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!

Friday, November 30, 2012

November Month in Review

Wowser - the human inhabitants have had a jammed packed November.  Where did it go exactly?  Not sure but I can't believe tomorrow is December already.

As for the critters - this month was pretty good.  The flea episode seems to be over with no casualties except maybe a flea or two.  Here are the tips I have learned - buy a dog flea collar and cut it in pieces and put it in your vacuum and when you clean if they get sucked up in there the collar will kill them.  I also ordered an organic flea powder for the carpets - I did a light coat everywhere and a heavy coat under the bed where Emma sleeps and under the bonus room couch where Madison sleeps.

Zoey got poked in the eye or something like that - it made her eye squinty for a few days.  She is perfectly fine now.  Aggie had a very bad tummy day - she is perfectly fine now and Nigel went for his check up and he is perfect too....

The critters have been having all kinds of Christmas fun - playing in the packages, helping me wrap, chasing ornaments, etc.  Only 1 tree down so far this year - they have all been secured now so no more tipping potential.  Their stocking are filled with toys and treats....and I have added a few new critter ornaments.

Today - everyone is snoozy.  Nigel and Oliver are sharing a blanket in front of the fire.  Zoey is on the kitchen table.  Phoebe is on the couch, Aggie on the back of the couch.  Clooney and Madison snoozing upstairs...Emma is guarding the house from the evil UPS man...ugh - the barking makes me nuts.

All in all - its been a good month for the babies and the zookeepers - on to December.....

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nigel's Wellness Visit

Mr Hedgehog went to the vet yesterday for his six month wellness visit.  I try to be very diligent in taking him right on time to really stay on top of any potential issues.

I am very pleased to report that his visit went very well.  He had no issues at all.  First they checked his weight - 1 pound 4 ounces.  That's up a little since his last visit but given his size its a very healthy weight.  You know...they say that the way to tell a hedgehog is too fat is that he won't be able to roll in a tight ball any longer.

Then we did the ear check - I flipped him on his back and he let the vet look at his ears.  They were clean of wax, no discharge and no mites - these are all good things.  Then his eye check - the vet looks to see if there are any scratches or pokes - a side effect of having quills on your outside parts.  Everything there was good. He checked his "teeth" - which are actually bony little things that stick up through the gum.  They all looked healthy.  Then we listened to his heart - its a healthy little ticker in there and there was no gurgling or bad noises in his tummy.  He did a full exam of his quills which are very evenly distributed, no balding spots, no mites....the skin under his quills is not too dry or flaky.  His under parts are all good too - his fur is clean and even, no matting or "dandruff".

Last thing was a fecal exam - hedgehogs can harbor two kinds of parasites.  His tests came back negative which is perfect.

Nigel was a very nice boy - letting the vet pick him up and poke and prod him with things.  He let the other folks in the practice come and visit - they petted him and he was very tolerant - no huffing at all.  He does great in the car - he has his little carrier and he is a very patient traveler.  All in all the vet was a pretty good experience.

After all the daytime excitement the little dude was tuckered out.  Much nap time needed....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Fireplace

The fireplace has become quite the popular hangout this week.  First - little Nigel LOVES to lay on his blanket in front of fire - he sprawls out on his belly with his little back feet sticking straight out behind him.  Love that!

The kitties love it as well - Phoebe spends pretty much all her time there if the fireplace is on.  Ollie drops in but I think he gets too warm so he moves to the couch for a bit and then back.  Zoey loves it - no such thing as too warm and even the elusive Miss Agatha likes it as well.

The ferrets are starting to plop down and stop for a rest as well although they don't stay for too long.  They are pretty warm blooded little creatures anyway so they heat up fast.

Emma - not really a lover of the fireplace - its not her regular spot to lay so she's not willing to change up her routine.

On another note - Aggie was not feeling great the other day - whatever it was - its gone.  She seems perfectly fine.  Zoey did something to her eye the other day as well - maybe she got something in it or scratched it or got poked playing with the other critters.  Not sure what but it is almost back to normal as well.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What do Hedgehogs Want for Their Birthdays?

Yesterday was Nigel's birthday.  I can't believe he is two years old.  He has been with me for 2 years in January which is even harder for me to believe - time really does just whip by.

For his birthday he got a cage clean out and a fresh blanket which he loves.  This afternoon I got him out of his cage and let him play downstairs - another treat that he loves.  I had the fireplace on so he napped in front in a blanket all warm and cozy.  Then he got a special treat of coconut pecan cookie.  More napping and then a bit of exploration checking out the Christmas packages.  Then a trip to the cat bowl for a healthy dose of cat food.  Then back to the blanket for more snoozing.  Oh - don't forget the treat of drinking water out of a cup - not sure why he likes this but he loves to drink out of a cup.  He did steal a couple of bites of cheese from my Five Guys as well.  You can get away with lots of things on your birthday...

He is a happy little dude.  My last two years have been much more fun as a result of having him as a part of our family.  Here's to many more 2 year celebrations with my little guy.  Love him....

Monday, November 26, 2012

Boy Kitty

Hamming it up -  my cute boy kitty loves to pose for the camera.  Ollie seems to be doing well these days.  He is ornery as always - but I will say he has been a tiny bit more mellow the last couple of weeks.

