From: shan lung <shanlung9@y...>
Date: Fri Apr 25, 2003 11:05 pm
Subject: Tinkerbell Freeflight 1 - In Retrospect
Tinkerbell is well on the road to recovery. For
Melinda of Bird-Click and others who were concerned
about the wound Tinkerbell received, that wound has
dried nicely and healing well now without any sign of
Tink is still emotionally recovering. She clings on
to me when I am back almost refusing to let me out of
her sight requiring much head rubs.
The fright that Tink gave me induced new realisations
and a paradigm shift in my attitude towards her future
The following will now be considered if I ever open
that barn door again to let Tink fly free.
1 Her physical security.
Her escapade brought home to me how vulnerable she can
be. Even a short time in the open can be fatal to
her. She grew up with Halftail to the point that she
will fly and strut up to HT to chase poor HT away.
Tink may not be aware that other cats are not HT and
may let them get within striking range.
2. Me and my wife newfound profound dislike to
premature aging. No explanation needed for this part
3. Mental anguish to all the wonderful members on the
4. Tink's mental well being and health in allowing to
fly free. I am still convinced of the great benefits
in allowing her to fly free. BUT this will only be
considered only after the 1st three principles.
Where did I go wrong? Again with the crystal clarity
of hindsight, plenty.
I have taken out Tinkerbell many times on the bike to
recce that area and other areas. But as you have seen
in the photos, that was done with Tink wearing the
harness so that she can see around. I never had taken
Tink in that carrier cage on the bike. I should have
done that a few times so she get used to being taken
in carrier cage on the bike.
When I reached the flight area, I did the setup and
immediately opened the carrier door. I should have
waited 15 minutes at least to allow Tink to calm down.
I should have tested Tink for nervousness with treats
and 'touch target' EVEN BEFORE I opened that door. I
should have just sat around there with my wife and
I should not have tried free flying her in less than
100% perfect conditions. And that 100% MUST INCLUDE
perfect visibility. In mitigation, I never had
expected that Tink would have flown so high and so
The point where I free flew Tink was at least 1500
meters from clumps of buildings. I even chose that
place because some trees and palms were growing about
50 meters away or so. That came from what I read of
Angela accidently flying her Crimson onto her
neighbour's palm tree. I thought if that occur, I can
just walk conveniently to those trees and get Tink
There were even more trees after that I thought Tink
may get on thereby allowing me to get near enough to
recall her back.
At one time when I was in Taipei, one of my potential
semi freeflight site was going to be in an open air
stadium as I thought Tinkerbell cannot fly high enough
to clear those walls. What a laugh that would have
Tinkerbell was not informed of the things she cannot
do and she flew so high that my dimwitted brain
marvelled at it before it dawned on me I should be
very worried. She flew so much much much further than
I believe was possible.
My bike should have been kept running and on side
stand for fast movements. Even better if I can get a
hovercraft instead of a bike as padi fields are
flooded marshy ground. At one time, I had to ride
away from the direction of her flight to get to the
next lane that turned back to her direction.
PLEASE NEVER EVER ASSUME WHAT YOUR CHARGES CAN DO OR
CANNOT DO ON THE BASIS OF WHAT OTHER CHARGES HAVE DONE
OR WHAT YOUR CHARGE DID IN THE PAST. I am extremely
fortunate to get Tink back. YOU MAY NOT BE SO LUCKY.
Based on her initial almost vertical climb, Tink must
have been spooked badly and remained spooked to
continue that climb. That slight breeze in that
morning send ripples on top of the rice shoots. I
cannot prove it, but I am very sure that rippling of
the blades of rice might have appeared as wavy snakes.
The higher she went, the more obvious the wavy motion
to her and the even higher she went. I noticed that
earlier on, but I thought those moving waves were so
beautiful forgetting Tink may have totally different
NEVER FORGET THE ABILITY OF GREY TO SPOOK IS LIKELY TO
BE GREATER THAN THE BOND SHE HAS WITH YOU. AND YOU
NEVER WILL KNOW WHAT SPOOK THEM UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE.
I had been very indulgent to Tinkerbell in the past.
That will change now. I had resisted the wiser
urgings from Melinda and Wendy Jeffries to feed Tink a
bit less so she will be more receptive to treats
during clicker training. You all knew that was
because my first sight of Tinkerbell was in the shop
with her forlornly digging away in a food dish filled
with sunflower seed husks. That memory has since been
firmly replaced by that nightmarish vision of Tink
flying off into the haze ignoring her recalls.
Yesterday, I put Tink through her paces. She was so
good and obediant that I strongly suspect she knew and
did them well to forestall what I will do to her.
Without hesitation and never jumping her cue, she flew
to tower, to wobbly ring perch, to cage, to perch and
coming back to me on recall. She did all her 'touch
target' and the advance 'touch target', shake hands.
It was so exasperating to see her performing so well
For my comfort and as I am a smoker, a table has been
declared off limits to Tink so she cannot go there and
mess with my ciggies and ashtrays while I watch TV.
Those stuff are cleared off and will be use to clicker
train Tink for better obediance and to intensify the
I will lock up Zorro and keep HT away so that Tink
WILL do her retrieve exercises that had been stopped
because she divebomb the other two and I was too lazy
to clear that table. I will extend that exercise to
flying retrieve and deliver to me. If Tink does not
do that? Too bad, she will remain only at home or out
I will incorporate a whistle for recall. The recall
will later be done out of line of vision. Whistle
sound carry further than voice command.
The recalls will be insisted on even if, and
especially if Tink misbehaved by going to out of bound
areas and harrasing the other two. What if Tink does
not stop and desist from those actions and fly to me?
:-) too bad, that barn door will remain close to her.
Tinkerbell is vocalising a lot now with many new
sounds and words.
Tinkerbell must tell me in no less than 100 words
that she want to fly free outside and why I should let
her do so. Otherwise she flies only at home and go
outside wearing harness.
Hmmm.... maybe that's a bit unreasonable. Perhaps I
need to think this part through again.
The gist of this is that Tink will not be free flown
for quite some time. Her semi freeflying will be done
once I located suitable building for that.
Sorry folks about this late follow up. At times, work
load can just drain the energy to write. Then Tink's
need for reassurances meant I had to stay away from
the PC as her tender nibbling while perched on my
shoulder can transform into a blitz of squawks and
grey feathers as she land on my keyboard attempting to
pull out the keys or to bite through the mouse cable.
With warmest regards
Joy - wife, Tinkerbell - CAG & surrogate daughter