Saturday, May 29, 2010

Escape Artist

Tonight was Virga's and Cirrus' turn in the tent. Since all four can't be in the tent together yet, I alternate nights between the pairs. Both Cirrus and Virga crawled out of their pouch quickly tonight and were pretty active. Virga has been doing this thing where she "pushes" her head against the side of the tent and really gets her whole body into it. We are not sure why she is doing this, and we have been discouraging this by gently blowing on her, which distracts her and she stops for awhile and climbs around. But, she will go back to doing this until either we blow on her or Cirrus comes around and gets her attention.

The other night during their tent time I was watching TV while sitting in the tent and noticed that things were quiet. I looked around and saw that Cirrus and Virga were both outside the tent.  "Uh oh." Fortunately, they were crawling into their pouch which was sitting where I normally put it just outside the tent. I unzipped the tent and brought the pouch inside with me. I reminded myself to carefully check to be sure the zippers are completely closed.

Fast forward to tonight. I was playing with Cirrus and looked over to where Virga was, and she wasn't. She was outside the tent again crawling on their pouch!  I was sure I had closed the zippers tightly, but maybe not. I was able to grab her before she was able to run off and get her back into the tent, but she wasn't happy about it. It was only a few minutes more and I turned just in time to see her tail exiting the tent. This time I had to get up and go after her since she decided to do a little exploring. She ended up on our entertainment center, and crawled into the pouch when I offered it to her. This time I made sure the zippers were closed, although I was certain they were closed before.  I kept the pouch inside the tent, since that seemed to be what was getting her attention. That worked for awhile, but the next thing I know there she is again on the outside of the tent. This time M was in the room and was able to coax her into the pouch after she had climbed up one of the windows in the family room. Once we got her back into the tent (one last time) we decided to see how she was doing this.  M held the zippers closed from the outside, and we let Virga make her attempt. It turns out Virga is able to work her nose in between the bottom zippers and the top one and force the top one open. I'll have to use a twist tie or something to keep those zippers closed in the future.

The "three zipper junction" in the Genji tent, site of Virga's numerous escapes

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Getting Reacquainted

I was traveling for five days last week and as a result, the gliders missed out on tent time during that period. M has trouble getting into and out of the tent with her arthritis, so they had to do without. However, that doesn't mean they were ignored.  M got up each morning to give them their morning snack of yogurt  that I usually give them, and also had them out in the late afternoon each day. On Sunday night, my first night home, I came in to check on them all CB and Foehn were up and around. When CB heard my voice he started to bark. Coincidence?  I don't know, but that's the first time it has happened. Our first tent time in a week was last night, and they were a little tentative (no pun intended!) They did not climb on me as much as they usually do, but by the time we ended things they were back to normal.  Virga and Cirrus had their tent time tonight, and they didn't miss a beat. Cirrus was having quite a ball jumping from one thing to another. Virga was a little slower to get started but managed to get plenty of climbing and jumping in herself.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Flower Power

After CB and Foehn loved their flower pouch so much, M decided to try her hand at making one for Virga and CB. She finished it about a week ago, and they have been enjoying it ever since! This month has been rather cool so far, so both pairs of gliders like to sleep in these warm pouches. Here's a photo of Cirrus (left) and Virga (right) peeking out from their new sleeping pouch.

Virga and Cirrus have been with us two months now and they have done well.  They are becoming more and more comfortable around us, and both of them will let us pet them now and seem to enjoy it. They like their time in the tent at night, and have learned that when the pouch is brought in and set down that it is time to go back to their cage for dinner. That makes life easier for all of us. Speaking of eating, Cirrus has been slowly gaining weight and is now up to 65 grams. M says she has a hard time sometimes telling them apart now, but to me, at least, Cirrus is noticeably smaller. In fact, they are easier to tell apart than CB and Foehn by their coloring. Virga has more black around her eyes, a darker and broader dorsal stripe on her head, and more black on her legs. We wonder if she might be what is called a Black Beauty.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

M has been switching pouches between cages and blankets between pouches for a couple of weeks now. This is to get each pair used to the others scent. That has gone well, as none of the gliders are hesitating about sleeping a pouch the other pair has been in. We also move their cages close together at night so they get used to each other. We tried an introduction a couple of weeks ago, but that didn't go well, mostly because we didn't make it "neutral" enough.  We decided to take it slower and not rush things.

Today M was giving them all their regular afternoon snack (meal worms with a side of Kefir). She usually does this on my desk in the office. Virga and Cirrus had theirs and M had them in a zippered bonding pouch around her neck. (The bonding pouch has a screen window in the front). Normally, they don't pay much attention to each other. Cirrus was pawing at the pouch trying to get out. CB and Foehn were munching on their meal worms when Cirrus noticed them and finally stopped clawing at the pouch.  She and Virga just stared at CB and Foehn. CB then decided to check out the pouch. BIG mistake. Cirrus wanted to get at CB through the pouch in a major way.  Virga decided to come to the aid of her sister and she tried to get at him, too. At that point CB had grabbed the pouch, and Foehn decide to come to his assistance. There was a lot of noise from Cirrus and Virga, and M got bit hard several times by CB as she tried to get him off of the pouch. It sounded like a pretty wild minute or two. She did get CB and Foehn separated from the pouch and everyone back in their respective cages. CB and Foehn were scared and shaking for awhile afterward, but did calm down. All four of the gliders were otherwise OK - they were physically separated by the pouch and couldn't get at each other. However, it was not a great sign.

Foehn and CB seem to be more curious than anything else. Both in the first intro attempt and today's incident, they were more interested in sniffing and checking things out. Cirrus and Virga seem to be more defensive or aggressive and don't appreciate being "checked out". They still crab some when you bother them while they are in their pouch, so something is going on (although the crabbing has been less and less).  Maybe some of this is the age difference - the young kids vs. seasoned adults. Whatever is the reason, it looks like it will be some time before we'll know if they can all live together in the same cage.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Morning Treat, or a Warm Bed?

Our morning ritual is taking a little longer lately. With the sun rising earlier each day, all four gliders seem to be turning in earlier. I usually come in with their yogurt treat around 6:15 a.m., and for the last week or so they have all been in their respective pouches already.  All I have to do, though, is ask "Is anybody awake?" and a little head pops up out of a pouch. CB has been the one to come up and out of their pouch first. Foehn has been curious, but not always enough to actually climb out and come out on to my lap for her treat. Interestingly, Cirrus and Virga are getting into the same routine.  Cirrus will poke her head out of the pouch when she hears me, and then climb out and come to the side of the cage for her licks. Virga eventually realizes that Cirrus is gone after a couple of minutes and climbs out to join her sister. Fortunately they don't all come out at the same time (Cirrus and Virga usually take a little longer), otherwise trying to keep four gliders in two separate cages happy would be quite a trick!

M has been changing their pouches each month in keeping with a theme, and this month it is flowers. She found a neat "flower" pouch that we bought. Since it hangs and is pretty long, it has to go in Foehn and CB's cage. They love it.  It is deep and has just a small opening in the middle of flower. They apparently like it so much in fact, that they have passed on their yogurt treat the last few mornings. They look out when I show up in the morning, but I can't seem to interest them in the yogurt. It's apparently not enough for them to give up the comfort of a nice warm pouch. So far I'm 0 for 2. This pouch hangs from the top of the cage instead of on the side like the others, so it tends to swing when you bump or move the cage, and that often gets the gliders stirring. M was cleaning their cage today when both Foehn and CB popped their heads out to see what all the commotion was about. M plans to make a similar pouch for Cirrus and Virga soon.