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!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

May in Review

Where is this year going?  May whizzed by!!

May was a pretty good critter month.  I took both Clooney and Nigel to the vet - Clooney because I thought maybe his spleen was enlarged and Nigel for his 6 month check up.  Both of them got clean bills of health.  Clooney is back on his old food and is gaining a bit of weight - this is a good thing.  Nigel is a happy and healthy boy.

Maddie is still in the mode of sleeping or wild - she does only have 2 speeds.  She is a joy-filled critter.

Kitties are doing well - I am more convinced than ever that Phoebe is suffering from seasonal allergies.  For a couple of weeks she has been sniffley but no other symptoms.  I have been giving her colloidal silver and an occasional nose drop.  For the last few days - nothing - not even one sneeze.  Zoey continues to thrive.  Aggie is doing great and Oliver is as ornery as ever.

Emma is doing well - lots of under the bed time this month with all the rain we have had.  Lots of play time with Quincy which she loves.  She seems to be a pretty happy pup.

So - that is the critter month in a nut shell.  Have I mentioned that time goes too fast???

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I so love my little mellow ferret boy - he is doing well - putting on a little weight which is great as he had become quite the skinny mini.  He is totally calm as opposed to the whirlwind that is Madison....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sleeping Baby

Sometimes - not all the time - but sometimes Nigel is so relaxed and content when he sleeps that he just totally sprawls out.  These times are some of my favorites because it makes me think he is a happy boy who feels safe and secure.  I captured a few hedgehog rear end views of his most recent sprawl from the other day:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

To those who serve or have served - thank you!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hedgehog Retriever

Boy howdy was Nigel a pissed little hedgehog tonight.  He was on my lap this evening and Quincy (my parents dog) decided it would be fun to pick Nigel up in his mouth.  We think maybe Quincy thought he was a toy?  Not sure if it was the mouth full of prickles or the fact that Nigel moved that freaked the dog out but one of those made him drop the little critter on the living room floor.

No worries - everyone is just fine but it did take good 15 minutes or so for the little critter to quit huffing and puffing and unroll.  Once he was upstairs and in the safety of his cage with some yummy worms all was forgotten.  Poor little dude.  I am glad everyone is okay....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

No New Birthday Critters

Sigh - no new birthday critter to report....

Zoey was my first birthday critter.  Clooney was a birthday critter.  No new hedgehog or ferret or kitty to report here.  I did have a great birthday though.

Maybe someday we can get Nigel a companion.  I would love to contact the ferret farms to get ferrets from the lineage of both Clooney and Madison....there is always room for a new kitty....ah - someday...

Don't forget about the outside critter wish list either....  :)

Friday, May 25, 2012


Off from work today and doing projects with my parents - we have lots of helpers.  The biggest helper is Madison - she likes to be in the middle of the happenings.  Clooney likes to investigate bags so he was enjoying exploring the Costco purchases.  Kitties want attention more than wanting to help so they do a variety of antics while you are working from howling to annoy you to standing in your way to laying on your projects.

Emma was pretty good - she had Quincy to entertain her so she wasn't much under foot.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Visitors and Sleep Overs

So we have a visiting critter at the zoo - my parents dog Quincy.  Emma is always so happy when he is here:

Quincy gets along pretty well with the other critters - kitties are used to him and ferrets have no fear....

My parents are staying with us for the weekend.  My mother has a love affair going with Miss Madison - she loves her grandma and they play and play.  It's been great for us - no ferret wake up call because she is so worn out she sleeps late.  Gotta love that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hail is not your friend

I have determined officially that none of the critters are very excited about hail.  It's noisy and scary and accompanied by thunder sometimes and they just don't like it.

Kitties all ran for cover once it started, ferrets were out but then quickly found hiding places and Emma was under the bed LONG before the hail started.  She heard the thunder that was miles away and high tailed it to her stormy hiding space.  The only one who didn't care was Nigel - he slept through the whole event without a care in the world.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Taming the Lion

Miss Madison found Phoebe's catnip filled lion in the hallway and proceeded to bring it up on the bed for a bit of lion taming ferret style:

And two more just cuz she is cute:

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Death of the Orange Glass

My orange depression glass tumbler that is part of my set that matches my pitcher met its demise today courtesy of Mr Ferret.  Little turd climbed up on a mattress that is sitting in the dining room til tonight when it will go to the curb for pick up.  He actually pushed two glasses off the top of the hutch - fortunately only one of them broke so I still have 4 in the set.  He felt bad - laid with his head down in the "pouting position" til I picked him up and gave him loves.  Then he ran off to get a bite to eat - all is right in his world.

