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!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Eve

I am always glad to see the old year go - even though 2011 was a pretty good year for us.  My wish for 2011 - happy and healthy critters.  Perhaps a playmate for Clooney will be found in 2012, maybe we will get that farm and start on the outdoor critter list.  I would love to find a little girl hedgehog and name her Simone and let her and Nigel have a hedgehog family.   Guessing there is no way the hubs will let that happen....

All in all I am very happy with my current critter roster - I will focus on caring for them in 2012 and making sure they have everything they could need....

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011


We made it home and everyone is doing just fine.  We are getting an earful from the kitties.  Nigel gave me neck kisses and the ferret is jumping around like a crazy boy.

Cat boxes need scooping and Nigel needs to relocate to his cage.  Can't wait til tomorrow when we get to pick up the Emma Dog....

Thursday, December 29, 2011

One More Sleep....

One more sleep and I will get to see the kiddos.  Having fun here....checking in on the gang has gone pretty well.  As expected, hard to catch Mr Ferret on camera but he does leave evidence of his presence - food spread all over the hallway floor, cat beds relocated to different rooms, etc.

Everyone else seems to be doing great.  Here is a non critter related snap or two from our trip:

Snoqualmie Falls

Experience Music Project

Pike Place Market - look at the very top center - you can see the fish they are tossing

Pike Place Market

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Missing My Critters

While we are having a fabulous time here and I am totally enjoying myself I still miss my babies.  I found some shots on the camera that I hadn't downloaded from before we left:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Naughty Furniture Rearranging Ferret

What a little brat - the ferret decided that he wanted his chair in a different spot I guess so he pulled it close to the camera and now you can't see if he is in there.  Cripes.  I was so happy with the fact that I could consistently see him while he was sleeping because in the past I have had a hard time catching him at the food bowl.

Oh well - back to the drawing board....

Everyone else appears to be just fine.

Monday, December 26, 2011

So Far So Good

I have managed to catch every critter on camera and they all seem to be doing just fine.  Every critter besides Emma that is....I so wish the vet had camera ability.

I was very nervous to leave Zoey - after all her illness a few months ago was so sudden.  But - she has been going strong for awhile now so the hubs convinced me that we should leave her at home where she would be the most comfy and would have her siblings with her.  Seems like she is doing just fine - in a different spot whenever I look and not appearing to be in distress.

I was even able to see Nigel running around and getting a bite to eat last night.  Glad they are okay....

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Zoo:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve - Travel Prep

Its Christmas Eve and we fly today to Seattle.  It stresses me to leave my babies - especially since my ace pet sitter has her own Christmas plans and is not available to watch my babies.  We have several folks on standby who can access the house should there be a need.  We will be monitoring via cameras.  Emma will be at the kennel.

Nigel has been relocated out of his cage into the playpen in the living room.  I do this for a couple of reasons.  First he has more room in the pen to run around, second his away feeder where we put his bugs is too big for the cage and third he is downstairs where everyone else is rather than in his room alone.  He has a camera set up so we can view his pen and make sure he is okay.  We can also see water and food levels so we can have someone come in should he run low.

Kitties - they are free feeders so they have their full feeder plus an extra large bowl of food.  They have two watering stations - enough to last them about a month - plenty for the few days we will be gone.  We have a camera focused on their feeding station - a good way to catch them on camera as well as keep tabs on food and water levels.  We also have cameras that focus on the couch - Zoey's favorite sleeping spot, the cat tree and the entry.

Clooney has his own camera focused on his chair in the closet.

6 cameras in total - should be able to see pretty much everyone each day.  I miss these guys when we go.....

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve

Its Christmas Eve Eve and that means that its the day of our annual Eve Eve Bash.  Parties around here mean different things to different critters.  Emma will not partake in this particular party as she is going to the kennel in prep for our Christmas travel.

For the kitties - Phoebe will spend the duration hiding under the bed in our room - she so hates strangers.  Aggie is somewhat better but will likely spend the evening upstairs away from the hustle and bustle.  Oliver - smack in the middle of the action - the center of attention.  Zoey will spend the evening doing her Jekyll and Hyde act - pet me I am a nice kitty - okay now I must bite you.....

Clooney is such a social little dude - he will come down and check everyone out.  He loves to be picked up and held by everyone - he is convinced they all came to see him.  And the littlest Nigel - he will be passed around to different folks so they can check him out.  He is always the source of fascination.  Its great for him as we work on his level of tameness to be exposed to lots of different people.

