The Doughnut Incident.

Mishka adores Charlie, Charlie is fascinated with Pip, and Pip is in love with food. Ptak just likes his humans – he’s not interested in the other birds.

Our cockatiel is currently strutting around Charlie’s cage top, singing, hopping, and flaring her wings like the very impressive bird she is. Sometimes she flies over to Ptak’s cage, lands, and realises he’s about to chomp her toes. Off she goes on a mad rampage around the room before settling back on Charlie’s cage.

Now Charlie, the object of Mishka’s very noisy attentions, is completely nonplussed (much to her annoyance). The harder she tries to impress him, the more confused he seems. Finally, he hops away to his broccoli or seed dish, causing her to up the volume yet again.

Let’s just say that Mishka’s having an odd sort of day.

We’ve just finished up the morning routine. It always starts by me dragging myself out of bed and opening Mishka’s cage door as I slip into the living room. To give her time to calm down and eat something, I always close the door behind me for a few minutes.

Today, she anticipated me. As I opened her cage and began to close off the living room, she flapped as fast as she could at me – forcing me to put up an arm for her or slam the door in her face. I put up an arm, of course.

I gave everyone their breakfasts. Charlie goes for his seed first, Pip for her greens, and Ptak for a little bit of everything all at once. Halfway through, MIshka usually joins us. Her self-assigned job at this point is to eat my food. This is another reason why keeping her out for a few minutes (rarely more than five!) is a good idea. She becomes irate if I don’t share.

To distract her today, I put a pile of Cheerios on table and convinced her I was eating them by, well, eating a few. When she went for them, I quickly began to scarf my real breakfast. You see, O. (being the best ever) brought me back Krispy Kreme doughnuts from England – the company continues to torture me by promising to expand up north, and failing to deliver. This rare treat was not for Mishka birds.

Not that she was listening when I said this.

She flew to the hand that held my doughnut, Cheerio in beak, and proceded to lean over to have some of both at once. I transferred her immediately to the other hand, but with Mishka, this is a tricky proposition at best. She doesn’t like hands and fingers at all (unless they hold sugary confections, apparently) and becomes quite nippy if you try and make her step up.

I eventually hid in the kitchen to finish while Mishka rooted sadly through the Cheerios. It felt so criminal.

And that, dear readers, is the manipulative power of birds.

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