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 a bunch of crazy critters? Tune in to find out!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Morning at the Zoo

So it's Monday morning here and the list of critter activities is long this morning.

Activity 1 - find all the ferrets and make sure everyone is good to go.  I accomplished this with the exception of Violet who is my late sleeper.  She will make an appearance around 11:30.  I saw her about midnight last night so I am pretty sure she is all good.

Activity 2 - make sure I think Bash is okay.... he is still not as active as I would like but he did play with me this morning.  His weight is steady and he is interested in his ferret vitamin, ferretone and gravy.  I didn't think he ate enough gravy so I grabbed a syringe and offered it to him....I think I might have created a monster. He laid in my arms like a baby and ate a bunch of gravy.  I stopped at the max amount you can feed a ferret at one sitting - if I would have kept going so would he.  So - lets just say there is nothing wrong with his appetite either!  :)

Activity 3 - get Emma and Phoebe downstairs - sounds like an easy one but not so much.  Emma is neurotic about the hallway floor and it takes her about 13 tries before she is brave enough to get all four feet on the hardwoods.  Phoebe is a pain in that she will not jump over the gate - it has to be opened for her or she has to be lifted....crazy cat.

Activity 4 - feed the piglet and the dog.  Its an incredibly beautiful morning outside so Winston got his breakfast in his treat ball.  He is out there playing now having a grand old time.  Emma thinks I am a cool mommy because I let her have a handful of small dog cookies for breakfast.  She gets treats throughout the day and then her large meal of dry and wet food in the evenings.

Activity 5 - get Harlow up, fed, medicated and let her have some play time while the pig is outside.  This morning she weighed 692 grams - woot!!  I got her out and let her play while I got her food and meds ready. We have moved from syringe feeding to offering her the gravy in a cup - she likes this and she eats a ton!!  I let her get some food in her belly and then gave her the prednisone - she is pretty good about taking it.  Then I did give her a few syringes of gravy to get the medication taste out of her mouth.  As I type she is running and playing and having a grand time outside of her cage.  So happy she is still doing so well.

There are additional activities I haven't yet gotten to:


  • Kitty ear meds - that one is next on my list
  • Cat box scooping - that one should be illegal on Mondays
  • Harlow's cage cleanout - that one is easy - just remove the potty pad, put in a new one and freshen up her food and water
  • Emma and Winston outside to potty - its interesting - Winston will not go potty on the deck - he will only go on the gravel in the front yard - so after he finishes playing with his ball and Harlow finishes running about I will let him in and take them both out.
  • Call the vet and reorder Harlow's prednisone.  She is down to the bottom 1/3 of her bottle.  Time for a refill.
Hope your Monday isn't too filled up with chores....

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Runaway Treat Ball

Earlier this evening Winston was playing outside on the deck.  I put his dinner in his treat ball and he was happily doing his thing.  We have a pet fence that stretches across the opening to go down the stairs and the fence is secured in several spots so he can't tip it over.  Somehow he pushed the fence out over the first step a bit.  There wasn't any way for him to get off the deck but - his treat ball was a different story.  Poor little piglet watched in horror as his beloved ball bounced down the stairs and then proceeded to roll down the steep hill in the back yard - all the way into the drainage easement.  Not a happy little dude.  I got him inside and went to retrieve his ball - when I came in the front door holding it he was making happy little grunts.  All is right in his world....  silly piglet.....

The rest of the gang is doing just great!  Can't believe it's already Sunday night....boo....

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Night Roundup


So - its been a crazy week!!  Very glad its Friday!

Harlow has had an amazingly fantastic week - I couldn't be happier.  I pulled her off the anti nausea meds mid week and she has done just fine without them.  She is bright and happy and active and I am so pleased!!  The rest of the ferret gang is doing great - although I have been keeping an eye on Bash.  He is a bit less active than he has been so I am keeping a close eye.  So far I can't really find anything wrong with him - he is eating, going potty, and will play when coaxed.  He is not losing weight so there is technically nothing wrong.  I may take him into the vet next week if I am still worried.

Winston had a good week - he is back on his regular schedule which makes him a happy piglet.  He has enjoyed some outside time this week.  He and Harlow visit through the cage and they are fascinated with each other - they meet nose to nose and sometimes Harlow gives Winston kisses on his snout.

Emma has had a rough week - we have had almost daily thunderstorms which make her so upset and nervous.  She is doing well otherwise though - no complaints.  I need to schedule her for another puppy haircut - this hot weather is crazy!

Kitties are all doing great - lots of sun sleeping!!  They are so spoiled - I am jealous of the cat life!

All in all this was a good critter week!  Looking forward to a couple of down days before we do it all over again!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Back in the Swing of Things


Today is the first day since I returned from traveling that I feel like I am back in the swing of things - sort of.  I feel like I am making some headway on chores, work, etc.  I also feel like the critters are back into some sort of routine.

Winston had a great day - he spent a good bit of time outside even though it was very warm - I put his waterbowl out there with ice water to make sure he had a way to stay cool.  He was a pretty good little piglet today....

Emma had a rotten day - she was on the naughty list from the time she got up this morning til just now when she finally went to bed.  Not sure what her deal was - surely tomorrow will be better.

Harlow had a great day - full of energy.  She had out of the cage time this morning while Winston was outside.  The good news for today was that I pulled her off of the anti - nausea medication.  She is not showing any signs at all of nausea so I don't want to medicate her unnecessarily.  I kept an even closer watch on weight today to see if she would eat less dry food.  So far so good.  She also ate two large feedings this morning and evening when I gave her her medication.  As of right now she is only on the prednisone!  :)

My herd of ferrets is fantastic - they are all out and about playing this evening.  I think they are all feeling fine!  I do adore them.  Kai and Theo visited me in the tub and almost everyone has visited the gravy bowl.

Kitties are all well - happy and healthy.

All in all I am feeling like things are slowly but surely returning to normal....

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Stories of the Day

Today was an interesting critter day...  Emma and Winston kept me on my toes as they decided to tip over the garbage and spread it all over the kitchen floor - FUN TIMES.  The kitties were pretty good today - no trouble to report for them.  They have had their ear medication and are all sprawled out in various parts of the house.

Ferrets are well - the seven upstairs ferrets are all happy and healthy and active.  I have seen everyone but Violet and Fiona - which I am not terribly concerned about because I saw both of them earlier this evening.  Harlow is doing so great - she is snoozing away in her cage.  Around 9 I gave her meds and a supplemental feeding.  Today I gave her around 70 ccs of syringe fed food.  The rest of the day she was on her own eating her dry food.  When I weighed her tonight before meds she was up to 674 grams - a 10 gram gain since this morning!  We will take it.  I love that we are inching closer and closer to that 700 gram goal.

Tonight its been pretty mellow.  Winston has had his nighty cookies and has settled into bed.  He was a very patient piggy this morning and let me sleep in til 8:30.  Usually I feed him around 7 - 7:30.  He also got his dinner a bit late - around 6:30 this evening.

As I type - little Miss Fiona has come up on the bed for some lovies...just Violet remains unseen which is not unusual at all....

I am feeling like I am starting to get back to normal after my trip.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a clam critter day and I can get caught up on some chores...hope you had a happy Saturday.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Status Updates

I am back with my furries after a long, exhausting but very successful week.

Harlow is doing exceptionally well.  She is gaining weight, eating dry food on her own, drinking from her water bowl and is quite active.  At the advice of the vet who cared for her while I was gone - they suggested that we keep her in a cage until we get her weight to where we want it.  When she has free run of a large area her food becomes an after thought but when she is in a more confined spot she seems to eat on her own much more regularly.  I set up Clooney/Nigel's old cage downstairs for her.  She has 4 sleeping spots to choose from, toys, tunnels, etc - its quite the hangout.  This weekend will be about finding a new normal.  Since she is eating on her own she likely doesn't need as much food via the syringe and she likely doesn't need it quite as often.  Today I have only given her about 75 ccs vs the 140 I usually do.  I am hopeful that we can move into more of a supportive feeding role - just supplementing what she eats with the syringe three or four times a day.  If this is successful then I can maybe go all night without a feeding which would be great.  So happy that she did so well while I was gone and so happy to be with her again.

Winston is great - full of piss and vinegar.  He got a great bill of health from the vet in his boarding exam and he got lots of outside time while he boarded.  I think he had fun but I also think he is happy to be home.  I know I am happy to have him home.

Emma did great with her boarding as well - she is always happy to come home though.  She is not thrilled with the afternoon thunder boomers we have been having.  Her health seems great - we are having extremely hot weather though so I need to take her into the groomers to get shaved again so she will be cooler.

Hubs did a great job caring for the other ferrets and the kitties.  Everyone seems happy and healthy.
I am hoping to have a low key weekend, not doing much and catching up on some much needed rest....

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Second Drop Off

So today it was all about Harlow and getting her ready to go to the vet hospital for her medical boarding.  I dreaded taking her all day long.  She had excellent feedings all day and was bright and active and alert.  About 3:30 I gave her a quick shower and got her all squeaky clean.  I packed her bag - good golly - the tiny critter has a lot of crap.  Off we went....

They got her checked in and set up in her spot for the next few days.  She has a little bed and her blanket.  She also has some of her toys.  Then there is her food, meds, chicken broth, Pepto Bismal, syringes, etc....geez.  By the time I filled out paper work and went through the feeding instructions it was about 4:30.  They did her first feeding at 5:30 and according to the vet tech it went very well. Harlow was cooperative and happy afterwards playing with her ball.  They were going to do her 9:00 feeding - that one had all her meds so I hope it went okay.

I will call and check on her in the morning on my way out the door....  Miss her, miss Winston - ready for this trip to be over...