So much for my glass - I got all of it cleaned up while trying to keep the many helpers I have around out of the shards.  UGH.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pet Peeves - Digging in the food

Wow - why must ferrets dig in the food bowl - they make a ginormous mess.  Clooney has actually learned that "Leave it in the bowl" means stop digging.  They dig in the cat food, the dog food, the ferret food and the water dish.  The water is not quite so messy - it dries after a few minutes.  But the food is EVERYWHERE.  Cripes...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Phoebe Update

Happy to report that Miss Phoebe seems to be doing better.  I have heard one sniffle today but other than that I think the allergies are subsiding.  No nose drops today and a smaller dose of the colloidal silver.  Hopefully she is on the mend.  If she still is sneezing on Monday I may take her in just to be safe but so far it looks like we are on the mend.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The 8 Dwarfs??

Today we had an interesting day -  characteristics of the 8 dwarfs....

Phoebe is Sneezy - not sure if she has a cold or just her allergies - I gave her a nose drop and she is resting.  She is eating, drinking and playing so she doesn't feel totally horrible.

Emma is Scaredy - hiding under the bed because of the thunder, wind and hail

Nigel is Snacky - in the last two days he has pigged out on bbq chicken, potato, corn, potato salad and bread

Oliver is Whiney - crying to get out into the tent but having to settle for playing in the garage

Aggie is Lovey - she has been hanging out with me non stop the last few days

Zoey is Chillaxin - she is so go with the flow these days

Clooney is sharing the Snacky title with Nigel - he has been face down in the cat food for the last two days


Madison is Bitey - wow - she is going through a phase right now.  She stops when told but yow....

So there are my 8 dwarfs - Sneezy, Scaredy, Snacky1, Snacky2, Whiney, Lovey and Chillaxin - I guess there is a reason I don't write for Disney.....

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What's Happening???

How about a general update on the zoo?  Things here are good.

Madison is doing well - running around like crazy and being a very happy girl.  She is very social and likes when visitors come by the house.  Nigel is doing great.  He passed his physical with flying colors last week.  He is also really enjoying the new tent setup.  The little guy loves outside and he has been exploring and napping on the deck each day.  Clooney is doing very well.  He went to the vet last week as well and is fine.  He is a little on the skinny side so I decided to give him his old cat food.  Low and behold he pigged out yesterday.  I think perhaps his weight loss is related to not liking the cat food all that much.  I have p ut the old food out for him and he has visited 4 or 5 times already.  There is nothing wrong with his appetite.

Kitties are well.  They are funny about the tent outside.  Zoey has no desire to go anywhere so I can let her out there and leave her, just checking on her every few minutes.  She lays out there happy and content for hours.  Oliver has figure out how to break out of the tent so he requires constant supervision.  I have been letting him play in the garage instead which is one of his favorite things.  He goes out there and lays on the cars - not sure why he likes that.  Aggie came outside once to check out the tent but then she heard the garbage truck so she ran for the safety of indoors.  Phoebe has not even ventured out there once.  She is a fraidy kitty when it comes to outside.

Emma dog is doing well.  She is happy her friend Quincy (my parents dog) is in town.  She has been spending some of her time under the bed as we have had rainy weather the last few days.  She kinda likes the tent but she is totally an inside dog so she doesn't want to hang out outside for very long.  Emma also had a quick check up when she was boarded last week - I thought she might have a touch of a urinary tract infection but thankfully she came back normal.

All in all things are pretty happy and healthy at the zoo!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Littlest Boys Outdoor Adventure

With the addition of the tent the little critters can go outside (supervised of course).  Madison went outside into the tent and figured out in about 5 seconds she could get out.  Time for plan B.  I decided to set up Clooney's playpen out there so the little ones could go outside.  Here are Clooney and Nigel checking out the new spot.

Below you will see Clooney surveying how he can escape the playpen:

Here is Nigel checking out the deck:

MMMM - Basil - that smells yummy:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Enjoying the Tent

I have looked at those canopy tents on and off over the years, thinking it would be nice to have one on our deck and then seeing the price and thinking maybe not.  Well - it just so happened that my parents have one of these said tents they are not using so they brought it over and the hubs and I put it up last night.  It looks kind of like this:

When we set it up it was way bigger than we expected - in fact we weren't sure it would actually fit on the deck.  Believe it or not - its perfect - it goes from the side of the house to the railing of the deck and stops right before the opening of the back door.  This morning I dragged out some things I have for outdoor dining and my mom and I cleaned up the furniture, got rid of the old barbecue and assembled the new one and got some plants in the planter.  

Here I sit on this rainy day with Zoey out here with me.  She is the outdoor lover and the best thing is she is totally trustworthy.  She has no desire to run - I think she knows she has it good..  I have already chased Oliver through the bushes.  He is grounded to indoors.  Aggie came out for a minute but didn't like the rain.  Phoebe won't even come to the door - change is scary.  I brought Miss Madison out her as well - she too figured out how to exit under the perimeter.  I think there is room for her playpen though so I will bring her and Clooney and Nigel out tomorrow morning for some outside time which they all love. Emma likes it out here but its raining which means she is under the bed. 

