Meet the new arrivals, Ella on the left and Crystal on the right of Penny. They all seem to be getting along just fine, which seems like a miracle considering the turmoil of their arrival. Carrie and I drove all the way to Ellsworth to get the new ones, a three hour drive each way. So their first trauma was being yanked from their cage at the store, put in a cardboard box that was barely big enough to hold them, and enduring the long ride. When we got home, I put the box in the cage with Penny, which was what I had been told to do. When I got the top open, all hell broke loose, but no one escaped despite the frantic activity.
Next, Leah landed squarely on top of the cage, the first of countless attempts to have parakeet for supper. By bedtime, we had exhausted our ideas and I ended up taking the whole birdcage up to my bedroom for the night, closing Leah out to sleep with Carrie. The next morning we tried all kinds of barriers, including my artificial Christmas Tree, but Leah outsmarted us. We sprayed her with water, which deterred just her long enough for us to put the bottle down. I won't describe the multitude of ideas that were tried and failed. I was afraid the birds would die of heart attacks before we could figure out a solution.
Finally, I brought down some of the plexiglass I use to frame my paintings and cut it in various sizes to fit the top, ends, and sides of the cage. With a variety of screws and hooks I managed to position them in a way that they could be removed for cleaning and feeding, but were solid enough to prevent Leah from climbing, jumping, and otherwise sneaking into position to reach between the bars of the cage. I think I have it licked, though I wont say I'm totally relaxed about it. Leah is one determined cat.
For the time being all is calm and harmonious. Leah keeps investigating the situation, but has yet to figure out a solution. Peace reigns.