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, May 25, 2015

Harlow's Adventures

Yesterday we went to the hubs parents for dinner.  They live about forty five minutes away and if you budget in visiting and eating there was no way that I could leave Harlow for that long so we took her with us.  She stayed in her playpen on the screened in porch and I think she really enjoyed the change of scenery and the fresh air.  I fed her a couple of times while we were there and gave her the medication she needed right on time.  It made the evening much more enjoyable not having to worry about being gone for too long.

Since she enjoyed it so much last night I decided to give her some time outside this evening as well. She is currently out on the deck in her pen curled up in her blanket watching the birds and the trees.  She seems quite content.  Winston is out there with her pushing his treat ball around and around.  I just gave her a feeding which went really well - I was able to get in 24 ccs with no fussing, teeth grinding.....I love it when that happens....

Over all - she is holding her own... I am still working through the anger of this situation and the helpless feeling of not being able to do a thing for her but keep her comfortable.  I do adore her - and all of my furry babies....  deep breaths.  :)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Trial and Error

When you have a sick critter you have to think out of the box.  Much like people each little furry has their own preferences.  For instance - when I was hand feeding Clooney (our first ferret who we lost last July) he loved to be held like a baby and he would eat out of the syringe almost like a baby bottle.

Harlow doesn't want to be held at all - she just wants to eat out of the syringe.  Even that is changing over the last few feedings and she is not loving the syringe.  She is grinding her teeth even with the anti nausea medication.  This morning after her 8:30 feeding I was feeling pretty bleak about her future.  If I can't get her to eat then things don't look good for her.  So - we went on our walk and when we got home it was time for another meal for her.  I have noticed that she is quite meticulous about food it lands on her or on me so I had the idea of squirting some of the food in the palm of my hand.  She immediately went after cleaning it up and before she knew it she had consumed the quantity she needed for that meal!  Hooray!!  She was happy about it because she controlled the intake of how fast and how much and there was zero teeth grinding!  Yippee.  So I am feeling much better about things.  If we can keep her eating and her weight up she should be okay for the foreseeable future.  After her meal she jumped off the couch and was running around like a crazy ferret - playing in her tunnels and dragging a dog toy around.

We will keep trying new things til we can't think them up any more....  love that little fuzz butt.....

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday Follies

Today was a great day - but quite busy.  Lots of time spent out and about which meant lots of alone time for the critters.  Emma went walking with us - it was a long one today - about 9 miles.  Then we were home for a bit - Winston played outside, Emma took a nap, ferrets were played with, kitties were looked after....

Then out the door again to hit the gym, home, outside time for Winston, more interaction with the ferrets and kitties.  Then dinner for everyone a bit early as we headed out the door for dinner with friends.  Then home again for a bit - then an evening walk to our local wine bar for an after dinner drink and then home.

Throughout the day Harlow was fed and loved on.  I am trying smaller more frequent meals with her which I think she prefers.  Her weight is holding and she seems to be feeling okay.  I have one more feeding tonight at 11:30 and likely one around 3 am.

All in all its been a really fun but very hectic day.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit calmer

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stories of the Day

It's 7 pm and the majority of my critter duties are over.  Still left on the list - kitty ears, nighty cookies for the pig, dinner for Emma and an 8pm and 11 pm feeding for Harlow.  Today was a pretty good day - here is the recap:

Harlow - 6 am feeding went okay - she was hungry so she overlooked the nausea and ate pretty well.  * am feeding was rough and we got the Prednisone  in - I think overall that makes her feel better but it didn't help with the upset tummy.  Noon feeding - impossible - I got about half done and decided to wait til we had the anti nausea meds.  Ventured to the vet in a torrential downpour - that was exciting.  Meds picked up and headed home.  They worked almost instantaneously.  She at the rest of her noon feeding no problem.  3 pm was easy and 6 pm was as well.  She is a meticulous little ferret and she has to stop to get any drops of food that fall on her or on me during her feedings.  Then she spends like 20 minutes after she is done preening.  I am glad she feels well enough to care.

Kitties - no stories to share really - just a regular day of lounging, bathing, sleeping, eating....it is the life of a Grant cat.  I often hear that if my friends were to be reincarnated they would want to come back as one of our pets - they are just a tiny bit spoiled.

Emma was pretty good today - no walk this morning for her because it was raining.  She was a bit nervous throughout the day but this afternoon it has cleared up and she just came in from going potty, had some cookies and is snoozing away.

