Our new morning routine involves me placing Daphne in Jeff's aquarium with him so the budgies can have some time together, letting Rocky out to play on top of his cage in the living room, and taking Max and the caiques with me while I shower, read the paper, and eat breakfast.
Despite the fact that he'd love to see me evicted from my house, Rocky is generally well-behaved in the mornings and spends his time on his cage, or else on Beeps's or Daphne's cage (which is OK because Beeps is in the bathroom or kitchen with me and Daphne is in Jeff's aquarium). I can tell if he's getting into trouble because our floors are all hard, so I can hear his nails clicking on the surface.
And then today happened. I left everyone in their respective places (see paragraph #1) and ran downstairs in our basement to place the clothes that had been in the washer into the dryer. This took me much less than one minute. As I came back onto our ground floor, I did my normal look-around to make sure that everyone was where they should be. 5 of the 6 were. Rocky was nowhere to be found.
My first fear was that he was hiding, waiting to ambush me. He is very good about peeking out to look at me when I call his name, and I could not find him in any of the usual spots. (Although, to paraphrase Mother Superior talking to the nuns looking for Maria in The Sound of Music, considering it's Rocky, maybe I should look in all of the unusual places?)
About 15 minutes later, I found him in our second floor office. I thought that door had been closed, but apparently it was open a crack, enough for him to open the door, enter, and then shut the door again. I have no idea how he managed to climb down from his cage, run clicking across the floor to our stairs, and then make it into the office while I was gone for such a short period of time.
I'm glad he heard me calling while I was on the second floor and poked his head out! I don't know how long it would have taken me to check in the office with the closed door. When I had him step up on his stick, he gave me a big, "hello!" as though he hadn't just scared me. I don't know how I could explain to Thomas I'd lost the being that, as I was told the other day, "loves me more than you do!"