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March 2003

                                           Birds and Books    
My friend Barb was visiting from Ohio and I took her by Wild Birds Unlimited. Chuck was along for the ride and looked forward to getting a handout from the sunflower seed tray. Debbie was there and Chuck went to her too willingly. He laid still on the outside of her shirt while she stroked his back and ears. I was looking around the store and he dove inside her shirt and snuggled in while she went about her business. He was reluctant to leave her when it was time to go and it took some doing to get him out of her shirt. Chuckie is a Fickle Boy ;-)
Next stop was Barnes and Noble to peruse magazines. Barb and I settled down in a couple of comfortable overstuffed chairs. I had a cappuccino and bird magazine and relaxed UNTIL Chuck came alive and decided to explore. Usually, he just sleeps and that's it. Not this time! He kept getting out of my shirt and crawling behind the chair cushion. He made a lot of scratching noises and seemed to be enjoying himself. I put him back into my shirt several time, but he returned to his project ... whatever it was. I was afraid to find out.
Anyway, he was behind my back and not visible to the other store visitors.  When it was time to go, he hopped aboard with no hesitation once I pulled back the seat cushion. Maybe he is doing research for a book of his own.

                                   Chuck is FREE all night
This night I decided to let Chuck out of his cage for the entire night. He has never had the run of the room all night. He was having a good time when I put the lights out. At one point I heard a strange crash   During the night, I heard a few strange noises, felt him jump on my hip and spring off to somewhere, and do the same to my head. At some unknown signal, he went back to his cage and ran his required nightly laps around the top of his cage. I finally fell asleep. In the morning, he was sleeping snuggled in his nest and I began to pick up all the knocked over item. Chuckie is a messy boy.and got up to find him sitting on my sink and my tooth brush holder and implements in the sink. I decided the bathroom was off limits and closed the door. It was uncomfortably quiet until I heard a twang that was definitely a metal door stopper. I opened the bathroom door and there was Chuck. Somehow, he'd gotten shut up when I decided it was off limits.

                              Chuckie Discoveries "Greenies"
Tonight when I brought the puppies in, I had a "Greenie" in hand to treat them. Greenies are VERY expensive treats developed by a veterinarian to "satisfy your dog's natural desire to chew. The consistency and ingredients have been shown to help reduce odors, control dental tartar (calculus),? strengthen gums?and diminish oral bacteria." Just what a flying squirrel needs;-)
Chuck noticed the Greenie in my hand and was on it in a flash, refusing to let go. Well, I've seen him "on a mission" before and I'm not about to face those little front teeth. Chuck is dangling off the brush end (Greenies are shaped like little toothbrushes) and gnawing to beat the band when the puppies come in the front door. That was enough to send him shirt diving and the puppies got their Greenie by default.

                                  Chuck Gets a New Cage

I got Chuck a new cage today. The cage is an Arboreal cage I got at a local pet store and it is 25" wide, 23.5" deep and 47.5" high. It also has 11.5" legs and an under bottom tray. I'm going to put wheels on the legs. It has a feeding shelf with a recessed dish.
Right now, I'm researching what kind of paint or stain will be flyer safe. The cage is large enough for Chuck and his girlfriend (as yet unborn and their pups :-)
I'm staining the wood "White Oak" and will add a polyurethane finish coat. I'm also going to spray paint the wire so it will be easier to clean. Since it is so large, I'll have to move out the reptile terrarium and the African pygmy mice cages. I am going to release all the anoles, skinks, tree frogs and toads and will not replace them until after the Alaska trip in May.

                               Chuckie Discovers Towels

After discovering the bathroom by scurrying on the floor in an exploring whirlwind, Chuck discovered towels. My bath towel hangs on the rod on the outside of the shower door. Chuck loves to hide between the folds, but he can't stand not showing himself when I wander around calling his name. I see the towel moving and pretty soon Chuck's nose peeks out and he looks to see if I have discovered him. He is MUCH easier to find than when he plays hide-and-seek in the closet. He prefers the towel because I find him quicker.

                                 Chuck Discovers Mirrors
Chuck was on my shoulder when I was at the large bathroom mirror. He ran down my arm to sit on my hand and look at the handsome FS in the mirror. THEN, he saw his mommy in the mirror and tried to leap on her. BOINK! He tried again. BOINK! Picking himself up from the sink, he tried again. BOINK! I retrieved him from the sink again and left the bathroom with little dizzy head. I don't think Chuck gets the hang of mirrors yet.

                                    Chuckie Wants to Drive

When night falls, Chuck gets really active ... no matter where we are. I usually take him home if we're out or else I'll spend the evening hunting under sofa pillows and listening to the screams of those who have never had a flyer suddenly land on their head. At these times, Chuck decides that sitting on the steering wheel while I drive home is the best place to watch everything. He objects to turns and wants only straight ahead driving. Of course this is impossible. Whenever I make a turn, he jumps off and climbs the seat belt or tries to climb the roof.
Now Chuck want to drive himself, but since I have a stick shift and manual drive, it is not to be. He prefers the steering wheel and can't even reach the gear shift much less the pedals. He has already put in a request for an automatic with power steering and wants to visit a LONG desert highway that goes on forever ... straight ahead!

                                      Chuck Attacks a Mouse
Well, a computer mouse that is ... and not exactly attack ... more like humping it until it fell off the desk. I was up really early thanks to the puppies. Chuck wanted out of his cage and proceeded to rip around the room, jumping off and on me in the process. I lay down at one point trying to go to sleep, but the noise of pens, glasses and whatever flying off my computer desk stopped me. Of course, His Highness, would be away from the desk and looking all innocent when I picked my groggy head up to look.
He got in bed with me several times, but left in disgust after realizing that no matter how hard he tried he couldn't fluff up the skin on my back like the cotton in his nest. I found him this morning in a bag on his gym nested down in an empty Kleenex box and looking very sleepy and annoyed when I discovered his hiding place. Serves him right!

Chuckie Loves His New Cage
Last night was his second night in his newly furnished and custom stained BIG cage. He has about twice the room he had in his old cage and has begun using his Wodent Wheel all night instead of running laps on the cage ceiling as he did in the former cage. He really likes to explore his new environment and goes back in the cage (when I let him loose in the room) just to explore it and check out all the new items. He seems very happy with it ... so am I ;-)
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