Happy Birthday Nigel - the big 2 today!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Agatha's Under the Weather

I don't think my eldest girl Aggie was feeling all that great this morning.  Her tummy was quite upset and she had me worried.  (I tend to get worried after the scary episode with Zoey last year)  So, I have been keeping her close so I can keep an eye on her and since then she seems to be just fine.  She is eating and drinking and she seems pretty active so I think whatever it was has passed.  Here are some shots she let me take today:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Clooney the Soda Spiller

Little Mr is so naughty.  You cannot leave a can of soda unattended at all in this house or Clooney will seek it out and spill it.  Not sure what the attraction is with that but he has been having a spilling heyday the last few days.

The big spill was the Squirt on the headboard - all over everything - down the headboard into the pillows - UGH.  What a snot.  This morning I can hear him attacking a Coke can in the man cave.  Thankfully that one is empty.  It's like he has soda radar.

The funny thing is he doesn't really like soda all that much anymore so he doesn't spill it to drink it.  He just spills it for fun.....

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Christmas....

Our tradition is to clear out the fall decor and put up Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving.  The critters and I did just that today.  We have lots of decorations and lots of trees.  4 went up in the lower level today.

In the entry the new 7.5 foot pencil tree that has all the critter related ornaments on it.  In the dining room the 6 foot white tree that is the red white and bear theme.  In the kitchen the traditional 6 foot pine all the sentimental decorations on it and in the living room - the ferret tree.  We call it the ferret tree because when we got Clooney 4 years ago we went and bought all new ornaments that were non breakable because our research said that ferrets were a nightmare with Christmas trees.  Well - he couldn't care less about Christmas trees so that was probably not necessary.  So far - Miss Madison doesn't seem all that interested either.

Kitties love to help with decorating - if they are not chasing ornaments or garland they are parked under the trees on the tree skirts snoozing while I put on the finishing touches.  Emma has a jingle bell she wears - we call her the jingle dog.  Nigel doesn't care much about the whole Christmas deal.

Pics to follow soon of all the completed trees - inside and outside decor....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Amazon Box Fort

Madison had so much fun today playing in the masses of boxes we have piled up to go to the recycling bin.  She crawled in and out of the boxes, took toys into the boxes, pulled packing materials out of the boxes, jumped out from under the boxes to scare her kitty siblings.  It was about an hour of pure ferret fun.

She also had fun wrapping presents and climbing on the piles of already wrapped gifts.  This should be an interesting first Christmas with Miss Maddie.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Emma the Shopper

My doggie loves to shop!  Going to the pet store is one of her very favorite things and yesterday while we were out running errands I obliged her with a visit to the local PetSmart.

She is very funny.  First, she is convinced that everyone who works at or visits the pet store has come there for the sole purpose of seeing her.  More specifically - petting her.  And - yes - I meant it - really, she is a shopper.  She goes all the way down one aisle checking out all the options.  Then all the way up the other side.  If there are multiple aisles she wants to check them out.  For this visit there were Christmas toys down the middle of the main aisle so she checked out all of those as well.  Her choice was interesting - a hedgehog toy with a Christmas hat.  Do you think she knows about Nigel and that was a part of her decision?

The other must is a visit to the guinea pigs.  I am not sure why she loves them but she does.  The pet store has them in floor level cages and Emma always likes to visit.  She lays on the floor with her nose pressed against the glass, her tail wagging.  No clue...we have never had a guinea pig before....

Then to the check out to purchase our hedgehog toy - which of course - she must carry.  Then she sits patiently waiting for the cashier to give her a treat.  Then out the door we go.

Monday, November 19, 2012

6 Critter Sprawl

Sadly my cell phone and my camera are both downstairs...if I get up to get a camera at least one of the critters will follow....which will make it impossible to capture the six critter sprawl currently occurring on the bed.

Emma is at the foot of the bed curled up sleeping.  Oliver and Zoey and sprawled on my side of the bed.  Aggie is sleeping on the pillows.  Phoebe is in the box at the end of the bed.  Nigel is curled up in his cow blanket snoozing right next to me.  The only critters not in attendance are the ferrets - Clooney is sacked out in his chair in Nigel's room.  Not sure why we call it Nigel's room but we do.  Miss Madison is sleeping in her favorite sleeping spot under the couch in the bonus room.

Now - I just have to figure out who to relocate so I can actually get in the bed....

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Box

I got my Christmas cards in the mail the other day.  Funny - they came in a perfect cat sized box.  Phoebe has spent much time occupying said box but occasionally she gets ousted by the other kitties and sometimes even a ferret. To add to the fun they take a fuzzy ball into the box and bat it around.  Entertaining to watch.  Right now they have the bottom of the box - I am using the lid to house the Christmas cards that are waiting to be addressed.  Soon they will have both....

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Many Faces of Nigel

For being a little, pokey critter - he does have a pretty expressive little face.  He was in a great mood  yesterday when I snapped these.  I had just gotten him up from his nap and moved him to his favorite spot on the cat tree.  He had a snack of crickets when we were done and then promptly went back to sleep.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Agatha - the Elusive One

Aggie does not love getting her picture taken.  She has gotten a little better lately - at least she doesn't run away these days.  She seems to be doing great - happy, healthy and engaged with the humans and the critters in the household.  Still no love for Phoebe but other than that she is on pretty good terms with everyone else.....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Madison Snaps

Here are a few of Miss Madison... I caught her playing in the shower and running around like a crazy girl after:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Some Overdue Snaps

Its been forever since I posted pics of the critters.  Things get so busy!

Only a few of the babies were cooperating but this is better than nothing.  I will work on the others this week: