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, February 28, 2013

February Month in Review

I can't believe its the end of February - I know, I know I say it every month but the time really does just fly by.  February was a very uneventful critter month.  No illness, injury or critter drama to report - just the way we like it.  Everyone seems happy and healthy.

Clooney had his stint in Nigel's cage - that seems to have lost its luster so his chair got moved out today.  Madison is happy and into everything as usual.  She spent some time relocating her pen collection from the closet to the bonus room.  Kitties are all doing well - Zoey is ornerier than usual and Ollie a bit less ornery so I guess the universe balances itself out.  Phoebe and Aggie and both well - not any closer to being friends with each other, but both doing great.  Emma is doing great as well - several play dates with Quincy have made her happy.  And then Mr Nigel hedgehog - last but certainly not least.  He seems great - happy, tame, healthy, eating lots, running on his wheel and in general just hanging out with his humans and critter siblings.

I am always thankful for an uneventful month!  On to March....

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wearing out the Weasels

Really I should probably title this one Wearing out the Weasel singular.  Clooney has always been pretty respectful of sleeping humans - even when he was a baby.  Miss Madison on the other hand is a wild child.  I have tried a new tactic of waking her in the early evening for loves and playtime and then waking her at around 10 pm for more of the same.  It seems to be working - at least a little.  This morning she came to visit around 6:45 am.  This is much improved from the 2 am, 3 am visits she has been making in the last few weeks.  I will keep up this strategy til she gets a bit older.

Now if only I could get the kitties to quit being naughty in the middle of the night I might actually get some sleep....

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cat Fights

Squabbles abound between kitties mostly - Phoebe vs Aggie, Aggie vs Ollie, Ollie vs Zoey - and it goes on and on.  Oliver likes to chase Aggie - he thinks its fun - she does not.  Aggie likes to whale on Phoebe - those two have no love lost.  As a result of regular beatings from Aggie, Phoebe has become quite the bully. She's not gonna take it --- anymore!

Zoey doesn't squabble so much with the other kitties - but she is quick to wonk the ferrets on the head should they venture too close.  If I had a nickel for every time I holler BE NICE I would be a rich woman by now.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cheese, Glorious Cheese

Six out of eight critters in this household love cheese.  Everyone but the ferrets will beg for it...even the hedgehog who will take off one of your fingers to get a bite.

Their  favorite is block cheese - sharp cheddar.  The also like cheese slices for sandwiches which are Emma's favorite.  Oliver and Emma like shredded.  Phoebe, Zoey and Aggie prefer melted...hot off your cheeseburger if you please.  All of them will eat all of the above.

I understand the dog who will eat just about anything.  Kitties love cheese.  Hedgehogs?  Really?  Its not like there is an abundance of cheese in the plains of Africa....actually he likes lots of dairy - yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream...

The furries will be happy...I bought a bag of string cheese at the store today so they will most likely see some of this favorite treat in the near future.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Misc Snaps

Here is another round of randomness:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hairball Remedies

We have hair - lots of hair - 7 critters with hair (1 with combo quills/hair).  As a result - we have lots of hair balls.  All four kitties get them.  They bathe themselves, each other, the ferrets and the dog.  I have the gooey stuff that comes in a tube and 3 of the kitties like it.  But it's kinda gross and its made of petroleum jelly - ick.

I have been poking around the information highway and there are some natural remedies for  hairballs that I might try out.

1.  Pumpkin - pure 100% canned pumpkin - not the kind for pies.  I might have to hide this in wet food because I don't see any of them willingly eating pumpkin.
2.  Probiotics - they have them for kitties- they come in packages you can pour over wet or dry food
3.  Grain free diet - I have gone down this road before - didn't really see much improvement and the kitties didn't enjoy it much.
4.  Brushing - I could certainly do more of this - the kitties love it.

I will give a few of these a try and report back.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Scratchies Because I Love You

The ferrets love us - know how I know?  Its the combination of kisses and scratchies.  Ferrets show affection to each other by scratching.  Its sort of like grooming but harder.  So - since they love us - they scratch on us as well.  Clooney did this alot when he was younger but not so much now.

