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!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September - Month in Review

September - cripes this year is FLYING.  This month was pretty good for critters.  No major issues to report.  Some mild tummy issues with Clooney but I don't believe its anything serious.  Kitties seem to be doing well.  Phoebe's allergies seem to have gone away for the most part.  Zoey seems great - maybe even more feisty than normal.

Emma had a good month - grandma time, Quincy time, haircut... she is still scratching on the carpet but not nearly as much.

Ferrets are being more friendly with each other.  They love their ball pit and spend much time playing in it together and separately.  They are good babies.

And Nigel - he's fab - love him.

Excited that fall is approaching - screen doors open, crisp air - the critters and the humans love this time of year.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

25 Random Thoughts

1. Ferrets make me laugh - so do hedgehogs that nuzzle my neck.
2. Emma may be just a tiny bit neurotic but when she is not with me I so miss her.
3. Madison loves her grandma (my mom) - they play and play together.
4. Everyone in the household that is a critter loves junky cat food - I imagine this is what human parents go through trying to keep the kids out of the chips and soda.
5. Nigel is less afraid of Madison - he almost lets her hang out with him with no huffing - almost.
6. Clooney and Madison are getting along better.
7.  The critters were sad that the glass walls got installed in the shower - they loved playing in the open concept bathroom.
8. Aggie loves to pick on Phoebe - especially pouncing on her when she is sleeping - Phoebe is not a fan.
9. Zoey is full of piss and vinegar - it makes me happy - I don't think she is sick.
10. Oliver is too smart for his own good - I am glad he has no thumbs or he might commit crimes...  :)
11. I sent a picture of Nigel to his namesake - I never heard back....  maybe I should try the same with Clooney
12. Time goes too fast - critter life spans are too short - I try to enjoy them and engage each of them every day
13. People say critters don't understand English - that they understand inflection - I think they understand both
14. If I won a gazillion dollars in the lottery I would start an animal rescue - I would rescue all kinds of critters and care for them - probably wouldn't adopt them out though because in my vast experience I have found that a high majority of people suck at caring for critters....
15. I can't watch the commercials by the Humane Society - I give them money, I give them time - I can't watch....sorry
16.  I think the baby lizards on my porch are too cute
17.  I wish the baby lizards liked to eat ants - I don't find the ants on my porch particularly cute.
18.  I try not to kill bugs - if they are inside I take them out - all except ants - they are on my shit list.
19.  Critters not on my wish list - snakes, bunnies (make me sneeze), horses (make me sneeze) - hmm that might be it.
20.  If it meant that a critter like a snake, horse or bunny could be saved - I would sneeze for them or get over not loving snakes (maybe)
21.  I think you should be able to deduct your critters as dependents.
22.  Why do kitties have to lay ON you?  By you simply won't do....
23.  I would love to get a bird - they are noisy though
24.  I would love to have a chinchilla but they get stressed by ferrets so I probably will never have one as I can't imagine my days without a ferret.
25.  I miss Isabel - crazy cat....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Outside Critter Updates

Lizards and birds and bunnies - oh my!

The baby lizards - I think there are four but its hard to tell - are really growing.  We also have another adult lizard - he is green and tame and he lives in the bushes I think.

The house finches are firmly planted in the ivy by the garage - they have had 2 sets of babies this summer.  The robins are definitely around but I have never seen their nest.  They did have 1 set of babies - 4 little ones that I found in the yard when they flew the nest.  Red headed wood peckers and cardinals are still living in the trees behind the house.

Bunnies - wow - we have had a bumper thumper year around here.  Not many days go by that there are not several bunnies munching in the grass.  They are cute and fairly tame - I can take the dog out on the leash and they don't feel compelled to hop away.

I think that's it for outside critter updates....

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Dog and the Hog

Miss Emma has been having fun the last few weeks.  She got to do a sleepover for a couple of nights with her Grandma and Quincy.  She was the center of attention at a recent party - getting lots of pets from guests.  At that same party she did great being there with no leash on - she does have a tendency to run off sometimes.  It was great practice for her upcoming trip to the beach.

Nigel is doing so well - he is just a happy little dude.  Things here have been crazy so his out of the cage time hasn't been as much as usual.  He does get out every day no matter what's going on - but I usually have him out of the bulk of each day and lately its just been a couple of hours each day.  He doesn't seem to mind too much.  He loves the junkie cat food and he gets a treat of worms every day.  All in all I am quite happy with his health and his level of tameness....

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

4 Kitty Post

Kitties are all doing well....

Oliver is ornery - have I mentioned this?  He broke one of my favorite picture frames trying to get to junkie cat food the other day.  Brat!  Phoebe is great - playing with her toys every day and hanging out with me - she sticks pretty close.  Zoey is full of piss and vinegar - her latest thing is getting on the headboard of our bed at o dark thirty each morning - joy!  And last but not least - Miss Agatha seems to be doing fantastic.  She wants her loves and her people food but other than those - she has no demands.

They are too funny....

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ferret Metabolisms

Ah - the ferrets...little metabolic wonders.  They have an EXCESSIVELY fast metabolism.  Basically what goes in comes out the other end in just about 3 hours or so.  As a result - they need to have food and water available at all times.

People with ferrets are poo aware kinda folks as it is the best way to determine the health of your little guy or girl.  Plus - the frequency of poo delivery makes it impossible not to notice.  The thing I have learned over the last four years is that unless there is blood involved - wait for three hours to see what then next one brings.  Most times strange episodes tend to resolve themselves in one metabolic cycle.

My ferrets are good eaters - but they are finicky.  They only like 2 kinds of cat food.  Clooney likes his rawhide sticks.  Maddie doesn't care for the sticks at all.  They both like ferretone.  Neither likes much in the way of people food and for supposed carnivores - neither likes meat.  They are both good drinkers as well - Clooney gets himself soaked each time he visits the water bowl because he scratches at the sides to make the water move so he doesn't dunk his nose in.  They both love to lick the faucet and the jets in the bath tub.

They are such fascinating and fun creatures - can't imagine what my days would be like without them.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hit By A Bus - Update

The famous Hit By A Bus updates:

Not to much has changed since last I posted on this topic.  The main things are as follows:

1.  Zoey is no longer taking her supplement - the kitties get wet cat food still - a quarter of a can each.  Its on auto order from Amazon.
2.  Clooney and Madison love the junkie cat food - Friskies Grillers Blend.  Everyone else in the household loves it too so I did the compare.  It's actually not that junkie after all so I have officially switched the kitties to it as well.  Everyone is quite happy.
3.  Nigel likes the junkie cat food as well - he gets as much as he likes in one sitting a couple of times a week

Other than those small dietary and supplemental adjustments thing are pretty much the same as ever...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

To Board, To Take or to Leave at Home...

Ugh - what to do with the zoo when we travel?  We have a trip coming up in a few weeks and I am trying to figure out what to do with the babies.  Some of them are easier than others - for instance - the kitties will be home alone with food, water, litter boxes and cameras.  They are old pros at this and with the cameras we can check in whenever we like and we have the neighbors on standby in case someone should need to come in for an emergency.

Nigel and Emma are definitely coming with us - Nigel is a great traveler and very go with the flow so he will get packed up along with his play pen and he can come along.  Emma is a beach lover and will be joining us as well.

That leaves me with deciding what to do with the ferrets.  We could take them with us.  That presents a couple of problems - they will be unhappy because they only have limited space to play - these guys are definitely free range ferrets.  Additionally - there will be ALOT of people around which could be an issue should they get out of their pen - lots of in and out of the doors, step on possibilities, etc.  T could leave them at home with the kitties - which I have done before and its always been just fine BUT - we have worked so hard to get Clooney's weight back up and if for some reason he isn't eating enough (which would be hard to tell on camera) he could quickly lose again.  So - I am leaning towards boarding them.  They have a tiny space - but they can open the door so they can access each other.  If Clooney should have any issues while we are gone the vet will be right there and can intervene.  I can call and check in on them each day - lots of positives about this one even though I know they would rather be home.

