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, April 23, 2011

Toenails and Baths

There are 100 critter toes to care for in this house.  It would be 140 but all kitties are declawed on the front.  Toe maintenance has varying degrees of drama:

Oliver and Zoey are very good about toe clipping - they just lay there and let you do what you need to do.
Phoebe - will let you do a few toes at a time - it usually takes a couple of sessions to get through all 10 toes with her.
Agatha - geez - forget it.  One toe at a time if you are lucky.

Emma hates getting her toes done.  I use the old fashioned clippers.  We tried the thing that looks like a Dremmel but she hated it and the smell of sandpapered toenails was really more than I could stand.

Then we have the little critters.  Clooney's toes have LONG nails that have to be cut frequently.  He is not a huge fan but if you catch him while he is sleepy you can usually get it done.  He seems to be more sensitive to this happening on his front paws.  He doesn't seem to care about the back paws nearly as much.  And then there is Nigel....how do you clip the toes on a critter that hides his feet in a spikey ball?  We started out by taking his cage door off the cage and laying him on there.  Hubby holds the door/critter up and I get under there and clip the nails on the dangling legs.  It sounds good in theory - not very easy.  Luckily, now that we are getting tamer he will let me position him in a way that I can get to his feet.  He doesn't like it but he lets me do it.  It's important with hedgehogs - if you let them go too long he can have foot issues.

Baths - well - 2 of my critters get consistent baths - Nigel and Emma.  Both are pretty cooperative and its usually a non drama event.  As for kitties - they don't get bathed very often - they don't go outside - how dirty can you get lounging on the couch all day?  I have bathed Zoey in the past and she actually didn't hate it.  The others say pretty clear of water.  Clooney occasionally gets a bath - usually associated with his assistance with some sort of painting task.  He has accidentally joined me in the tub a couple of times.  He is a pretty good swimmer which is unusual for ferrets.  Let's just say - baths are easier than toes....

No comments: