Rocky Too and the Towel Game

Fun and games are a form of communication!

Rocky Too and the Towel Game

Rocky decided I was his person and his only interest in Daddy was to scramble down from his cage and charge across the floor in full attack mode. Because I work a lot of weird hours, this meant that unless I was home, he'd either have to be in his cage or Bill and the dogs would have to run for their lives or hide on the porch. 

But Bill came up with an idea: he got a bath towel to keep at hand, and when Rocky charged, he dropped the towel over him. And then he petted him through the towel. Sometimes he'd pick Rocky up and take him back to his cage in the towel and sometimes he just uncovered him and Rocky would go back to his cage. Things went like that for a week or so, and suddenly Rocky decided this was fun and a chance to get petted, which he really likes. Now he waddles over and snuggles up to the towel to be petted and when he's had enough, he goes back to his cage. The towel has become the way he plays with Daddy. 

The way he plays with me has always been that I pick him up and we go sit on the enclosed porch and watch the wild birds out the window at the feeder. When he needs to poop or wants a snack or drink, he does a mild display and I take him back to his cage. In the last few days, however, that mild display has become a prelude to a chomp. No warning, no chance to get up and head back to the cage. Just display and chomp. He hasn't broken the skin, but I have some bruises and I'm beginning to be reluctant to pick him up. I still pet him on his cage and he doesn't chomp when he's not sitting on me. He'd also like to sit on my shoulder, which I don't feel comfortable with because he could chomp my face or ear. I've wondered if he has decided that Bill is his favorite now and doesn't want to sit on me and that's why he chomps. Yet yesterday he let me trim his toenails while he was on his cage. When he got bored and wanted me to stop, I did. 

Unlike the other parrots, who have each other for company in their own room and can amuse themselves, Rocky demands almost constant interaction. We're coming to the conclusion that if you have a cockatoo, you probably should not have anything else. The others are not getting the attention they're used to because Rocky requires so much. And he's not getting enough even though he consumes our days. 

Today he is grumbling loudly in Cockatoo any time I pick him up and giving me stink eye stares, so I haven't tried to carry him to the porch. In or on his cage, I can pet and talk to him and he's fine. 

The journey continues. 

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