"No, Mom, I definitely was not rummaging through your purse and trying to eat its contents. Why on earth would I do such a thing?"
Thank you all very much for your suggestions yesterday! Last night, Melly very acrobatically chased da bird until she was thoroughly tuckered out, and she was much more agreeable after her energy was expended. So, we'll just keep up this routine of tiring evening play and see how it goes!