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Elmo and Georgie pigeons have been enjoying the sunshine in February. As soon as the sun peeks through the clouds I dash out with my darling pigeons so they can benefit from some UV rays (see The importance of ultraviolet light for pigeons and doves). It can be hard, though, to juggle so many animals, since Hugo cat also likes to go out for a walk when I take the pigeons out. I’m reduced to taking each animal out one at a time for supervised fun in the sun, since Elmo doesn’t like Georgie or Hugo and will peck them if they come near and I cannot leave any of them alone outside since, A) predators may be about, B) Hugo will fight with the neighbourhood cats, C) Georgie or Elmo may flap about if it is windy and be lifted into the neighbours cat-filled garden, and D) I only possess two hands and cannot hold safely on to 3 animals at a time if I need to quickly take them back into the house.

So when the sun comes out I have to time things right to give each pet a fair share of time in the garden. I wonder what the neighbour’s think when they see me popping out with a cat on a harness and lead for a stroll and sniff around the garden, then back out with a pigeon for a peck at the grass and dirt, then out again with another pigeon for a bit of sunbathing. They must think I am mad! … I always suspected that I would become a crazy pigeon-cat-knitting lady. :D

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Georgie pigeon

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Elmo pigeon

 

 

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Georgie pigeon

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Elmo pigeon

 


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.

 


Elmo likes to keep the cat under a watchful eye!

As you can see the cat is a bit worried about the proximity of the scary pigeon. I’ve never seen a cat so nervous around birds before!

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You may think that the outcome would be obvious when a cat and a pigeon meet: Surprise attack, feathers everywhere, one satisfied cat. However, in some instances it is the other way around: Surprise attack, fur everywhere and one satisfied pigeon! :)

These videos can testify to that: http://www.pigeonsaspets.co.uk/tag/cat/ (Scroll down the page on the link.)

I know I’ve already written about Elmo and our visiting friendly tabby cat (see above link), but this time I took video of them. Generally the cat will leg it as soon as she hears or sees Elmo but my husband somehow managed to lull the cat into a comfortable coma and she seemed oblivious to Elmo’s attentions. (Sorry about the poor lighting in the videos.)


Recently I looked through all the photos and videos we have of our Elmo and Georgie and I found some that I hadn’t yet shared with you, so I would like to do so now.

You may remember when I wrote about the tabby cat that visits us (back in November 2011: Elmo meets a cat!). Here’s photos of the cat relaxing on our sofa with an unimpressed Elmo on her back:

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The cat (which I believe is female) doesn’t care at all about our pigeons – she’s only interested in us – and we’ve had a lot of fun in seeing Elmo chase her away when he decides she’s taking too many liberties on the sofa with us! :)

Before Elmo came to live with us he used to live in a household with many cats, rabbits and other birds (for the first 8 years of his life). He used to sleep on the bed with an elderly cat and also had play fights with the rabbits. Elmo now only has to put up with Georgie’s presence (and the occasional visit from the cat) and I’m sure he feels like the king of the home. Elmo probably has lots of precious memories of his previous life. I wish I could have been there to see him as a baby and to watch him play with the cats and rabbits. Sadly, I haven’t been able to get hold of any photos of Elmo from his previous life.

Now that I start work in the afternoons I spend my mornings at home with Georgie and Elmo. Elmo used to always attack me and consider me a threat to his relationship with my husband, but now he’s getting used to my company and requests cuddles and attention.

Here’s Elmo when he discovered Georgie’s empty nest and decided to nest in it himself:

Sometimes, however, Elmo remembers that he’s doesn’t like me (in principle) and will attack my fingers:

In the video you can see Georgie in her nest being all moody and attacking the nest. She does this sometimes before she lays eggs. Silly girl.

Most of the time, though, Georgie is loving and likes to preen my arm. It tickles at first but then Georgie gets really excited and starts to pull at the hairs and skin, which can hurt. Elmo also likes to preen arms. It’s their way of telling us they love us. In the wild a pigeon will preen its mate around the face to strengthen their bond and as a sign of affection. It’s lovely to see and we are honoured that our pigeons preen us. :)

Georgie preening my arm:

Elmo preening my husband’s arm:

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I love living with pigeons!

:D


We have a friendly tabby cat visiting us now. He turned up one day, meowing at the door and since we mistakenly fed him, he’s turning up every night for a meal and cuddles. (Ok, I admit it, it was deliberate. We knew if we fed him he’ll keep returning. We simply couldn’t help ourselves. The cat is so friendly and adorable!)

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Meet "our" cat.

I’ve been trying to get a good photo of the cat, but the flash is so harsh. I’ll keep trying.

I borrowed a microchip scanner from work to see if the cat has a microchip (since he hasn’t got a collar on), but the scanner didn’t pick up any. Since the cat is in such good condition and is of a good weight, I don’t think he’s homeless, however, his hunger worries us a bit. But then again, cats can be just as greedy as dogs! :)

We let the cat in a few times with the pigeons safely away just in case, but the cat doesn’t like it if I close the door. He needs the option to dash out if he wants. He’s a bit wary but loves his evening meal, and once we start stroking him he usually wants to cuddle up onto our lap. After a while he gets up, goes out, and disappears into the darkness.

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The cat comes into our flat

I want to call him “Sir Drools-a-lot” since he is a drooler. I’ve never known a cat to drool so much. Every time he lovingly head butts my hand (to scent mark it. I’m no fool; I know why cats rub), he leaves a little wet patch. Yuck. And when he sat on my lap the other night, he left a puddle on my leg.

Last night we let Elmo meet the cat. In a controlled manner and under strict observation, of course. We cannot risk the cat attacking our beloved pigeons. But the cat wasn’t interested in Elmo at all. In fact, when Elmo flapped, the cat ran away. Elmo, on the other hand, wasn’t impressed with the intruder. Richard was stroking the cat, who was lying down on the floor, and Elmo walked over and tried to peck the cat. Elmo has no predator awareness instincts; he thinks he’s the king of the house and no one tells him what to do.

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Elmo and the cat

In the above photo, the cat is having his dinner while Elmo checks him out. When he was finished and walked away, Elmo went over to inspect what the cat had left (first time he left anything):

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Elmo inspects the cat food

Even though I know that there are people who have pigeons and cats living together, I don’t think I could do that since you cannot trust the two together. You’d never be able to relax and would always have to keep an eye on them. I have enough trouble keeping an eye on Elmo and Georgie together since Elmo doesn’t like Georgie and will attack her if she gets too close to him. However, the cat is so lovely and I’m sure he’ll continue to visit us. I hope we find his owner just so we can sleep in peace, however, if the cat is homeless then we’ll have to find him a good home.


A very confused ringneck dove is in love with a cat! What a sweet couple! Love it. :)

Follow this link for videos of another pigeon and cat couple: Video Friday: Beautiful pigoen and kitten


I stumbled across this amazing pigeon (he’s so beautiful!) and his playful kitten friend and I just had to dedicate this Video Friday’s post to them. Enjoy!


Some cats are great hunters. Not so much these ones:


Skip ahead to 50 seconds for one bossy pigeon: http://www.ipernity.com/doc/dany_skippi123/459921

Another bossy pigeon:

This pigeon is determined to have his lunch. No cat is going to stop him!: