One of our points of pride has been that Spencer has never attempted to climb up on the furniture, giving us one less problem to deal with. What’s rather surprising about this is that he sleeps in the living room, and his cage door has, until now, remained open at night.
And then Saturday came. We went out to a housewarming party without Spencer. At some point, he must have felt lonely and was drawn to the comforter on the couch, which smells like us. From there, it would have been a short transition to jumping up on it and making himself comfortable. (In the past, he pulled the comforter down onto the floor.)
We discovered that he had been on the couch when we came home and found the pillows on the floor. I balled up the comforter and pillows at one end of the couch, thinking this would prevent a repeat during the night.
In the morning, I found the comforter carefully spread out across the couch. Not only had Spencer climbed back up, he had very carefully prepared his nest.
The next night, we tried taking the comforter away. He nestled on the pillows.
So last night, I took out both the comforter and pillows. I had barely made it to the top of the steps when I heard easily recognizable noises of Spencer jumping up on the couch. So I headed back downstairs and told him to get back in his cage. He executed immediately.
I patted him on the head so he knew I wasn’t angry, but, to make the point, I closed the door. I went to bed, not sure how he would react. And the answer is just fine. He was very happy to see me this morning, but he made it through the night with the cage door closed without a complaint. That will probably now become standard operating procedure, especially since we think it’s an important step in getting to the point where we can have overnight guests (we’d like to avoid his rushing the gate between the living room and kitchen as unsuspecting guests walk by towards the toilet in the middle of the night).
We’ll also see if putting him in his cage calms down arrivals, since he would have a much smaller space to guard then when he feels the need to protect the entire living room.