shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum // Building trust & understanding with Oberon


Actually it was not funny at all. It is downright depressing.
What I am about to write might well turn your stomach.

So if you have a good day, and want to keep it good, skip right pass this.
And if you have a bad day, and enough of bad news on TV, skip right pass this.
If you are a child, be happy and do not read this. Skip right pass this.

Page down until you see photos of Oberon and read and enjoy the

Building trust & understanding with Oberon

Now for that not-so-funny thing on the way to the forum.

You all know that I write more or less in real time. I wrote that raw and un-sanitised. The fun and happiness that I had, the mistakes and near mistakes that happened and lessons learned from that which might helped others.

And I have been doing that in one way or another for the last 10 years. My life with birdies and beasties must be about the best documented records you can find on the internet. I need not have to say to you as to my regards to beasties or birdies as you must have read enough to judge for yourself.

You know I write tongue in cheek and poke fun at myself and my creatures not excluding my wife. With the world being a depressing place of murder, grand thefts, gloom and doom, I want to exercise my right and poetic license in bringing a smile to all of you. I talked of my kitties having 9 lifes and losing them in living with me. Of my grapping of Dommie and Katie and tossing them screaming & kicking out of the house by the scruff of their scrawny necks and by the root of their tails.

And how many times I have talked of wanting to wring the scrawny necks of Tinkerbell, Riamfada, Yingshiong and Libai? Probably enough to make you all cringe.

I confessed too, to being the guy who had to do the job each time and all the time when the live chickens and goat need to be prepared for the BBQ. From the time long long ago where we camp for days on island with no fridge and fresh meat came alive until the time. Was extremely shocking and disturbing to those who thought chicken came in packs of drumsticks or wrapped in clingwrap and lambchops came nicely packaged in supermarkets.

Not that I loved to do that. But that always seemed to fall on me.

When Cyrus koi had terminal tumours, I was the one who walked that koi to a place free from pain. Cyrus could not do it having lived and known that koi for 15 years.

Do I have to defend myself against cruelty and viciousness against beasties and birdies? If you think I do, you are wasting your time reading what I write. Talk of how much you care and feel is cheap. Words meant for public comsumption and for posturing. If my reports of my walking the walk cannot speak for itself, will any more words I write matter at all?

You all know my reports were sent to various forums in many different languages.
I do that to get feedbacks, to expand on certain issues that I might have glossed over. I gained as much insight from comments of beginners as from those with experiences as vast if not more than mine.

I like compliments. Who do not like that? But if it did not come, it did not matter to me. Some reports might hit the gut so much and provoked thoughts that few might want to comment.

I like questions, that help me to shine light on areas I might have glossed over.

Attacks on myself? I normally do not care. And interestingly enough, others who might have lurked all the time stepped in to speak for me with gusto. I always have been touched by that. And by moderators stepping in too.

This write up stemmed from the last report
Sieben lost his life // A crack in the ice

Almost all of you enjoyed that report.

Except for one, and in a particular forum.
An entity calling herself dodo who has a CAG named Basil joined that forum at about end June 2011.

I even joked on in a French forum , and later in that forum,



In China, cats have 9 lifes too.
If you keep Italian or Spanish cats, you must be more careful as the cats there have 7 lifes.
And if you are in the Arabic or Turkish world, you must be even more careful as
their cats have only 6 lifes.

Sieben now has only 7 lifes left.
He is lucky to be a Chinese cat.



dodo wrote in public to express her outrage of my treatment of Sieben, and what I did was nothing she found funny about.

People who write to me in forum, or I find interest in, I always checked back and read all their earlier postings to find their background. It was so easy to check.

Basil would chomped her and her SO and nailed them. From the time they had her.
She wrote the former owner wanted to see Basil and proudly declared she would not and her SO will give him a black eye, for crimes that she wrote about about that former owner.

She wrote too of people that sponged on her. And complained of the cost of parrot kipples and dog kipples.

I normally try to find the answer before I asked a question. I knew all that when I asked her in that thread I started about her background and what she did so well to stand as epitome of justice for creatures.

She , being the emotionally dysfunctional drama queen then wrote publicly again into my thread she got no respect for me what so ever.

I then wrote


My record with beasties and birdies stretched back for ten years and not many others would have documented what was done to the extent that I have. Much of that in real time at the time it happened.

It is so easy to say ohhh I love my birds and will do anything for them and treat them with courtesy and respect, but my bird kept biting and biting me as in another forum.

I checked and asked her if she love her bird so much, why then did she clipped the wings. She responded in an icy way that what she did in cutting the wings was none of my business and I was not to comment on her.

It was clear enough her words were conditional. Written more for the audience.
The best way to teach a righteous fool is to let the fool do it her way, even if that would be sad on the bird.

I have no clue about writing politically correct, or socially correct, or even grammatically correct stuff or stuff for the audience.
I write for the fun, for myself , and for those who care to read.

For the innuendo of cruelty on me, for what was tongue in cheek, and with even a photo of the guilty notebook to show the size of that notebook, what more can I say.

My birds and beasties got to live together. And it is their staying alive and well together that is paramount.
Which you have seen from the early days of Tinkerbell and HT and Zorro, to Riam and the kitties, and Libai and Ivan.

If people want to deliberately chose to be vicious to me by picking on me, strange that my beasties and birdies do for me things beyond their wildest fantasies.

How many will be able to take cats for walks on mountains without leash?
Any of you all can call a cat to join you into walking into the ocean together?
Or to allow your birdie to fly unleashed into the sky and coming back to you?

For the outraged cry of horror at the treatment I mete to my birdies and beasties, kind of strange I do not get deliberately chomped or clawed at by them in all these times . Unlike what I read your grey is doing to you.

And Sieben still run to me whenever I call him by name. And Sieben still purred into my ears each night until I chucked him off my bed. And Sieben still do his crazy figure of 8s around my ankles and knee and thigh ( one day I got to take video ) each evening when I fixed his mash.

I guess perhaps you might even want to say I whacked so much brain cells from his head that he became stupid.

But again, it is so easy to look for warts. And if warts are not there, even easier to a vicious mind, especially a mind that do not know how or when to laugh, to create the warts.

Dodo, dream on if you think your respect matters to me or anyone here or I need your respect.


What she publicly wrote back I did not know. But it was bad enough for a moderator there to delete and publicly censor.

Dodo , being the drama queen, wrote a public goodbye to one and all because of that censor. In so many forums, no public goodbyes would be tolerated. In that forum that called for even more drama. No less than moderator Jules went into that goodbye wringing her/his hand begging drama queen dodo to stay. Moderator Vitrolm went in begging her to stay.

With the drama not yet milked to its end, dodo resurrected herself from her goodbye to come into my thread extracting the portion in last report on my whacking Sieben over the head. That as long as she breathed, she would not remain silent over any cruelty. And yes! how she cooked for her bird and doggies. Not realising that she publicly earlier wrote grumbling over the cost of kipples that she bought for her CAG and doggies.

You all know I cooked for my birdies and kitties over the years. You have seen enough of the photos documenting all that again and again. My apologies for not taking videos. And yes, batch x of kitty/libai mash was made at the time of that last report. I did not bothered to mention that but you knew I was running low of kitty mash as at earlier report.

What else will be new? Folks that lie will never be able to keep consistency in what they write. What else she lied about. Maybe everything else. Not that I cared. How many times must a person lie to you before you stop believing? For me, once is enough.

Not a person in that forum spoke for me. Moderator feika even went into that thread to wring his hand over her bravery in being the drama queen. My years of writing there were so insignificant in comparison. My publicly being trashed by a drama queen was a show in that forum to be enjoyed by moderators?

Karine, a so called wise grey owl stepped in to speak saccharine words and kicking my shin for not remaining silent when drama queen chose to speak her mind.

