Now back to what I rather prefer to write.
Just on my birdie and my kitties.
I needed to get a suitable treat for Oberon. You all know that is so important for the next stage of clicker training. You have seen in the last report that when given the mash and the meal worms, Oberon chose the mash.
So I thought I should increase the enticement of meal worms to Oberon. I set up the foraging points as you have seen for Libai. And placed meal worms in them. I found from Riamfada that stuff she normally would not eat such as chicken bones, she would eat that when I placed in foraging points. Perhaps it was the foraging and the randomness of the placing that made those more exciting and hence, more fun and delicious.
At least that was what I hoped for. That Oberon would be enticed into liking and loving the mealworms. I needed to move about more in the flight room in the loading and priming of those foraging points. Which I thought would get Oberon more used to my moving about. After all, it was all for him and for his good too.
After those were placed, I was delighted to see Oberon flying to those places and enjoying the meal worms.
Videos said it better. And you can also see the wobbiness I induced in the perches. Accidently done by me. In last report, you seen I created a new perch on top of the cat cage to try to save Oberon from mangling his tail. That perch was actually a counter weight tied to those thin perch so they do not sway about that much. And with the counterweight gone, they swayed alarmingly. But Oberon seemed not to mind.
Oberon on very wobbly perch foraging mealworms
Oberon on end of very wobbly perch foraging mealworms
Oberon foraging at door
Oberon foraging at feeding perch
I did that for a couple of days, in addition to being the mash bowl holder for Oberon. I noticed Oberon ate a bit less mash, at about 22-24 grams. The latest kitty/Libai mash was made a bit more dense. With more beans and cereals and mince as the last batch was a bit more liquid then I liked. So perhaps Oberon was more self regulating than Libai who was a pig.
Still, I felt that perhaps my holding of the mash bowl might discouraged Oberon from eating as much as he should be eating. I had to test that. For a couple of days, I placed the mash bowl in his flight room, so that Oberon could eat all he wanted in case I was disturbing him too much.
I was delighted to find in that couple of days free feeding, Oberon ate 25-26 grams of the Oberon mash. So my holding of the bowl was not too big a factor. Helped also when in the late afternoon, that bowl remained in his flight room for him to eat as he liked.
I then did another taste test for Oberon. I hold a bowl of meal worms and another bowl of Oberon mash together. With the relish he showed me in his foraging for meal worms, that perhaps he might choose the meal worms over the mash.
After the usual minute of hesitation, he flew to the hand with the mash and ate the mash! My enticement of him to like meal worms was in vain. I might have to buy crickets and test with those.
I ABSOLUTELY DRAW THE LINE AGAINST GETTING OF SURIS. I COULD TOLERATE MEAL WORMS ESCAPEES AND EVEN CRICKET ESCAPEES. NOT THE SURIS.
Those who do not know what suris are and have a morbid and puerile curiosity can find the link to suris at the end of this page.
At end of last report, I thought the trust building with Oberon was proceeding rather well. In that you could see him progressively coming nearer to me and getting onto my finger.
I did not know what really happened. Perhaps it was my moving about loading up foraging points with meal worms. Perhaps it was my testing if he was indeed eating less because of the new mash composition.
It all changed a day later. He decided to challenge me on my upping the ante.
I went into his flight room. After weighing the mash bowl and recording the weight, I sat on the arm chair holding the bowl in my hand and waited for him to fly to me. I waited 5 minutes. I waited 10 minutes. He remained on top of the cage above the cat cage. He did not even fly down to the perch.
I left the room with the mash bowl.
I went back inside an hour later. After ten minutes, he was still not flying down to my hand. I placed the mash on the perch. I got out a book to read. I thought he should fly to the perch next to me to eat the mash. After 20 minutes, he still remained on top of the top cage.
I left the flight room. To see him flying down to eat the mash.
I smiled. Perhaps he was challenging me. I like that kind of spirit. But that would be a challenge that he could not win. As I do not intend to challenge him in the first place. I liked to have his trust and friendship, and on his terms. That had to be independent of his feeding.