The tent is not completely water proof - I get a surprise drip drop every now and then.  Water collects over the frame so that has to be pushed off every few hours - although its not a big deal.  All in all I am super happy with it.  I look forward to critter time, dinner time, some work time and other kinds of time I am sure to think up enjoying the great outdoors.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day from the zoo.  I can't help but wonder where the critter mommies who gave me my little gang are these days....  Madison's ferret mommy somewhere at Marshall Ferret Farm - my hope for her is she is done with her breeding duties and has been adopted to a fantastic home.  Clooney's ferret mommy from Peevy Valley Farm is most certainly done with her breeding contributions to the ferret world and I hope she too has a wonderful family who loves her very much.

Nigel's hedgehog mommy was adopted out shortly after I got Nigel from the shelter.  I hope she is well.  Kitty mommies - Phoebe's kitty mommy was a farm cat in Durham - I hope she is enjoying her later years chasing mice and loving farm life.  Oliver's kitty mommy is a mystery as he was a stray - wherever she is may she be happy and healthy and if she is gone I hope she has found my Isabel at the rainbow bridge.  Aggie's kitty mommy was a black trailer park kitty in Atlanta.  Since Aggie is pushing 14 I am not sure if her kitty mommy is still with us.  And Zoey's kitty mommy - in Colorado - I hope she is still around living the life of a CO farm kitty.  Emma's dog mommy Houdini - I hope she is doing well - I should check in on her to find out.

Thank you critter moms for birthing my brood - know that I am taking good care of them.  Thanks to my mommy as well for all the critter related help she provides in addition to everything else she does for me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Healthy Little Boys

Off we went to the vet this morning.  Clooney had a lumpy organ and Nigel was due for his 6 month check up.  I am happy to report that both boys are healthy!

Clooney's lumpy organ was in fact his spleen.  Dr said it was not enlarged - just that Clooney is skinnier than Madison which is why you can feel one and not the other.  He is otherwise pretty healthy so we are kind of on the watch and see mode with this one.  He does tend to have some mild digestive upset at times so Dr put him on a probiotic.  I put it in his ferretone when we got home and he lapped it right up.

Nigel was a crazy man at the vet - cruising all over the place - finding morsels of old dog treats, anointing himself with all the new smells.  He was quite a mess.  Dr says eyes, ears, teeth look good and heart sounds strong.  No need for major testing since he seems like a happy healthy baby.

Since he was such a mess I did opt for a quick bath once we got home.  Clean and healthy baby - even better!

Both boys are snoozing - sleepy from their adventures.  Thanks Dr B for looking at my guys!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Home with the Babies

After a week of business travel I am finally home - hooray.  Grandma (my mom) had Emma for the week as the hubs had a crazy work schedule.  Kitties, ferrets and hedgehog were under camera viewing via my cell and hubby care in my absence.

Clooney has a vet appointment in the morning - want to get him checked as I can feel an organ in his tummy - not sure what it is - it is definitely smaller than it was when I left.  Guessing perhaps an enlarged spleen which is fairly harmless.  Hoping its nothing.  Nigel will come with for his every 6 month checkup.  Madison is doing great - she is happy to see anyone but I like to think she missed me.  Kitties are sprawled out on the bed with me and Emma is snoozing happy to be home.

I miss my guys so much when I have to travel....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Boys and Girls

The differences between male and female ferrets....don't believe everything you read.  Myth number one....boys are bigger than girls - nope - Maddie is 5 months old and already just a couple ounces less than Clooney.  Girls are more independent and less affectionate than boys - nope - both my babies are affectionate and seek lots of people and critter attention.  Girls are more hyper than boys - this might be true - hard to tell if the hyper is related to gender or the fact that she is 5 months old.

I love having a boy and a girl and we waited a really really long time to find just the right playmate for Clooney. I think their personalities will be very similar and work well together once she settles a little and gets out of crazy baby ferret mode.....

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Clooney the Race Car Driver

Last week the hubs went to racing school - as he was prepping all his gear Clooney decided to check it out. Maybe he wants to be a racing ferret - or maybe its just his love of all bags?  He checked out all the gear and then posed for a snap at the end.....

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

May Snaps

May Snaps...
Cute me - I know it....

Clooney stopping for a pose

The Rough Life of a Kitty

Phoebe blinked....

Must you take my picture???

mmmm - that chicken cat food was YUMMY!

Who me??  I didn't knock all those bottles off the side of the tub....


Sneaky photo - I was distracted walking over to get some pets

Dinner time!