Once the crowd departs the toys and treats from their stockings will be distributed so they can enjoy them while we are on the road.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 - the Year in Review - Zoey

My orange kitty girl - she certainly scared us in 2011 - we thought we might lose her.  Fortunately she seems to be doing amazingly well these days.

Besides her big health scare it was a pretty calm year for Zoey.  She is a very independent kitty who has no issues spending time alone.  This has changed somewhat since her illness - she is much more engaged with us and with the others in our family since she came home from the vet.

Since October when she got sick she has gained a couple of pounds.  She is eating her raw food diet and each day she gets her supplement that treats the potential for cancer.

I find she is much more active, happy and generally seems to be doing well on all fronts.  Her quality of life seems to be fantastic which is what is the most important to me.  I don't know what the future holds for her - perhaps what they saw on the ultrasound was a foreign object and it has passed through - or maybe it is something more serious.  Either way I enjoy every day and every interaction with her and will do everything I can to make sure she is happy and feeling good.  Here's to a 2012 filled with healthy days for my girl....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 - the Year in Review - Phoebe

Oh Phoebe!  2011 was the year of naughtiness, standing up for herself and establishing her place in the kitty dynamic we have in our household.

Phoebe is in a long phase of mischief - she pushes the bounds to see how much she can get away with.  She has taken to sticking up for herself with Aggie and frequently delivers a wallop or two if Aggie comes too close.

Phoebe is a very healthy kitty as we found out when we visited the vet for a lump close to her spine on her right side.  Fortunately it was just a keratin filled cyst and was nothing scary.  Other than that - no health issues other than being a pukey cat when she eats too much.  I am convinced she would eat the whole feeder if she could hold it just so the evil Aggie couldn't have any.  She is also the tattler - running to mom to tell her that someone is doing something bad.

Phoebe is the VERY chatty kitty in the bunch and spends lots of time chatting with her toys as she plays.  She does love her toys.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 - the Year in Review - Clooney

My joyful Clooney - I so love that little boy.  2011 was a good year for him - no major health issues (no dietary indiscretions).  He is a "free range" ferret these days - free to roam the house rather than be in a cage.  His primary sleeping spot is the hubs closet - either in a dresser drawer or in his easy chair.

He still loves to make the bed, play with Ollie, snuggle with Zoey, play tag with Phoebe....and he still relocates his sacred cow every day or two.  He loves the car and went with us to the lake over Thanksgiving.

We struggled a bit getting Clooney switched over to the raw food diet.  For some reason the little carnivore doesn't like meat.  It took some convincing but he is now enjoying both the dog food and the cat food every day.  He is still on his Ferretone each day as well as his favorite daily rawhide stick.

I am still on the lookout for a friend for Mr Ferret.  I have had no luck finding a mellow sweet boy for him to play with so for now he gets Ollie for the most part.  He and Nigel are getting better with each other - maybe by the end of 2012 they will be friends.

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 - the Year in Review - Oliver

My ornery, lovey boy -- there are days he makes me nutty but I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world.  He is one of the sweetest critters I have encountered.

Oliver had a great year - no health issues to report at all.  He is generally a happy guy who loves to torture his siblings.  He loves to play with Clooney, love on Phoebe, bathe Emma and chase after Zoey and Aggie. He even tries to get Nigel to play with him by stealing his covers.

For this next year - I am going to try to carve out more time for play time with him and the other kitties.  I want to install a play wall for them as well - perhaps in the upstairs hallway.

I so enjoy the antics of my only boy kitty....

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2011 - the Year in Review - Nigel

My little Nigel-bear.  We added him to the family in January of 2011 and have loved every minute of having him around.  This last year has consisted of lots of patience and training while he gets used to us and becomes a tame little hog.

Healthwise - he had his first checkup in April and he did great.  Shortly after he developed a skin irritation and had to get a steroid shot and take antibiotics.  In October he developed a bit of a runny nose and since he was due for his 6 month checkup anyway I took him in....all in all he is a very healthy and happy little hedgehog.

We have spent lots of time investigating what kind of foods he likes.  His main diet consists of ferret food, crickets and worms.  He is the lover of junk food but I try not to give it to him very often.

We have so enjoyed him as a part of our little zoo - for 2012 I will continue to work on levels of tameness with him and continue to interact with him every day.  I may also look in to creating a hedgehog play area where he has lots of room to run with lots of places to investigate.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2011 - the Year in Review - Agatha

2011 for Agatha was a good year.  Little Miss has come out of her shell and has become quite social with us over the course of the year.  I think this started when we lost Isabel but Aggie is really wanting attention these days.  She has also become quite vocal - meowing for pets and taking it up a notch to howling while you get canned food ready.