Why the moderators and wise grey owl decided drama queen to be an endangered specy to be protected is indeed their right. Maybe they declaring open season on me. That I mattered a lot less than any drama queen. That no less than moderators and wise grey owls will step in to hold the burning cross of drama queen while she got into the business of publicly tarring and feathering me?

I was not without friends there. I felt it futile to write to feed the drama queen dancing on her soapbox with the moderators there.

There was a global moderator there. I wrote to her to delete my account. Which would delete all my threads and postings there. She tried to persuade me to stay. She knew also of the earlier incident of public gloating over the loss of Tinkerbell. She knew also not a single member spoke for me.

My account got deleted as I requested, and all my postings there went into a black hole.

I never will go back to that forum again. Why should I?
That forum got what they wanted. No more of me or any of my posts.

There are so many other better forums and roses to smell.

With life so short, I want to max my enjoyment and min aggro to myself and anyone else.

If I was asked why did I hit Sieben, the answer will be very different. I wrote on so many things that I had to gloss over why. My writing tongue in cheek did not help.

The responsibility on keeping Oberon alive is mine and mine alone. And what about when Oberon graduated? How will he fly in the apartment, after I totally secure flight perimeter, with Sieben stalking Oberon?

That together with how I read my beasties and my gut feel which worked well over the years. Not one solution will work in all cases all the time. Different solutions must be tried.

Even so, I might have to decide free flight for Oberon is not possible with Sieben. Sieben might have to be locked up in a room first as happened with Yingshiong and Ivan 5 years ago.

Ivan was 18 years old or so now, laid back, and a lap cat. Ivan was very intelligent too, able to know what is family even if he is a killer cat. I could take him into LiBai flight room and he remained on my lap, assisted by my death grip on him until he relaxed and accepted Libai. Ivan , after a couple days of curiosity, showed no stalking of Oberon.

Sieben was not a lap cat and would not remain on lap and would forced his way out of my grip. Sieben was hyper active one year old kitten and supreme athlete of an Abyssinian. What I did with Ivan was not possible with Sieben.

What if accidents happened and Oberon flew in the apartment? and Sieben not locked up? At least Sieben know even stalking of Oberon is a terrible crime and totally disallowed by me.

I realised the fault in the incident of Oberon/Sieben was mine. You seen the photos of how Sieben crouched on back of sofa chair in stalking attack mode. I should have nipped that in the bud. But thinking Oberon remained safe, I did not do anything.

When Oberon was back in the flight room after that near escape, Sieben was on that sofa chair crouched in attack mode, shivering away in excitemment, that Oberon was still a prey/plaything for him. Sieben treated the entire episode from the chase , to the catching of Oberon as a game. I saw he was continuing with the game which will spell enormous danger to Oberon. When he was still excited and crouching for a pounce, I had to hit Sieben over the head with that notebook. I felt that shock of that will show Sieben that stalking and planning attack on Oberon was not a game anymore.

I already established good relationships with Sieben. Being equal, I cannot bend over backwards to accomodate bad behaviour as I wrote over and over again. Line in the sand must be drawn and made known very clearly. Birds, being empaths, will be much easier as mental flaring of anger and words will let them know.

Kitties are tougher, a reprimanding smack is nothing to them.

Over the last week, my own on the spot gut instinct was correct. Sieben never went to that stalking mode with Oberon from the point of whack on his head. Sieben would come to me when called, or come to me when not called.

Sieben never stalked Oberon on the chair or from the floor or from elsewhere anymore. And any show of attack mode from Sieben to Oberon will get immediate response from me. I have enough rolled up socks to throw, notebooks to smack with and paperbacks to hurl at Sieben to refresh his memory, no apologies to any drama queen.

No amount of drama queens, even with supporting cast of moderators , will stop me from my over riding and paramount priority of keeping my birdie and beasties safe and well, together.


More photos in Flickr folder Oberon -Building of trust and understanding

Building trust & understanding with Oberon



With that breaking of ice when Oberon started to accept me in his flight room and eating his meals, it became easier. With the latest batch of kitty/libai mash, I kneaded Oberon mash with equal amount of kitty mash. I needed the Oberon mash to be more energy and protein rich as he probably be taking a bit less of the mash with the condition he eat the mash in my presence.

He ate about 30 grams so he was not going to starve. Since the new Oberon mash had more energy and protein, I was not going to lose sleep on this.

The next day, he flew down more readily to the table to eat the mash. I changed the position of the bowl to be nearer me on that table. Still he waited 4 minutes before he condescended to fly to the table and not the 5 minutes the day before. I am thankful for small tiny steps. This building of trust and understanding is essential to me. Only with his acceptance of me can I move on to the next step.

Clicker training is only a component. Without the trust and understanding in the first place, there will be no foundation to then build the clicker training on.

I noticed his preliminary resting on top of cage was ruining his tail which was ragged to start with.


I fixed a perch so he could perch there with tail clear of top of cage. Later I extended the perch with a convenient round center of paper hand towel. The perches I fixed will never win any prize for beauty and elegance. Heck! it worked and thats all that truly matter.


From sitting and making my body as small as possible to avoid scaring Oberon, I then took to extending my legs. And making small slow moves to get Oberon used to me.


Then in the next day, the ante was upped yet again. The bowl of mash was placed on the perch next to my arm chair. Oberon waited about 5 minutes. He found eating near me did not make him disappear into a black hole. Any movements I made to Oberon would spook him to flying off to the top of his cage


And in the next day, the bowl was moved nearer to me on that perch.

I ran out of crushed wheat. So I substituted uncooked noodles made of wheat. Broken into small bits. That came out like little worms after the cooking. Oberon went for the noodles. I thought perhaps he might like real meal worms. I would need that later for clicker training and click and treat.


I then up the ante yet again. The bowl was on the chair, with a conveniet wooden block there as a perch. It took him time. But he flew down to eat the mash.




In all those events, around the end of the day the mash got left on the perch as I got to do other things and not spend my life sitting in his flight room. His mash eating stabilised at about 30 grams each day.

As you knew from Libai, the next day the chair came nearer to me.



And the mash still tasted good even when eaten so near me.

His behaviour changed. He used to fly in a frenzy when I entered the room. He now watched me as I had my breakfast. And when I moved into his room, he would fly a long ellipse, near the window before relanding on top of his cage. Watching me weighing the mash, recording the weight, and then coming to feed a few minutes later.

I bought meal worms on last Sunday. And in the photos below, he was offered mealworms and mash. To my surprise, Oberon chose the mash and not the meal worms.



This will make clicker training to be difficult. I was hoping he preferred the meal worms as Oberon is also an insectivore. Mash would be his staple and should be his staple.
I readily will withhold treats. I could not withold his staple as my first obligation is to make sure he ate well and remain healthy. To make mash less appetizing to Oberon is not an option either.

The ante was upped the next day. The bowl was in my hand. He got to eat the mash in the bowl hold by me. After glaring at me, he did just that.



I then up the ante again the following day. The bowl was in my hand. He hopped on the chair as if puzzled why the bowl was not there. What he did then surprised me. He hopped under my hand and bite my finger.

I was delighted! Operon was feisty and he did not like the latest upping of the ante. And he showed he lost his fear of me, and able to tell me in his way he did not like my not placing the mash bowl there.

I gave a silent laughter. That he wanted the mash bowl on the chair. I felt if he was feisty enough to give me 2 to 3 bites, he could be feisty enough to hop on my finger. In a few minutes, he did just that.



And on the next day too.

With no chair as intermediate hop from. He flew to me from the table.



He waited about 5 minutes before he flew to me. It was not always an upping of ante. I would go in and place the mash bowl on the perch. Instead of waiting 4-6 mintues as before when we started, Oberon would fly to the perch to eat the mash immediately.

I think that trust and understanding is likely possible with Oberon. Even if he remained a wild bird.

More photos in Flickr folder Oberon -Building of trust and understanding

LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""

if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —



Read Riamfada free flights in villa // And around neighbourhood for explicit details

If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice

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