Mr Piglet is good - he has been such a well behaved pig the last week or so - that is until this morning - when he made two new holes in the carpet...strategic placement of floor rugs is getting more and more tough.  He was quite good throughout the day and right now he is playing on the deck - happy as a clam (are clams really happy?  who decided that they were?) with his treat ball.

The rest of the ferrets are doing just great.  The boys - Theo, Kai and Bash are all so handsome - I am so lucky....they are fine, full of piss and vinegar and in to everything.  The beautiful girls - Madison, Violet, Tabitha and Fiona are all fantastic as well.  I have seen everyone multiple times today and I will be heading upstairs to hit the showers after Harlow's 8 pm feeding so I  can make sure I don't spread any germs....  Happy they all seem to be doing so well....

The best part of today - I have a couple of things to wrap up for work and then I am off until next Wednesday - so glad - I need some downtime.....  Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

An Awesome Tuesday!!

Today was really a great critter day!  Here's the updates....

So - our days have a bit of a new normal with Harlow's feeding schedule and with precautions we take to ensure that we do not share germs just in case she is contagious or on the off chance that the other ferrets have something that she could pick up now that she is on an immunosuppressant.

  • Early morning starts around 5:30 or 6:00 with a feeding for little Miss.  She gets her warm gravy with the addition of a high calorie supplement/vitamin paste.  Then when I leave her I strip of clothes and put them downstairs so the other ferrets can't access and get into the shower.  Once I am squeaky clean I spend the early morning playing with the ferrets and Phoebe and Oliver who tend to hang out in our bedroom.  At 7:00 Winston gets fed and then he and Emma go outside to go potty.

  • Around 8:00 Harlow gets another feeding and her medication.  Kitties get ear medication, boxes get scooped, water stations get checked, cleaned filled, etc, and same with food stations.  Usually if its not raining I put Winston out on the deck with his ball - its cooler in the mornings and the sun is on the other side of the house.  He plays out there for hours.

  • At 10:00 another feeding for Harlow along with some play time if she is up for it.  I have been working in her room to spend more time with her and be there if she needs anything.  I think she likes the one on one time and today she spent a good bit of time curled up on the couch with me while I worked.  We do another feeding around noon.  

  • In the afternoon when Harlow seems to have her best sleep I change her feedings from 2 hours to 3. She gets a 3 pm, 5 pm, 8 pm and 11 pm feeding.  I hadn't been getting up in the night to feed her but given the weight challenges we are having I think I will for the next few days at least.  Around 3 I also take Winston and Emma out for a potty break.
  • Harlow gets her meds in her 8 pm feeding and then I do the whole shower and disinfect process so I can play with the other ferrets.  It's interesting - I see the other ferrets during the day but haven't been picking them up and loving on them - its too hard to disinfect every time I go in and out.  
Harlow had such a great day today - she was feeling frisky and eating well - we gained back some of what she lost yesterday and are back to where we were.  Still working on getting more weight on her.... Emma had a mid day walk with me - no evening walk as the humans went to the gym instead.  Winston has gotten over his naughty phase and has been the perfect piglet for the last few days.  Loving that. Kitties are all well.  All in all - it was a lovely critter day!  Hoping tomorrow is more of the same!

Here are some random snaps from the last couple of days:




Winston and Emma - looking over the upstairs banister

Winston with his dirty from playing outside face






Fiona doing her meerkat impression


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Sunday, May 17, 2015

You Know Its A Good Critter Weekend When....

1.  The dog is sacked out by 8 pm because she has been on 2 back to back 8 mile walks.
2.  The pig smells like a giant coconut because he has been outside so much he needs multiple applications of sunscreen.
3.  The seven ferrets in the general population all seem to be quite happy and show no signs of illness - even though Theo did have one icky output on Friday night that made me panic.
4.  The little baby ferret Harlow - while still sequestered from her siblings - seems to be holding her own.  She hasn't gained much weight - but she hasn't lost any either.  She is eating quite well, showing no side effects from her new medication and was caught in the act of playing and investigating several times this weekend.
5.  The kitties all seem to be doing just great - no hairballs, no thyroid related symptoms - just happy, LAZY kitties.

All in all this weekend was good.  While there is constant worry about Harlow and how she is doing and feeling - she seems to be a fairly happy and content little critter.  So far so good.

It's already time to head back to work tomorrow.  This week is full of busy days..... weekends are just too short!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Random Snaps

Here are several random pictures from the last few days:




Winston playing with his ball on the deck

Sleepy Winston

Mr. Ollie Kitty

The beautiful Miss Fiona

Bash and Fiona
 The next four were taken today - my sweet Harlow - she is doing well!!