Aggie has had a healthy year - no major illnesses to report for her.  She is a tiny bit over weight - hoping that the new diet fixes that.

I am happy to see her doing well, spending time with us and with Zoey and playing with her toys more frequently - its all good stuff!

This year's resolutions for Aggie - she probably needs to go in for a check up in the early part of the year.  I also really want to focus on getting some weight off so we can avoid any fatty liver disease.  Other than that - just enjoy her.....

Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 - the Year in Review - Emma

2011 for the Emma dog has been good.  No major health issues to report.  She spent lots of time during the first half of the year with my parents dog Quincy.  She has been on a couple of vacations and has seen the kennel a couple of times as well.

She continues to be more and more vocal, barking and getting in trouble for it.  Her nesting (scratching at the carpet) seems to get worse as time goes on - interestingly my mother reports that Quincy has started this as well.

We have been practicing some time off the leash and been trying to go for more walks.  Emma continues to prefer that we don't take her picture - but at least she has stopped getting under the bed every time the camera comes out.

The new years resolutions related to the dog - try to continue more walks and off leash time, continue to work on switching her fully to the new diet - her stomach just doesn't want to cooperate, work on some training time with her - she is very smart, I just have to carve out the time....

All in all - a pretty good year for my girl....

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


My ornery boy kitty is quite handsome....he is getting whiter around the muzzle but he is still my sweet lovely boy:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Zoey and Nigel

I wonder what they will do once they figure out the other is there.....

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Toy

Emma playing with her new toy from Aunt Sondra....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Phoebe's Tree Obsession

For some reason the Phoebe cat it totally obsessed with the Christmas trees this year.  She has never had an interest before - it coincides with her general naughty phase.  Little brat - she managed to knock the entry tree over a couple of times before I tied it to the wall.  The living room tree has been stripped of several ornaments which find their way to interesting places around the lower level of the house.  The kitchen tree actually had one ornament casualty this year - a glass ball that didn't take kindly to being winged off the tree.

Pretty much everyone else could care less that Christmas has been added to the household.....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pet Peeves - Volume 11

3 am wake up calls....be it the dog, the ferret, the kitties.....its never Nigel as he is in his cage.  The ferret and the kitties are usually playing and trying to entertain themselves and they end up waking me up by making noise.  Its hard to be mad at them for that - but at 3 am - I do get frustrated.

Emma has decided lately that 3 am is the best time to go outside to go potty....really?  We take her right before bed - doesn't seem to matter.  Grrrr - I would love to sleep in occasionally....but not happening much around here these days.

Friday, December 09, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Hedgehog

You know - Nigel has a pretty cushy life.....here's what a typical day looks like for him.

He gets up EARLY - running on his wheel starting around 3 am - 5ish am.
Then he hits the sack - cuddled up in his blankets with his stuffed hedgehog.
When I get up in the morning I check in on him to make sure he is warm and resting comfortably.
Then around 11 am I get him out of the cage and locate him wherever I am for the day - he continues to snooze.
I wake him every so often checking on him and snapping the occasional photo
Around 6ish we do crickets and worms and cuddles
Back into the cage after treats to get a bite to eat, something to drink and to go potty
Back to bed until 11ish pm when he runs on his wheel again until midnight or 1 am.

All in all a pretty cushy day....

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Who Knew?? Astragalus

We have Zoey on C Caps which contain Astragalus.  I did some research and found the its a great herbal treatment in both cats and dogs for chronic illnesses including cancer.  Its good for hyperthyroid - not good for hypothyroid.  Shouldn't be used for diabetes or leukemia treatments.  It stimulates T cell production and white blood cell production and in general boosts the immune system.

Zoey is doing amazingly well since we had our episode in late October....

According to the research it has many of the same effects on people - interesting stuff.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

2 Naughties

I have 2 naughty critters at the moment.  Its funny to me that they go through phases just like 2 legged kids.

My 2 are Phoebe and Emma.

Phoebe is just full of mischief and defiance.  She is into things she should be.  She doesn't listen.  She is bullying her siblings.  In general she is just being bratty.  Not sure what has sparked this phase - kinda looking forward to having it end....

Then there is my Emma.  Cripes she is testing my patience.  She has decided that whatever she is told can be completely disregarded.  She does what she wants when she wants regardless.  So - over the last few days she has been in trouble and not liking doggie life as she gets sent to time out for being a turd.

Don't these 2 know that Santa will not come if they are bad?  Perhaps I should replace all those toys and treats with a lump of coal in their stockings....  :)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Random Shots

Here are a few random shots over the last few days: