Well, baseball season and the summer are over, so it was time to make the seasonal change in cage decor. M removed the artificial ivy and the Cubs cage accessories last weekend, and autumn leaves and Halloween have taken their place. This cage decor includes a witches hat sleep pouch which the gliders really like. It hangs in the middle of the cage and has a smallish opening (at least compared to a standard pouch), and the bottom is big enough for them to spread out, and secure enough for them to snuggle together. It's probably more like a tree nest, which they would likely have in the wild. When they begin to stir and start grooming at night, the whole hat sort of vibrates as it hangs from the top of the cage. Usually not long after a head will peek out the opening, and Virga or Cirrus will climb out and head for the wheel until it's time to go to the office. CB and Foehn wait until we have brought them into the office for play time before poking their heads out. They know meal worms are waiting for them.
For the last week or so the gliders have been giving M a lot of attention during their play time. Virga and Cirrus, and usually CB, have been spending good amount of time grooming M's arm. In the past maybe one of the gliders would groom us, but to have three going at it was unusual. This wasn't just for a few seconds, either - they were very persistent and thorough. Most of the time they are licking her arm, but sometimes Virga gets a little too enthusiastic and starts using her teeth. M has to take her off and tell her "no". Her arm ended up with tiny bruises from Virga's nips.
M is the Queen of Treats, the Mistress of Mealworms, so their attention to give M isn't hard to understand. Virga and Cirrus, in particular, head to the door when she enters the room. Their grooming her is a sign of acceptance and trust. (Either that, or her arm tastes like yogurt or mealworms).
Virga (top), Cirrus, and CB (bottom) at work grooming M
While we were away on vacation up north the gliders seemed to sense it was a time for relaxing as well. Most nights they slept until 10:00 p.m. or later, and I often had to take them into the tent and encourage them to come out so they could get some play time in. Since we have been home they have returned to their normal routine, especially Virga. She is almost always the first one up at night, usually sometime around 9:30 or so. Often our first sign that she is up is when we hear her in the wheel. As soon as Virga sees us she usually leaves the wheel and comes to the front of the cage waiting for her "ride" into the office. M is often the first to the cage, and Virga climbs on to her arm and stays on her arm or shoulder for the short trip to the office. I think they both look forward to their little ritual. Virga and M seem to have quite the bond between morning yogurt, the trip to playtime, and their meal worm snack. Lately Virga has been spending time grooming M's arm, essentially giving her arm a bath. Cirrus sometimes joins in as well, and as M says, it's hard to believe two little tongues can get you so wet.