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I seem to find it difficult to write about only one of my lovely animals at a time. I have to include all three, especially when they spend their evenings snuggled up to us and keep us occupied with their shenanigans. The sofa subject is a cause of friction since both Hugo and Elmo think that Richard’s lap is their spot. This photo was taken on one of those rare occasions when Elmo tolerated Hugo’s close proximity (he usually launches an attack of pecks and wing slaps):

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Elmo (left) and Hugo (right).

Georgie doesn’t have this problem. She only has to share my lap with my knitting, which is more of a problem for me since she will grab the needles and give them a shake whilst I try to knit.

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I seem to remember a time when I only had to worry about keeping two animals on the sofa apart to avoid a fight (read: A complicated relationship), now I have a cat to think about too! Sometimes Hugo is hesitant to jump on the sofa when Elmo and Georgie are on it, and he’ll give me this thoroughly fed up look:

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But when he finds himself on a pigeon-free sofa (at last!), Hugo can relax!

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After looking at some wonderful photos and videos of multi-species households online, I thought about our own multi-species family. We never meant to adopt pigeons – it just kind of happened – and we certainly never thought we’d adopt a cat (pigeons + cats = chaos?). … Well, in this case, the cat adopted us first. (Click on ‘Hugo the cat‘ for his story.)

Can different species live in harmony? Certainly. Even predator and prey species can co-exist without the expected kill. It is, however, never ideal to deliberately put predator and prey species together. Often though, like in our case, the animals themselves reveal their nature and show that living without killing is possible, and a multi-species household is created.

We were very careful when Hugo the cat first came into our lives. It was a while before we introduced Elmo and Georgie to him. If Hugo had shown any sign of predatory interest in our pigeons he wouldn’t have been allowed back in. But Hugo in fact showed us the opposite. He was afraid!

What makes a cat afraid of a pigeon? I’ve seen Hugo stalk and kill a bug, but he wouldn’t dare try that with our pigeons. He’s curious and will come over to sniff them, and sometimes he wants to play with them, but he’s never stalked Georgie or Elmo. If Hugo is too interested in Elmo, Elmo will try to peck him to tell him to back off, and Hugo will run away.

Georgie tolerates Hugo more than Elmo does. Here she is standing on him for no apparent reason:

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And here’s Elmo coming back into the living room with Hugo waiting for him to pass so he can go into the kitchen. Such manners! :)

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As always, I tried to take video of my pigeons and Hugo together, but they were camera shy. I shall keep trying. :)


Happy New Year!

2014 is going to be a fantastic year – I can feel it. :)

And what better way to spend the beginning of the new year than to take photos of your beloved animals. … Or attempt to, as is the case with me and my lovely pigeons. I don’t think I’ve managed to take a single clear, crisp photo of Elmo and Georgie. The light has either been too dim or they’ve moved or my camera pretends to be something other than a camera when I try to take a photo (I think it secretly wants to be a radio).

I was so hoping to show you some wonderful photos of my darling pigeons, but instead you shall gaze lovingly at the blurry shots of Elmo and Georgie. I know that you know they are wonderful pigeons with big personalities, but I would like to portray this through the medium of photography. I must try harder. And also to cure Georgie of her hatred of flashing lights (always a detriment when taking flash photography). And Elmo is so vain that as soon as he sees the camera he has to move about and dance to it. … I know what you’re thinking, “Excuses, excuses.” :)

So after all that, here are the first photos of Georgie and Elmo in 2014:

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Here at Pigeons as Pets headquarters, we’re all getting into the Christmas spirit:

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Georgie playing with the tinsel:

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Hugo takes a nap after wrapping up some presents:

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Elmo thinks the Santa hat is very comfortable:

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I believe it is officially Autumn when Georgie and Elmo enjoy a blustery time out with the fallen leaves.

They are so cute! :)

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Elmo pecking at the moss.

 


I think Elmo’s bad behaviour has rubbed off onto Georgie. Look what she’s doing:

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Georgie bathing in the cat’s water bowl.

Poor Hugo cat doesn’t know where to go when the pigeons are having a bath in his water bowl!! :D

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Elmo bathing in the cat’s water bowl.

Richard and I went for a walk in Jesmond Dene park and had a look at the animals in Pet’s Corner. We were amused to see some Geordie woodpigeons stuffing their crops on the free food! The ducks were fast asleep nearby. They didn’t seem bothered by the theft. :)

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Our gorgeous, precious girl, Georgie, turns 6 today.

Happy Hatchday, Georgie!!

This is the very first photo of baby Georgie, the day she was found abandoned and alone on the ground. Isn’t she such a sweet looking squeaker?! :)

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Here she is at the rescue centre some months later, already comfortable with people:

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And one of my favourite photos, me with Georgie, all snuggled up together:

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For those of you who are not familiar with Georgie pigeon’s background, here’s a short bio:

George is a feral pigeon and hatched in 2007. She was found as a baby on the ground and taken to a wildlife rescue centre for care where it was soon discovered that there was something wrong with her eyes. George was taken to a vet, however, he didn’t know what was wrong with her eyes. Due to her reduced vision George had to have specialist care and attention and she quickly became imprinted on humans, leaving her unhappy to be left alone with other pigeons. We brought her home in June 2008 to live with us where she quickly became one of the family.