Oberon black was getting absolutely even more black. And his blue was getting richer. I thought I had to wait for molting. But I guessed his preening and preening was making his color that much better.
It would be so easy not to feed him if he did not want to land on my finger to eat from. If one day hunger was not enough, how about 2 days of hunger? How about 3 days of hunger? That can be such an insidious rationalization process. Where should one stop?
Should that even be started in the first place?
I learned from a similar bout of that kind of mental trickery on Riamfada. Riamfada taught me very well.
Getting Riam to do a flyabout// how sickening could I get?
I have no qualms in food management to get a birdie or beastie to stay within norms of healthy and proper weight as can be seen in Libai.
I was more than prepared to back down from my upping the ante. And go back to GO and not collect that $200. And start again from square 1.
And that was the case for today as well.
One thing I know, plans are like wishes. What you hope for and what you get will likely not be the same.
But that is life. You make along with what you do get.
And hope Oberon have a change of heart later.
In last report, I complained Sieben the gwaigwai shishi was not a lap cat. And being a lapcat was so important in the next stage of getting Sieben to accept Oberon.
A couple of days later, the answer was so obvious after I put that into words.
That I should turn Sieben into a lapcat.
After all, Dommie was screaming and kicking when I first brought him to the ocean. It was about 8-10 trips later that he accepted the beach and then into the water.
I could not keep whacking Sieben over the head, not on a continuous basis. I had no qualms and no regrets in that first whack of Sieben when he stalked Oberon again after that mad day when I nearly lost Oberon.
That primed Sieben very well. I need not hurl rolled up socks, notebooks and paperbacks at him. Sieben knew. When he came near Oberon, a shout of "SIEBEN! NO!" was enough to send him scurrying away.
I had to prepare for the times when I was not around, and lapse of attention placed Sieben and Oberon together. Violence repeatedly visited on a beastie will turn the beastie violent, and vicious as well. Violence begat more violence.
So I started to work on turning Sieben into a lap cat. I could not trust my eternal vigilance to remain eternal. I better make Sieben to accept Oberon as family in addition. And for that, Sieben had to be turned into a lap cat. So I could hold him on my lap when eventually we entered Oberon's flight room together.
The way that was done with Ivan and Libai.
As mentioned, Sieben would come readily to me. Earlier bouts of clicker training and small dried anchovies did that. A call of "sieben come", would see Sieben coming as against a shout of SIEBEN would see him running away.
So with him beside me, I showed him the pleasure of a tummy rub.
That being a lap cat could have perks.
And a back rub
He liked it enough to response.
Maybe videos will show it better.
A doink doink is a Chinese kind of massage ball on a stick and spring. The ball is made of hard plastic with spikes. It looked like the morning star that medieval warriors used to clobber each other on the head. I called that a doink doink from the noise it made when you use that to hit your arm or leg.
Sieben loved being whacked by that. I learned that from Ivan. For that matter, Dommie and Katie loved that doink doink too.
Sieben getting tummy rubs
Sieben getting back rubs and chin rubs
I felt short changed. Doing all that for Sieben.
Look at Ivan. Ivan was the best masseur of all my kitties. And there I was, massaging that Sieben instead.
Ivan treading on me
I mentioned Sieben would do figure of 8s not only about my ankles when I prepared the mash for he and Ivan. Sieben would do figure of 8 about my knee and thighs. I never figured how Sieben did that. But my wife shot some short videos of that.
Ivan is a true masochistic cat. He loved being whacked hard by that doink doink.
That was from years ago when we all were living in HongKong.
Ivan would curl around my ankle and scream and moan in delight.
What is your advice to me?
That I do not whack Ivan at all?
That I should be sadistic to Ivan? You heard of that saying?
The worse thing a sadist can do to a masochist is to do nothing at all!
And I do love my Ivan, my kittie of 18 years, and could I repay his wonderful treading and massaging of me by doing nothing to him?
Those of weak stomach should not watch!
And those that watch should watch it all, his returning to me to be doink doink and his obvious pleasure in that.
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 —
FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
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