Then there is Madison - wow - she must really really love us because she scratches ALOT.  She scratches on the hubs in the evenings when he comes home from work - she is happy to see him. She scratches in the middle of the night when she is up and on the prowl.  Nothing like being awakened from a deep sleep by little ferret claws being raked over your feet.  She tries to be gentle - scratching is accompanied by lots of kisses.  All in all - if I am being honest - I like the scratchies.  Plus she's cute so she gets away with lots.  I should enjoy it while I can because I bet she will outgrow it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Madison Snaps

Playful little Miss was somewhat cooperative yesterday about getting her picture taken.  She doesn't mind getting her picture taken but she is so active its hard to get a good shot.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Now Serving...

My lap is a revolving kitty bed. Zoey, Oliver and Phoebe make frequent visits...sometimes individually and sometimes all together.  Aggie doesn't like to lay in my lap, only next to my leg.

Zoey likes to lay smack in the middle.  Ollie likes to lay with just his chest on my leg.  Phoebe likes to lay on my thigh.  Oliver and Zoey frequently try to one up each other for who gets to lay where.  Occasionally a ferret comes to visit.  They are too wiggly for lap time.  Emma is too big and Nigel is too pokey for lap time.

For the most part I love laptime although they want laptime all the time which is not all that conducive to getting much done.  Somehow they don't seem to care if they impede progress.  There are worse problems to have I suppose....  😊

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday, Monday

So sad the weekend is over, the work week has started and the humans are busy with deliverables and meetings and phone calls and chores.  The critters think Mondays are pretty much like any other day - although they like it when the alarm goes off - its a cue to be up and active and engage the humans.  For them they spend pretty much every day of the week snoozing and playing.  I like to think they have a happy life here with us and with each other and that they don't have any "mondays" to deal with.

Little Miss Madison is up early causing chaos and playing.  She is leaping between the living room furniture and wrestling with Oliver.  She is too fun - although her wake up call at 5 am did come early this Monday....ugh.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Love Fest

A couple of times a day I get the pleasure of waking up the baby girl ferret.  You see...Miss Madison has to be awakened and worn out a couple times per day or she will keep us up all night.  I love getting to wake her up.

For a few minutes as she wakes, she lays with me and gives me kisses while I pet her.  She yawns and stretches.  Sometimes she gives herself a bath.  Then its over and she is in wild child mode wanting to run and play and wrestle.

I wake her around 11:30 in the morning and again around 9:00 pm.  These in addition to the times when she is awake on her own seem to keep her tired enough that she is not up all night.  I will say that she does like to get up early and a visit from her around 5 am is not all that unusual.

Have I mentioned I adore that little girl ferret (and her furry siblings too)!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Snow Day

The weather is cruddy today so we are all hunkered down at home.  I found a remnant of lime green fleece which I sewed into a hedgie bag for Mr. Hedgehog.  I embroidered his name on it and he is curled up in there sleeping away.  Clooney was in Nigel's cage earlier but has relocated to a new sleeping spot.  Madison is sleeping in the hubs closet.  Emma is under the bed and the kitties are snoozing...two upstairs and two downstairs.

I think I might follow the kitties' lead and curl up for a nap myself...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Nigel is Felix, Clooney is Oscar

So - since Clooney has decided to move into Nigel's cage it definitely needs to be cleaned more often.  Before when it was just Nigel living in there - it was tidy, he was very clean, used his box, didn't slop his food around - I could go two to three weeks without doing more than a litter box change.  He is basically Felix Unger from the Odd Couple - the neat and tidy one.

Then Clooney moves in - OMG - what a slob!  Oscar Madison - the Jack Klugman character from The Odd Couple to a tee.  He gets food everywhere - is very messy when he uses the box, moves stuff around in the cage - and is generally causing havoc in there.

