There are a total of four doors (one from the garage into the escape hall, one at each end of the escape hall to the outside, and one from the escape hall into his cage), all of which have to be locked. This makes the logistics of entering the double door area via the garage and bringing in the hose from the outside more complicated than it sounds...not to mention that using the escape area to contain Chiquito means there is no other barrier between him and entry to the house (unless I want to lock myself out of the five remaining doors and close all the windows). It just never occurred to me that we would have to keep a monkey "out" when we designed the house.
Chiquito would like to participate in the cleaning, as shown in these photos taken when I was inside his cage and he was in the hall, but I don't feel confident about handling his enthusiasm. I've seen Paul aim the hose at him when he got too rambunctious...
I don't mind cleaning cages. In fact I considered it a privilege when I volunteered in the Brazilian tapir exhibit at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle...and the pay is still the same.
Chiquito is ecstatic when I finally open the door. He whinnies and hugs my head, offering me a pectoral sniff, and I shuffle out into the hallway to get the plastic chair wearing a monkey on my face. Then he sits on the chair while I carry it into the cage, I squeeze onto the seat beside him, and we share some quality time.
Today my foot got sniffed, licked, and nibbled. On the off chance that it was spider monkey foreplay, I dug into my pocket for raisins and Chiquito was easily distracted.
We'll all be glad when Paul gets back, but I'm not really home alone. I have good company.