Flying and Landing

Why do we fly? Why do we land? It is often suggested that we do not wish to return to our cages. It is equally often suggested that we do not wish to come out of our cages.

I would suggest that the situation is altogether more complex. Our intention always perfectly balances the perceived intentions of our people-pets and where they want us to be.

When they want us out, we hold on tightly. When they want to grab us, we stay tantalisingly out of reach. Either way, we cause the maximum amount of annoyance and inconvenience, while remaining devastatingly cheeky and loveable of course.



Gearing yourself up for a flight takes a lot of effort. Unless you are going to travel a reasonable distance, there is little point in taking off. You would do better to duck behind an object or hold on tightly to something.

At the same time, you don't want to tire yourself out. About one room's width is probably ideal

Always Have a Target

The previous point about tiring yourself is particularly relevant here. Unless you have your target and landing site planned, you will end up having to go back across the room to where you started.

Like me, you are no doubt perfectly capable of dodging your flailing people-pet in the middle of the room. But how many of us can make another flight after that.? Our sedentary, caged lifestyle is a right our ancestors fought for (we are assured) but it doesn't equip us to rely on flight as a means of escape. So often we are grasped, exhausted and helpless, from where we land.

Glass Windows

I've done it. Haven't we all? It's so easy to forget. Remember, think once, think twice, think don't crash your head into something transparent.

Inside the Cage

This causes great annoyance as you blow feathers and seeds all over the place, but there is nowhere to go and it can cause you an injury.

It really should be avoided UNLESS ... As you should be aware, flying around inside your cage is the only known cure for saucepans.

When NOT to Fly

Basically, if you can duck behind something into a narrow gap (using your knowledge of the directions in which human joints can bend) while sitting tantalisingly in range, you should always do so rather than risk a flight.


There are four main considerations in choosing a perch: firm support, availability of grip, alignment and hiding places.

Here are some perches I have tried.

Hall Floor

Advantages: Very firm, full range of alignment. Plenty of bicycles nearby.

Disadvantages: No hiding places and no grip.


Advantages: It wasn't on at the time.

Disadvantages: Very difficult to get comfortable, one leg staying up and the other constantly falling in.

Carrier Bag Heap

Advantages: Many hiding places; one can stay out of sight for a long time in this grotto, sometimes unintentionally. Support, while not firm, is yielding in a strangely sensual way.

Disadvantages: No control at all really.

Bathroom Window

Advantages: Nice and high, plenty of grip in all directions, lots of things to hide behind and, most important, the chance to sit and flirt with Douglas.

Disadvantages: You can drown if you fall in.

Under the Printer

Advantages: You can hide here for a very long time if you are not foolish enough to make a russling noise. Lots of spiders to make friends with.

Disadvantages: Not a very good view, and no one seems to do any dusting down there. Company very dull if you don't get on with spiders (and who does?).

On the Tall CD Stand

Advantages: This is a very exciting ladder-type adventure playground.

Disadvantages: Once you get to the top you keep sliding off because it is too slopy.

In the Cutlery Drainer

Advantages: Some good perches, and lots to hide behind.

Disadvantages: Sudden changes of sharpness, and likelihood of being chased away on the grounds of "hygiene". Sometimes there are saucepans nearby, making it unthinkable as a choice of perch.

Flying to and Landing on Bookcases - A Warning

This can so easily end in tragedy.

Despite having the apparent advantages of height and firmness of support, bookcases can be dark and treacherous, leading you to plummet helplessly to the bottom of a crevasse which, despite its great depth, is so narrow that you cannot even spread your wings.

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