Somehow the two of them seem to coexist quite nicely and I am thrilled that they are getting along so well so I am not going to make Clooney move out.  I am okay with cleaning once a week for these little boys - they are so worth it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

Valentine's Day - for the critters its just like any other day....snoozing kitties, playing ferrets, sleepy hedgehog, barking pup....but - there is much love in my little zoo - wouldn't change a thing:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wild Child

Wow!  I really do try to raise somewhat polite and well behaved children.  You wouldn't have known it today.  Madison was wired for sound and just plain naughty.  I have a helper who comes once a week.  She was here today working on some organizational projects.  Madison was in the middle of everything wreaking havoc and not listening.  Then when we were switching over the laundry Miss Bratty Maddie goes behind the dryer.  Really its a huge infraction of the rules and she knows that.  I finally retrieved her and the naughtiness continued until she finally wore herself out and went to bed.

This evening when she woke up the naughtiness continued as she thought it was fun and exciting to knock all the bottles off of the tub deck.  Ugh.  Luckily she ate some dinner and went back to bed.  Cripes!  I hope my good girl returns tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Playful Clooney the Birthday Boy

As my baby boy Clooney has gotten older the frequency of playtime has lessened.  He has mellowed a bit.  Today happens to be his fifth birthday and he woke up in a feisty and happy mood!

He came up on the bed and was hopping around like a crazy boy.  We wrestled, then he poked his head through the handle of a plastic bag and had a moment when he was stuck and very excited.  Then he decided he was in the mood for some affection so he did some lap time.  Now he is snoozing with his roommate Nigel.

I can't believe my boy is five.  I can't believe that in April he will have lived with me for five years.  Happy Birthday to my boy...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Adventurer Nigel

Yesterday I got Mr. Hedgehog out of his cage like I do just about every day.  I put him in Emma's bed on the bedroom floor.  Usually the little dude sleeps no matter where you put him but yesterday he went exploring.  He played and snoozed in various spots in the bedroom all day.  I used the open up a can of worms (literally) trick to get him to come out.  After a snack I scooped him up and put him to bed.

Today I got him out and set up his blanket on the bed.  He slept there for a few hours before Miss Madison came up for a visit.  The ferrets kind of shimmy between the mattress and the bed frame to get on the bed.  Since Nigel was awakened by Madison he was able to observe her methods and it wasn't long after that the hedgehog used the same shimmy method to get down to investigate the bedroom again this afternoon.  Monkey see monkey do!  He is now snoozing in his cage with his roommate (Clooney) resting up for the nightly marathon

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Miscellaneous Snaps

Downloaded the camera and found these random shots:

Saturday, February 09, 2013


Miss Phoebe was napping in this funny position and I was able to capture it without her even knowing.   She was sleeping deeply because she didn't even stir when the flash went off.  She is too funny and my sweet baby cat....

Friday, February 08, 2013

The Squatter has Officially Moved In

Clooney has been squatting in Nigel's cage for the last few weeks.  I thought perhaps it was because of the heated bed that Nigel got for Christmas but it doesn't seem to be.  I bought Clooney his own heated bed for his ferret easy chair but still he continues to spend his time curled up in Nigel's cage.

Last night I went to put Nigel to bed...Clooney was in there.  I have no issues because Nigel seems to have no issues with sharing.  That was....until Clooney evicted Nigel out of his blanket so he could go to sleep.  Not cool.

Then I had a brilliant idea!  Clooney loves to sleep in his chair so I moved it into the corner of Nigel's cage.  Clooney got right in and I covered him up with his new ferret quilt.  Nigel is happily sleeping in his blankets and Clooney in his chair - a peaceful co existence at last!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Four Kitty Post

It's been a bit since I did a four kitty post so here goes...

At this moment in time - four kitties are sprawled in various parts of the bedroom.  Phoebe is in Emma's bed, Aggie is on the cat tree and Zoey and Oliver are curled up together snoozing after a lengthy bating session.  They have had a busy day today...you know how hard the life of a kitty can be.  Snoozing, playing eating, bathing.

Oliver thought it important to tip over my rack of embroidery threads - that was messy....I bought a high absorbency pad that you use when you do dishes - Zoey thinks it hers and has been getting up on the counter in order to lay on it.

Our new housekeeper started today - hooray.  Arch enemies Phoebe and Aggie are not fans of one another unless there is a stranger in our house.  Once the stranger enters these two normally fighting kitties figure there is safety in numbers and they hide, together, in small spaces.  Its a strange phenomenon.

So after a busy day - the kitties are snoozie.