Like earthquakes (which are also caused by a sudden release of energy), the bites vary in intensity. And, like earthquakes, they tend to be part of a sequence of events.
Chiquito has gotten more possessive about his cage recently, which started with his reaction to Paul taking the plastic crate down from the platform to wash a couple of weeks ago. Paul had removed the bungee cords and set the crate on the cage floor when Chiquito swung in on a tire. He picked up the crate…and slammed it back down with such force that six of the ten plastic fasteners sheared off on impact.
1) A twelve pound monkey, and
2) An FDA-approved crate used to transport animals safely, presumably even if dropped from the cargo hold of a jet onto the tarmac.
The implications were sobering...
I remember seeing teeth and yanking down on the leash as Chiquito came up from the ground. He responded with three bites in rapid succession.
A mere pinch to my left forearm didn’t leave a bruise. A harder pinch to my right upper arm was followed by a release – apparently for a better grip – and third bite almost in the same place. It hurt, but didn’t break the skin. It did leave an interesting tattoo that has since assumed shades of purple and yellow and green.
Paul, wearing safety glasses and deafened by the roar of the pressure washer, was oblivious to what had happened. So I just said “NO!” and kept walking.
Moments later Chiquito sat on my lap eating peanuts on the half shell. He lifted my shirt to look at my stomach, then lifted my arm and gently licked my arm pit (it's not the first time for either behavior and I have no explanation). He played in the mud in the flower bed and then, at my urging, in the garden hose on the lawn to wash off the mud.
A half hour later when Paul came to find us nothing was out of the ordinary. Like with my fall onto Chiquito at the river, the excitement was over.
This morning Paul left for the States for ten days. Here's hoping he doesn't miss any excitement...