. My thinking is that if I get him together with Washi it will make Kioko more likely to accept him.
Right now I feel like it will never happen. Granted, there have been some small signs of improvement: the first time I put them face-to-face there were three fights within about two minutes, at which point I was afraid someone would be injured so I stopped the whole thing. Now they'll go maybe ten or twelve minutes after the first fight; but it seems to be upsetting to both of them. I don't know if I should just stand back far enough that Shikoni can't see me; close the shower curtain to keep them in the tub and let the chips fall where they may; I almost feel like giving up. I won't, but I'm pretty discouraged at this moment. I guess I'll see what happens tomorrow.
Member since: Oct 29, 2008
Posts: 2962 View my pictures! I'm on the map!
I work in horticulture for a good-sized city, so any gardening -- I love to read and work HARD crosswords -- also draw and paint.
Kioko and Washi came to live with me on 11/23/08: five-year old brothers. As of February '09, we're having great luck with bringing them all together into one happy little colony.
1) ...I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center. ... Big, undreamed-of things --- the people on the edge see them first.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Player Piano"
2) Beauty fades, dumb is forever -- Judge Judy, almost daily
Very old, b. 1957 in New Martinsville, WVa. Live in Central Texas now. I'm Mother to Ophelia, a 4-foot ball python; Domino, a regular cat; and Shikoni, Washi and Kioko, three lively gliders; and Step-Mother to Mike, a 13-year old former stray yellow shepherd. We and other humans all live together in quite surprising harmony.