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Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

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hepcat
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

Post by hepcat »

Hive mind. They also will try to get access to your email for phishing scams if you're not careful.
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Drazzil
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

Post by Drazzil »

Jaymann wrote: Wed Nov 03, 2021 2:40 pm Sadly my daughter's cat Felix passed away at about 17 years old. Fortunately it was over quickly. I let him in from outside one morning, he coughed strangely a couple times, went into my daughter's bedroom and was gone.

A couple weeks later we brought home a kitty for the grandkids, and they are ecstatic. Which brings me to a question:

How do all cats, even without exposure to other cats, seem to automatically know all the cat moves? Such as stretching, sharpening claws, running, jumping, cleaning themselves, rubbing against human legs, even wrapping their tail around their feet while standing still. Is this stuff all instinct?
Yep.
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

Post by Drazzil »

hepcat wrote: Wed Nov 03, 2021 2:48 pm Hive mind. They also will try to get access to your email for phishing scams if you're not careful.
My cats are the phishing scam. They show up one day and boom, there goes free time, money and ability to focus on other things when in my apt.
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Daehawk
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

Post by Daehawk »

Sorry about the cat Jay. Least he got a long life and passed quick and easy it seems. Best to you guys.
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Blackhawk
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

Post by Blackhawk »

Instinct. Go look at the sheer number of birds who engage in exactly the same two stretches (The one-legged wing back and the double shrug.)
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Blackhawk
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

Post by Blackhawk »

Dragging this over from Random Randomness. Here was the original post:
Blackhawk wrote: Wed Nov 03, 2021 1:38 pm Yesterday Michelle walked outside and watched a hawk nail a pigeon across the street. The little guy got away and scrambled under a parked car. We went over and collected him and brought him home. The hawk's aim was off, thankfully, and it seems to have mostly grabbed tail feathers. The poor guy's tail is completely gone, but the feathers were just pulled out with no actual injury to the stump. The only other injury was a scratch under the left wing. It wasn't deep, and wasn't located near any organs. It just seems to have been tissue damage.

I have enough experience with birds that I got the bleeding stopped, and we've gotten the little pidge through the worst of it - the stress and shock phase is behind him. Today he's up and active, his eyes bright, his head up and alert. He's walking around, stretching, and eating. That's all great news. We're keeping him warm, quiet, and away from our other pigeon in case he's carrying any feral diseases.

Right now we're concerned with infection, though. We'll be keeping the injury clean with diluted betadine, but we're concerned about what might have gotten into his bloodstream. We're in contact with the nearest avian vet, which is far enough away that going isn't an option, but we're hoping we can get some advice on an antibiotic option. Time will tell.

It is unlikely that this pigeon is going to be able to be returned to the wild, mostly due to the timing and loss of his tail. He won't survive without a tail. The tail will grow back, but that would set any release in the middle of winter after a rehab indoors. That doesn't work due to temperature adaptation. And by the time the weather warms up again, he'll be acclimated to humans. Pigeons who have adapted to humans don't do well on release (they're a domestic species, after all - there are no wild (rock dove) pigeons, just ferals.

So we may have stumbled on a new pet with a possible 15-20 year lifespan. We're not there yet, though - survival is still far from a guarantee. Enough so that we're still using a placeholder name (Pidgename) for the time being.
Day four, and he's doing fine. He's active, eating, preening, and drinking. That suggests survival. And that means he'll be a new member of our flock, and a friend for Payton.

For now, though, we're going to be starting him on a round of antibiotics (just as soon as they arrive), followed by a round pribiotics, then anti-parasitics and a treatment for feather lice. He'll be in pigeon quarantine during that entire time, while I brush up on the wildlife rehab skills I haven't used in almost 25 years.

The big problem for now is that we're going to have to buy another cage, and those are expensive. We don't have floor space, so we'll have to go with a double vertical cage, and that's about $300, hitting right before Christmas and two birthdays. That stings.

Anyway, here's [Pidgename], still sans tail (we're waiting a few more days before giving him a permanent name.)

Image
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Daehawk
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

Post by Daehawk »

Pretty bird. I hate that most people think of them as the flying type of rat. Might find a cage on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
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Blackhawk
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

Post by Blackhawk »

Daehawk wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:57 am Pretty bird. I hate that most people think of them as the flying type of rat. Might find a cage on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
They're among the smartest of birds (corvids still win, and with parrots it depends on the species), and they're entirely an artificial species. Humanity has spent 10,000 years breeding them, and any population you see in the US aren't wild animals - they're the descendants of domestic birds that survived and became feral. They're bred to be around humans. They're very social creatures.

And yes, you can find cages for sale like that, but not one to fit our needs. Pigeons need horizontal cages, not vertical, and a lot of parrot cages (the only ones big enough) have bars spaced too far apart. On top of that, we need to have two cages (or, rather, one cage dividable into two temporarily), but they need to take up the floor space of one. There is an ideal cage out there, and there isn't a whole lot else that we can make work.
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Daehawk
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

Post by Daehawk »

That is expensive. My late rat's cage is 3 lvls like that but not as big.
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

Post by hitbyambulance »

i think keeping that guy was always going to be the way to go, since they're a (long established, but still) invasive species. local wildlife agencies would be thankful to you for taking one more rock dove out of the wild, lol

what's his personality like?
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Blackhawk
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

Post by Blackhawk »

hitbyambulance wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 4:43 pm i think keeping that guy was always going to be the way to go, since they're a (long established, but still) invasive species. local wildlife agencies would be thankful to you for taking one more rock dove out of the wild, lol

what's his personality like?
Keeping him wasn't really a question once we saw his tail was gone. It was more of us not committing to that idea until we knew he'd survive. He isn't completely out of the woods yet, but his chances are much, much better than they were that first night.

