A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper

A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper
Ever wonder what its like to share your world with twelve crazy critters? Tune in to find out!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thought I Was Further Along the Path...

So I thought I was better about the sudden loss of Finn than I am I guess.  Tonight I came upstairs and started the process of corralling the ferrets from their various upstairs rooms into our bedroom for the night.  This can be a slow and tedious task - ferrets are very sound sleepers so getting them to head your way when you call them can be somewhat challenging.  Additionally, the new babies are just starting to learn their own names so you have to hope they respond to the sound of your voice even if they don't know yet what you are saying.

Theo is generally quite good about responding when called.  He is almost 100% about responding to a squeaky toy.  Tonight - nothing - he didn't come when I called or when I squeaked.  It took about 15 minutes for him to awaken and find me - by then I was pretty panicked thinking the worst.  To further add to my panic it took me about 2 hours to find Violet tonight.  Granted - I didn't spend two solid hours looking but from the time I started - with several attempts in between to the time I found her there was a lot of time for me to get myself worked up.  Since Violet and Theo had both escaped and made it to piggy land downstairs I have been watching them like a hawk to make sure they are not showing any signs of distress or injury.  They have both been perfectly fine and tonight they were both perfectly fine.  It's me - I know logically they are both okay - but the broken hearted part of me makes me panic when I can't find them.

I am thankful my little business of ferrets is doing just great - tonight they are all up on the bed playing in the covers.  There is much dooking and happy squeaking going on.  I do love those crazy weasels....

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Late Evening Returns

Today was a crazy day for the humans which means a crazy outta whack schedule for the critters.  I had to be up and out the door early today and I was gone for the bulk of the morning.  Hubs was out at his regular time to go to the office.  Once I got home I jumped into several back to back conference calls which meant only a bit of attention for the babies.  Then out the door again late afternoon for a holiday party.  We arrived home late and were greeted by happy to see us furries.  The rule we established long ago was hands on every critter every morning and every night before bed.

Winston met us at the door and was quite happy to see us.  Emma was upstairs in the bedroom - I felt it was a good idea to separate them given they were both going to want to play with BentoBalls.  I didn't want them fighting while I was gone.  Emma came downstairs and did some outside business and then both she and Winston had some cookies.

Kitties were all downstairs and doing quite well.  Ear meds were applied to Zo, Phoebe and Ollie and Aggie was given her own dose of lovies.  The ferrets only had a bit of play time in their upstairs rooms today.  I let them out when I got home in the morning and then gathered them up and had them back in the bedroom this evening while we were gone.  I think the latest enhancements we have made to the gate to keep them upstairs are pretty secure - its been several days without an escape but I am not comfortable leaving them out while I am gone.  Would hate for one or more of them to somehow make it past the gate and downstairs to piggy land.  All six ferret babies came out for some attention and now everyone is settling in for the night.  I am hopeful that tomorrow will be a more routine day for them and for the humans as well....

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pet Product Review - BentoBalls

BentoBall - where have you been all my life.  I do lots of pet product reviews and rarely if ever do I say this.... Stop what you are doing - get in your car - drive to the pet store and buy one of these for every dog (or pig)  you have - right now - immediately!

Starmark makes these toys/treats and today I have a happy pooch and a happy piglet for sure and this equals a happy critter mom!  Winston is in love with his "ball".  He likes the everlasting treat on the top - its tough - he hasn't hardly made a dent in it and pig's have incredibly strong jaws.  In addition I broke up and stuck some piggy cookies in the other side - he loves that the plastic is soft and flexible - he sticks his whole snout in there.  It's tough to get them to come out but every once in awhile a cookie magically appears and he gets quite excited - then he goes after the ball some more.  He has played with that thing for hours today. I am thinking it will be a great diversion for him at night - hopefully it will keep him out of trouble....  :)

Emma likes hers as well - she has been chewing away.  I think she will enjoy hers much more when its not rainy and she is not stressed - but she has been pretty interested in it given the circumstances.

Here is what the packaging says:

  • Made with virtually indestructible material 
  • Provides hours of challenging play
  • Great for dental hygiene
  • Dishwasher safe
I have to agree with all of these statements - and I am glad its dishwasher safe - although not sure when I will have a chance to run it through the dishwasher - they literally won't leave it alone....  

This was not designed for a pig - but I am so pleased at how its holding up. Winston can kill a dog toy in about 5 seconds so I am so happy to have found one he can abuse without destroying!  Also the treats that go in the ball are not super high in protein so I feel good feeding it to him.  I bought two packs of additional treats - not thinking I will need them for awhile.  Everlasting is not an exaggeration!

I would give this one 2 paws and 2 hooves up for sure!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Critter Classic - Zoey

Look what I found!!!  I was tidying up a mess that the baby ferrets had made - they got onto my scrapbook shelf and pushed several of the books off.  I am glad they did because as I was stacking I took a look at one of the very old scrap books and I found these - pictures from when Zoey was a tiny baby kitten!!

These first two I think were taken at my parent's old house in Colorado.  The first one is Zoey with the hubs, the second is her back behind a piece of furniture.  These would have to be taken on the first day we got her so she was about 10 weeks old.

This one is truly a find - Zoey in our kitchen - and that is Isabel in the background.  Oh I miss that kitty - its been almost 4 years since we lost her and she is the whole reason I started blogging!

Here she is playing in a shoe....classic kitten material!

And last - her sleeping next to the fridge - crazy cat!

I had forgotten I had these - no idea where the negatives or original digital images might be.  Apologies for the red eye - can't do much to fix when it is a picture of a picture.  So happy to have them and to put them on the blog and into the blog book for posterity!  :)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Worries of Pet Parenthood

Having this many critters is not without incident and there are a few worries.  Zoey has a bit of a cough. This is not totally unusual for her as she is a compulsive bather and often gets large hairballs that sometimes she can't get rid of.  I have given her some hairball meds - and just in case a bit of vitamin C to help her fight off anything.  She seems fine otherwise - eating, drinking, litter box usage, energy levels all normal.  Keeping an eye on her.

Winston found his way into some chocolate.  Luckily not very much before I caught him and he seems no worse for the wear.  From what I can tell from internet research he would have to consume a significant amount for it to be toxic and I would estimate him to have had an ounce - maybe 2 at the most.  Significant would mean one ounce per pound so - 24ish ounces....keeping an eye on him as well but its been 10 hours with no signs of any distress.  He is eating, drinking, using the litter box, playing - etc.  Sigh.

Tabitha snuck into the bathroom while I was cleaning and proceeded to stick her tongue in mopping solution.  Cripes!  Needless to say - she didn't like it - we did lots of water from the water machine to flush her system.  I don't think she ingested any and if she did it was such a small amount.  She has been checked on several times since and is just fine.

And last but not least - the three eldest ferrets made a jail break and made it downstairs to piggy land. This may not be a big deal - they love downstairs and they like to interface with Winston.  My concern is that he will step on them.  I found the breach quickly - they were downstairs for about 5 minutes. When I came down to find them and very excited piglet greeted me.  I have checked them over several times and checked on them every couple of hours since.  No one seems to have any issues.  Theo seemed more intent on getting to the Christmas tree than getting near the pig.  Violet interfaced with him I think - her tail was pretty floofy indicating that she was excited.  She seems fine - no strange gut sounds, normal heart rate, eating, drinking, playing and normal outputs.  Madison seems fine as well - she is not all that interested in the pig so I would guess no time spent together.  Needless to say I am worried - after Finn and his unknown cause of death I am totally paranoid.  I will be checking on my babies over the next few days and if I think any of them need to see the vet I will be taking them in right away.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Casualties

We have had our first Christmas casualties via Mr. Piglet. First he pulled a metal snowman off of a side table and proceeded to knock some of its decor off - he didn't really damage the snowman and from what I can tell - he didn't eat any of the parts so I think we are good there - needless to say that one is going in the garage.

Secondly - a stocking which he pulled down and proceeded to take things out of.  Thankfully he only managed to do a number on the wrapping paper and didn't damage what was inside.  Little turkey... he is busy at night when we are sleeping....

As with many things - we continue to make adjustments to our household and routines as he grows, matures and finds new ways to get into trouble.  Crazy piggy....

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Flea Meds...

Yesterday was the 8th of the month which means it was flea medication application day.  We had an outbreak of fleas a few years ago and it was painful to fix so now I am religious about treating them every month.

Winston doesn't need treatment - for the most part piggy skin is too hard for fleas to penetrate.  I have read that very young piglets can get them but I think he is old enough now that he is safe from fleas.  Emma has a time release collar that we use for her - I am very pleased with how it works.  I need to get her a new one in February as it will have been 8 months.

The kitties are old pros at getting their meds on - it doesn't seem to bother them at all.  Then there are the ferrets.  Violet, Madison and Theo have been getting flea treatments for some time now and lets be honest - they HATE it.  I use Frontline Plus for cats on them and they wiggle and squirm to get away from the medication - sometimes Violet even cries when you put it on.  Poor things...

This was the first application for the baby ferrets and I was figuring that it would be more of the same with them hating it.  Really - only Harlow hated it.  Kai could have cared less and Tabitha didn't even seem to notice much either.

Everyone is well protected and are good to go for another month or so.