We were informed that George was a boy, however, in October 2008 George laid an egg (imagine our utter surprise!) and hence became Georgie. We have established that despite having clouded eyes she has some limited vision in them.

In the beginning of 2011 we took Georgie to an avian vet and he told us that Georgie had had an eye infection when she was a baby caused by mycoplasma bacteria that scarred the eye tissue (hence the clouded eyes) and distorted her pupils.

Georgie has bonded to Revati, however, we believe she would bond to a pigeon if we found the right one for her. So far we haven’t found a pigeon that will accept Georgie’s disability. You can find Georgie on Facebook: www.facebook.com/georgiepigeon Feel free to add her as a friend! :D


We’ve been living in Newcastle upon Tyne for a month now and all is going well. Here’s Elmo and Georgie’s new set up in the living room.

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Georgie’s cage.

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Elmo’s cornered off area.

As you can see, Elmo has a covered section with his igloo bed, food, water, and mineral pick pots. He loves to sleep half under the sofa, so we have to cover the floor under there too. At night, and when we’re not home, the little fence is closed so he cannot get into mischief. Since Georgie cannot see very well she feels secure in her cage at night, where she knows exactly where her food and water are.

As well as enjoying a bath in our cat’s, Hugo’s, water bowl, Elmo also likes to drink from it – ignoring the one in his area if he’s got the choice. He’ll walk into the kitchen from the living room with the sole purpose of drinking from the cat’s water dish. Every day Elmo surprises me with his behaviour and choices. :)

More photos of our family in their new home:

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Georgie impersonating a rock pigeon!

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Where’s her head?! :) Georgie preening.

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Elmo looking so handsome!

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Pretty Georgie.

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Hugo tentatively exploring the garden.

 


As many of you may already know, the Pigeons as Pets team have moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the north of England. The move went smoothly and we’ve all settled in nicely in our new home. Both Elmo and Georgie are in good health and have explored the house and garden, and seem to give us their approval of the new spacious surroundings. Phew! :)

We have a new addition to our family now, Hugo the cat! He turned up as a stray two years ago and adopted us as his new family (we did try to find out if he had an owner, but with no luck). Before moving Hugo had a full check up at the vets and was microchipped, vaccinated, dewormed and given the all clear health wise. And yes, it is confirmed that he is a boy, albeit a neutered one (the condition in which he first showed up, which is why I wasn’t sure).

Hugo is a very placid, loving cat. He’s afraid of our pigeons and always gives them a wide berth when walking passed them. Naturally, we keep an eye out when they are all in the same room, and at night or when we’re not at home Elmo and Georgie are safely in their respective cages in the living room which Hugo hasn’t got access to.

It will be interesting living with a cat and two pigeons, but I know other pigeon people out there do the same! :)

Here are some photos of our beloved animals in their new home:

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Elmo enjoying the sunshine in the garden.

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Elmo having a bath in Hugo’s water bowl.

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Georgie napping on my lap.

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Georgie enjoying being in the garden.

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Hugo hugging his catnip carrot.

 


George had another trip to the vets because of the ulcer on her eye (read: August news – part 1). The white dot seemed to grow into a lump on her eye and I could see it bothered Georgie a lot. Poor girl!

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Thankfully, the white thing fell off her eye and she’s no longer got any irritation there. We had her checked by the vet, thinking that we’d get the all clear, however, the ulcer is still there and we were given some different eye drops to see if that would help clear it all up. Georgie was also prescribed antibiotics.

On top of the eye problem, poor Georgie seems to have injured her right leg somehow and it’s at an odd angle. She’s still weight bearing on it but she does have a more pronounced limp now. The vet said they could x-ray the leg to see what’s going on, but that’s something I’m not too keen on because of the risk of anaesthetic in birds. The vet we go to is an avian and exotic veterinary surgery and are very good at what they do, however, I’m still a bit hesitant about having Georgie x-rayed. So Georgie has some pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication to help with any nerve damage in the leg (from her egg laying. Georgie does get temporary paralysis sometimes when she lays eggs). My husband and I will have to weigh up the pros and cons of having Georgie x-rayed and come to a decision soon.

Georgie is her usual self, eating and drinking as normal, not depressed or acting in pain, so at least I know she’s not too upset about all her health issues. I know birds hide their pain and illness very well, and Georgie is cooing and sitting on my lap behaving as if she hasn’t got anything wrong with her. I don’t know if it’s all the medication she’s on or if she’s just a very good actress. I am certainly keeping a close eye on her to ensure she’s not getting any worst.

I took some photos of her right leg but I don’t think they came out very well. You may not see the problem. I know you will all wish Georgie a speedy recovery and good health, and I will certainly keep you updated on what’s happening.