As far as personality goes, he is young. Possibly hatched within the year - he still has a lot of blood feathers, and he's small. He isn't showing the signs of being overly afraid (he isn't pulling his head in, for instance), but he's still in the "I got attacked and injured, hid, was kidnapped by giants, and every day they grab me and poke at me" phase. Once he starts to trust us we'll start to see his personality. But I've had a number of pigeons in my life, and they're intelligent enough to have wildly different personalities, so it'll be interesting to get to know him.
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

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So, [pidgename] is still with us. Except that it isn't [pidgename] anymore. He's passed the 'high risk' period, so we defined the variable of [pidgename] with 'Pippin.' Given that he's small, prone to misfortune, and yet brave enough to make it through all of it, it seemed like a good choice.

Having spent more time with him, we're convinced that he isn't just young, he's barely past fledgeling. Fully feathered, but not quite fully grown, probably hatched sometime in the late summer.

His wound is healing well. We've started him on a course of antibiotics and delousing will start soon a delousing spray, and after that it will be probiotics, a broad anti-parasitic, and then probably more probiotics. Once he's been through quarantine and treatment to ensure he isn't carrying anything nasty from The Wild, we'll introduce him to Payton. It'll be cage next to cage for a while. Once they're used to each other, they'll be allowed out of the cages at the same time (to meet in neutral territory.) Once they're friends, he'll be moving in to her cage.

Speaking of which, we got the new cage in and assembled yesterday. That thing's a monster. Part of the problem is that pigeons are horizontal birds, not vertical. Prior to domestication they were cliff dwellers. Unlike most birds their feet are flat when relaxed, not curved. So where most birds need tall cages for vertical flight with a few perches, pigeons need horizontal cages with platforms for walking on. And yet they still need some vertical space to stretch their wings, and because they enjoy standing up high. So most bird cages are either too small (pigeons are the size of a small parrot), while larger birdcages are not wide enough to allow them to move around. One really popular pigeon cage - and the one we went with - is the [https://www.midwesthomes4pets.com/produ ... ouble-unit]Critter Nation[/URL] double cage, which is designed for small mammals - ferrets, chinchillas, etc. They're also hugely popular with the pet rat crowd.

So last night we moved Payton in. She's angry about it, of course (she's a very intense pigeon.) The old cage was moved to our room, and Pippin was moved from the cat carrier he's been in all week to that one. He can finally stretch his wings, although you can tell he feels a lot more exposed in the open cage than in the mostly dark hidey-hole that is a cat carrier.

And yeah, all of this medicine, caging, and extra supplies cost a lot - more than we could afford to spend. A big chunk of the Christmas budget went into this (with everybody's approval.) Still, it was that or let him die.

What really helped this morning, though, was that some of the OO folks here decided to donate to the Pippin fund in the form of an Amazon gift card. It'll replace part of the Christmas funds we pulled out to pay for the little guy. Thank you, all! :csmile:
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Blackhawk
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Re: Sad pet stories...and maybe a happy one

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So, Pippin (the new pigeon) got moved into the living room about a week and a half ago, his cage right next to Payton's so that they basically have a shared wall to get used to each others' presence. Yesterday was the first day they were out together, and it was... dramatic. Pecking orders need to be established. They normally hang out on top of the cage during their free time. Pippin - about 1/3 Payton's size - has a Napoleon complex and kept trying to show dominance. Every time he did that, Payton would grab him by the back of the neck, drag him over to the edge of the cage, and toss him off. He kept coming back - he picked seven fights with her, and he got his feathery butt tossed off of the cage seven times. After that Payton had had enough and started going after him if he got near the top of the cage, resulting in him retreating about half of the time.

Pecking orders need to be established, but Payton doesn't get to claim the entire space for herself. And then she started going for him on the floor. See, the top of the cage they can be territorial about, but the floor? That's my territory. On the floor, I'm the alpha, and they don't get to fight over who controls it. I do. Pigeons tend to self-regulate their violence. They fight until there is a winner, then stop. But if one is retreating and the other isn't backing off, that can become a problem. So, every time he was the aggressor we let her toss him off the cage, but if she was the aggressor when he was minding his own business, or when they weren't on the cage and they fought, I had to step in. This once resulted in giving Payton a 'time out' back in her cage for 15 minutes, which she did not enjoy.

This will go on for a few more days. Eventually, Pip will recognize that Payton is in charge and stop antagonizing her, and Payton will accept Pippin as an underling and let him share communal space. Until then, I get to play Pigeon Referee.

They won't be able to share a cage unless they decide to pair up, and that could take a while (or more.) Until then, we have two cages in the living room, totaling about five feet wide, five feet high, and three feet deep.
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