Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Moving Day

Today we moved Virga and Cirrus into the same room as CB and Foehn. We ordered a new wheel for the ladies and it arrived on Monday. However, I had to finish fabricating the mounting bracket for the side of the cage and that was ready to go tonight.  Their cages are about 8 feet apart, so they aren't really that close. However, it should definitely get interesting when they are all up and active tonight. I suspect we will hear some barking. Right now all is quiet here in the "glider room".  Cirrus was in her new wheel a few minutes ago. Virga hasn't quite figured out how to get in it yet. Foehn was taking a spin in theirs after I put them in the cage after some time in the tent, but since the light is on awhile I'm typing this all four of them are taking a snooze. Virga and Cirrus spent much of the day sleeping in a fleece blanket at the bottom of their cage and not in a pouch for some reason, and that's where they are now.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Somebody is Out There...

About 5:30 on Saturday morning we woke up to barking. This went on for about an hour, and I decided to get up and give CB & Foehn their morning treat. When I stepped out in to the kitchen, it was clear the barking was coming from both cages. First Virga or Cirrus would bark, and then a response would come from CB & Foehn. This is the second time this has occurred that we know of.  The barking subsided once they all heard me in the kitchen. When I went to give Foehn and CB their morning treat, I found them glued to the back of their cage. Normally, when I walk in the room they are all excited and waiting for me to open the door and let them on my lap for their treat. On Saturday they just hung on the back of the cage not moving.. After a few minutes CB headed for their sleeping pouch, and Foehn eventually worked her way over to me. This was the same behavior they exhibited last time the barking between cages occurred. It seems CB & Foehn both might have been a little bothered over the fact they were getting a response to their barking and weren't quite sure what to make of it.

Our bonding with Virga and Cirrus seems to be going well.  M usually spends sometime with them in the afternoon, and I've had them in the tent twice the last few days. They seem to really enjoy being able to climb and jump around the tent. They spend a lot of time jumping on me, and tonight Virga was grooming the back of my neck. Although they don't seem too afraid in the tent, they still tend to be a little skittish in the cage. Cirrus still crabs at us when we check on them while they are in the their sleeping pouch, but it seems to be more halfhearted each day and more for effect than anything else.

The next stage, which we will try to do soon, is move their cages into the same room. Both pairs know the other pair is somewhere nearby. It will be interesting to see how they react when they can see each other. That should tell us a lot about if, or how well and how long it might take for them to accept each other.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Who Are Those Strangers?

We are slowly getting into a routine with four gliders in two cages.This past weekend we moved the cage for Cirrus and Virga into the family room where they can get used to the normal traffic and noises in the house. Foehn and CB are in my office, so the cages are in separate rooms but only about 25 feet apart. This morning when I got up for work I heard some barking and figured it was from either Cirrus or Virga. However when I walked out into the kitchen I heard first a bark from Cirrus' and Virga's cage, and then a response from my office!  This happened a couple of times until I turned on the kitchen light and the ladies retreated to their pouch.   When I entered the office CB and Foehn weren't their usual enthusiastic selves and were hanging on the back of the cage. I think they were preoccupied trying to figure out where the response barking was coming from. They did not run to the door and on to my lap like they usually do now in the morning. CB headed to their pouch and turned in, but eventually Foehn made her way out to me for a few licks of yogurt. So, if they weren't sure before, they all know there are other gliders around.

M had Cirrus and Virga in the bathroom again today for some free time.She managed to get a photo of Cirrus climbing the pedestal of the sink. There is nothing for them to grip with their nails, so they are just using pressure and their padded feet to hold on. We still find it hard to believe they can hold on like this on to what is essentially glass.

Cirrus and Virga got into a tussle today during their free time. Cirrus was digging around the edge of a towel that was on the floor and Virga came over to check it out. Cirrus pounced on her and they started on each other. This wasn't the playful wrestling that CB and Foehn get into, and M broke it up before anyone got hurt. It's a new side to Cirrus (she's the small one) that we hadn't seen yet. Once back in their cage, Cirrus went into one of the two sleeping pouches they have. Virga followed, then thought better of it and went to sleep in the other pouch. Apparently she felt it was best to leave Cirrus alone for awhile! We're hoping their tussle was an anomaly, or it will present some problems when we eventually try to introduce them to Foehn and CB.

This evening M got Foehn and CB out of their sleeping pouch for their snack and some running around time. They both must have detected the smell of Cirrus and Virga on M, because they were very tentative about climbing on her. Even after they settled into their bonding pouch for the evening, Foehn was awake and seemed to be keeping a wary eye on M.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

An Active Day for Two Middle Age Ladies

Since M had a successful time with Virga and Cirrus in the bathroom yesterday, we decided to give it a try again today since I was home and we could both be in there with them. Once they were coaxed/bribed out of their sleeping pouch with meal worms and a few licks of yogurt, both Virga and Cirrus were non-stop balls of fur. They climbed over and on both M and I without signs of fear. However, this is still a new situation for them and they certainly don't trust us completely (Cirrus' crabbing reminds us of that), but we are surprised at how much they do. Climbing on us is a big thing trust-wise, and they even hold still and let us pet them without running or trying to nip our fingers.

One thing was clear in the 30 minutes we had them in the bathroom - they love to climb! I'm not just talking about climbing on us, but on everything, and trying to climb higher and higher. There is not much in this small bathroom, just a pedestal sink and a toilet. The last thing I thought I would see is a sugar glider climbing a smooth glass object, but there was Cirrus shinnying up the porcelain pedestal of the sink!  She is also rather adventurous. She had climbed on my shoulder and then jumped from there to the sink (a distance of about a foot). She then made her way on to the faucet, and jumped from there to a towel on the towel ring on the wall. I then noticed she was scanning above looking for her next target. I'm not sure what the target was. The light fixture above the sink might have been what caught her attention, but there was no way she was going to make that jump. Well, before I could get to her she tried, and she didn't make it. Fortunately, Cirrus caught herself on the towel and broke her fall. I offered her my hand (with a piece of fleece in it). She climbed in and I let her down to the floor. Not long after, Virga followed the same path and I had to rescue her, too. Cirrus, in particular, seems to really like to climb. She climbed up to the toilet seat using the water line, then jumped to the top of the tank, then to the top of the tissue box that was sitting there.  From that perch she was still looking for someplace higher to climb. I'm looking forward to the time when we can have them in the tent.

Virga (left) and Cirrus (right). I wanted to get a photo of them side by side, but they were pretty frisky this afternoon and wouldn't hold still long enough. Even so, Cirrus' smaller size is apparent in the photo. They also seem to be somewhat darker colored than CB and Foehn.

Friday, March 19, 2010

We're Crazy, but It's Fun!

Well, today was the first day we had Cirrus and Virga out of their cage. They had a vet appointment and needed to be transferred to their bonding pouch for the trip. I took them out of the cage in their sleeping pouch and we went into the 1/2 bath and set them loose. I had a supply of meal worms and peach yogurt ready to appease them should this prove a bit traumatic for them (and me). First one out was Virga. She ate a couple of  meal worms and then jumped on my shoulder. I was amazed! I do not get to do tent time because of my arthritis, so this was a new experience for me. I envied Berg. But, then, she jumped on top of my head! How cool is that, she trusts me enough to actually go to the top of my head! Meanwhile, our little Cirrus was busy eying the crack at the bottom of the door figuring out if she could squeeze under it. She could have, but was easily redirected with some meal worms and yogurt.

She also jumped onto my shoulder and then my head. Virga attempted to jump from my head to the bead board wall, which ended with a splat, then a slide down to the floor. She then noticed the pedestal sink and proceeded to climb the pedestal! How she could grip the 6 inch diameter of that porcelain pedestal and climb up is beyond my comprehension! But, not to be out done, Cirrus quickly followed suit and was shimming up the pedestal! Then, it was off to check the door out, and then... She discovered how to climb up the toilet! She shimmied up the hose, grabbed the top of the toilet, and up she went! I am so excited that it seems we will be able to bond so well with these two!

The vet visit went well. No parasites causing Cirrus to be so thin, she actually gained a gram, as did Virga. Cirrus does seem to have an abrasion on her hind thumb which we will have to keep an eye on, but, otherwise, they are in good health! They were very good for the vet, only crabbed a little.  We are now in the process of deciding how to spend equal time with them and how to introduce them to Foehn and CB, since Berg has decided to finally redo the floor in his office and Foehn and CB will be moving again when he does that. So many changes in such a short period of time...for all of us....

Just one more thing. When we decided to adopt Virga and Cirrus, I asked Berg if we were crazy... He replied, "Yeah, probably, but it's fun!" Yeah, it is!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Aunts

M refers to the gliders we adopted two days ago as the "aunts".  They are both about 7 years old and sisters. (Foehn and CB are only 10 months old.)  I haven't seen much of the "aunts" in the two days we've had them as they have been sleeping when I have come out in the morning, and still sleeping when I've gone to bed. They have something of an odd schedule, as they have been active through late morning the last two days.

We've named these girls Virga and Cirrus. Their previous owner had them checked by their vet just before we picked them up, and the vet indicated they were "bright, alert, and in good health". The most striking thing about them was the difference in their weights.  Virga is 80 grams, about the same as Foehn and CB.  Cirrus, however, is just shy of 60 grams and is a  little glider and one of the reasons we named her after the thin, wispy cirrus clouds. From our brief observations it appears that Virga is a little food dominant and may be why Cirrus is underweight. The other night I gave a small carrot stick to Cirrus and Virga swiped it from her within a few seconds. Cirrus seemed resigned to this. (Foehn will take something from CB but he will turn around and try to take it right back). We've seen a few other signs of Virga's "me first" attitude when it comes to food. There may be hope for Cirrus, though. M was feeding them both some meal worms today and had given one to Cirrus. Virga came over like she was going to take it, but Cirrus turned away from her as of to say "You're not getting mine!" and finished her treat. We are taking both of them to our vet this week for a baseline visit and to make sure that nothing else might be going on with Cirrus. We're pretty confident her low weight is her sister's food dominance. It's likely that has been going on for some time and otherwise they both have been healthy.

No photos yet of our new additions, but I hope to have something to post in a day or two.

Monday, March 15, 2010

2+2 = 4

Foehn and CB are curled up asleep inside my shirt, so I thought I'd use the time to post. Daylight Saving Time is a pain right now. Normally they awaken about 10:00 p.m. and get up to speed around 10:30 or so. Their clock hasn't changed, but ours has, and I really can't wait until 11:00 p.m. or midnight to wait for them to get into play mode. More on this in another post.

The big news is that today we added to our glider "colony". We adopted two older gliders from a family who could no longer give them the attention that they needed and wanted to find them a home where they could get that attention. M had seen a post about them in one of the glider forums. We spent a couple of days weighing the pros and cons and decided to go ahead. These gliders had been with this family for 7 yrs, and it was apparent that giving them up was very hard for the family. At first we weren't sure what we might be getting into, but after talking with the owner through email and on the phone it was clear that she cared a lot about them and was willing to do all she could to find them a good home. If all four gliders get along, taking care of four is not much different than two. So, today we drove to Bloomington to meet up with the owner and pick up the gliders. They are two sisters. We have them in their cage in a separate room for the time being to keep their stress to a minimum. We will give them a few days to settle in and become accustomed to their new surroundings. Eventually we'll start the process to introduce them to Foehn and CB and vice versa. That will take some time, and our hope is that all four will be able to live together in the same cage.

I'll have more on the new additions (and photos) in the next few days.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mind Your Peas and Q's

While I was gone for a week on a business trip M had the gliders out in the office in the afternoon to get some exercise and a snack. As part of their diet we give them a variety of fruits and vegetables and over time have learned what they like and don't like. One of the vegetables they didn't care for early on was peas, and they.  would usually still be in the dish in the morning untouched. On her recent afternoon sessions with the gliders M decided to try peas again. To her surprise, both Foehn and CB gobbled them like candy. What is really interesting is to watch them eat the inside of the pea and leave the skin. I came in to watch the other day and there were both Foehn and CB with a pea in each hand munching away, with a pile of pea skins between them. M took some great photos of them snacking.