Still not 100% decided....we will see....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Finicky - oh my goodness

Okay - so - Clooney LOVES the junkie cat food, we have established that.  I had been buying it by the box but low and behold, the last time I went to the grocery store the bag was on sale.  I thought nothing of it and pitched the box once it was empty.

So - little dude is in the bathroom  begging and begging like usual.  I shut the door and get out the bag.  I open it and give him some cat food - he won't eat it.  I tried all sorts of things to get him to eat it...nothing.  I remember there is an empty box in Nigel's room that hasn't made it out to the trash yet.

I put some of the food from the bag (BTW - did I mention - its the SAME FOOD) and put it in the box.  He is more interested but still kinda finicky.  Finally he does eat it - begrudgingly - but he does eat it.  Cripes!

Then there is Maddie - bag, box, whatever.....chomp, chomp chomp!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Nigel....

Here lately Mr. Hedgehog has been somewhat uncooperative about getting his picture taken.  I have shared one or two snaps here and there but nothing like he used to let me take.  Finally I caught him in a happy mood and got some great shots of him playing in the bathroom after all the flood construction was complete.

He was happy to sniff around on the new floor and tile.  I also determined that he too is a fan of junkie cat food.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Zoey and Phoebe

Look at my two girls hanging out together.  Phoebe usually hangs out with Ollie and Zoey usually spends her time with Aggie - not often that these two spend time together:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

D O N E - done!!!

It's official - flood repairs are done.  No more workers in the house, no more critters on lockdown - its OVER.  Wow - what a painful long process.

The critters are glad its over - although I think they are sad that the shower walls/door have been installed.  They loved playing in there with no barriers - they would lay in the open shower with me in the tub.  They could jump from one to the other.  The ferrets had new places to dump bottles off the side of the tub deck.  So - now playtime is over for them.

Hopefully now we can have some bit of normalcy around the house....

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sunbathing in the Afternoons

Mr. Oliver Kitty - he loves to soak up the sun in the afternoons.  He seems to be doing quite well - always in trouble as usual.  He loves spending time in the garage, chasing the ferrets, wrestling with Phoebe, bathing Emma and torturing Zoey and Aggie.  He wants to be held all the dang time.  Sigh.  I do love that crazy cat - our household wouldn't be the same without his antics.

Happy Birthday to my Bro!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy and Handsome...

This picture of Nigel just cracks me up.  It looks like he is having quite the laugh.  Actually he is munching on a worm which does make him happy I guess.

Here is one of him looking handsome...

Love that little dude...

Oh - and Happy Birthday to my Poppie!  Love you!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Clooney's Turn in the Ball Pit

Not to be outdone by his sister - Clooney has been spending time in the ferret Ball Pit as well.  He plays in a totally different way than Maddie.  He scratches at the bottom of the pit and pushes the balls around with his nose.

Hard to get pictures of him playing because he is such a poser:

Once playing is done - napping can commence.  He slept in here for a long time - a few hours at least:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


We are pulling out all the stops in an effort to get Miss Emma to quit scratching on the carpet.  The Thundershirt does seem to be helping and the glamour girl loves to wear a shirt of any kind.

I also ordered these treats.  They are called Composure and they are supposed to help with anxiety.  Might be a bit early to tell for sure if they are helping.  I will say that Emma loves them regardless of whether they make her feel calm or not.

These little treats were not calming at all for the kitties - geez - what freaks!  They were all over me from the time I opened the bag and they were relentless.  I gave them one broken into 4 pieces.  I also gave Nigel a pinch of 1 which he promptly scarfed up.  Ferrets - as usual - couldn't have cared less.....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 Years - May We Never Forget

Being the daughter of a fire chief - 9/11's loss of 343 heroes was heartbreaking.  We interrupt our usual critter updates to take a moment to never forget: