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!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Squeaky Clean One....

Nigel was a bit on the pungent side so it was time for a bath.  Actually he takes showers these days - he much prefers them to the tub I think.  I popped him in the shower and let him run around and play.  Then I squirt him with the water on his quills and try to loosen up the ick on his feet.  Then we move to the furry parts.  I scoop him up and flip him on his back.  He likes to get his belly sprayed.

It dawned on me - while he was laying spread eagle enjoying his belly bath - perhaps I could cut his nails with all four legs present and easy to access.  I grabbed the toenail clippers and got him back under the spray.  Snip, snip, snip...all four little paws done in a jiffy and I don't think he ever even noticed.

Then we did the towel dry - and a special treat - the blow dryer - he loves that - set to warm with the air on low.  Fluffy clean dude then posed for some pictures...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Rainy Critter Monday

Here's what a rainy, dark, critter Monday looks like:

Clooney has gone underground and was not available for pictures.

In the sleeping category:

It's difficult to tell but Madison is actually sleeping under Violet...

In the bathing category:

In the just being ornery category:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The New Favorite

Monkey on a stick is so yesterday - the new favorite toy is ball on a string.  Finn loves it as much as Violet.  At times we even get the kitties in on the act.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Bully

He doesn't look like a bully.  He is so sweet and lovable with his humans.  Look at that face - he pretends to be so innocent and then whammo - he is mean.  He is only occasionally mean to Madison.  They have gotten to a place of peaceful co-existence.

Violet has gotten to the point where she isn't impressed with his antics and she gives him a hard time right back.  Finn just started to fight back and Clooney and he are co-existing a bit better as a result.  My guess is in another few weeks the showdowns will be fewer and further between.

He is my cute grumpy boy...

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Unexpected Dangers

Wow - last night had scary moments of critter panic - really not my favorite.  The hubs and I had an evening out and upon our return I opened the front door and much to my distress I found that Emma had kicked up the vent cover on the floor by the door.  This left a gaping hole with access to all the ventilation in our house - a perfect place for ferrets to go exploring.  I freaked out.  The first thing I asked my husband was if they could get outside from the vents.  He was pretty sure they could not.  I called for the ferrets and almost immediately Madison came out.  Whew - one down - three to go.  I continued to call and headed upstairs to look for them.  The babies were not in their regular spots - more panic.  I called some more for Violet, Finn and Clooney - nothing.  I headed back downstairs and the hubs came upstairs - he hollered down that he had found Finnegan.  Okay - 2 down - feeling better.  More calling - finally Violet came out of the dining room.  3 down.  Feeling pretty good now.  I was pretty certain that Clooney was not in the vent but I still wanted to get my hands on him.  I found him sleeping under the bed in our room.  Crises averted.  I know it was Emma who kicked up the vent - she has done this once before.  I had stuck the vent cover down  with industrial strength double sided tape....evidently not industrial enough.  You see, the FedEx man came - and she barked like a maniac and kicked up the vent cover.  I am trying not to be mad at her but if I am being honest I kind of am.  The thought of something happening to the ferrets (or any of my critters) makes me sick to my stomach.  Of course she will be forgiven - it will just take me a second.  Needless to say - a trip to Home Depot is in my future tomorrow so I can get the vent cover that screws down to the floor.  I think I may also staple in a piece of screen down in the hole so that if for some reason the cover is off there is still a barrier to keep them safe.

As if that little episode wasn't stressful enough I went upstairs and walked into the bathroom to find the floor full of water.  I think what happened is that one of the ferrets (probably Finn) got up on the tub deck, played with a towel hanging on a hook, pulled it off where it landed in the water bowl and proceeded to wick all of the water out of the bowl and onto the floor.  There was a good bit of water there - the towel was sopping wet, the rug as well and puddles, puddles everywhere.  UGH.  Wet cleanup!!!  So - we got that resolved as well and proceeded to try to de-stress enough to head to bed.

I am so relieved everyone is safe and sound - we got so lucky!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hedgehog Inspired Art

And - building off my post a couple of days ago about ferret inspired art - here are some ideas for hedgies:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Baby Violet

Little Miss Violet - she is too sweet.  She has made BFFs with Madison and the two of them together is like two teenage girls gossiping on the phone - they chat back and forth - its very cute.  She does not like to be held so much - if she is sleepy she will let you but other than that forget it.

She is very playful, adores her brother Finn and has decided she has had enough of Clooney's bullying ways.  She gives him a piece of her mind whenever she gets a chance.  He's not sure what to make of it.

She is quite the explorer and loves to find new sleeping spots.  Finn usually follows and then I get to try to figure out where they went.  Here are a few snaps of the girl....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ferret Art Inspiration

I have been taking several art classes and I would love to draw each of the critters at some point - maybe for this year's Christmas card.  I thought I would start looking for some ferret art inspiration:

Some of these are far too realistic in style - my guess is I will end up somewhere between number 2 and number 5.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Critter Monday

Monday has rolled around again - it seems like it gets here so fast and it takes a bunch longer to get to Friday.  Critter Monday shaped up something like this:

  • Approximately 3 am Emma scratched on the carpet waking me up - that was all she wrote for sleep so I moved downstairs on the couch to watch TV
  • About 3:30 Madison and the little ferrets came downstairs to play - they had a blast - romping and wrestling and climbing up my blanket and jumping off the couch
  • Around 6:30 Clooney came down for a visit - baby ferrets went into hiding
  • At about 7:30 we all trooped upstairs
  • About 8:30 Emma and I went outside to do some yardwork
  • Over the course of the day I worked, had several meetings, etc - and had lots of visitors of the feline and ferret persuasion
  • About 4:30 Clooney was mean to Finn so Finn wanted me to hold him - he wouldn't let me put him down til about 6
  • 7:30 we left for dinner and when we returned all four ferrets were downstairs - the babies were playing and Clooney was peacefully coexisting
  • Now we are settled in for the night - kitties are all sprawled on the bed, Violet and Finn are munching on food in the hall, Maddie is snoozing in the closet, Clooney is sleeping in his chair, Nigel is running on his wheel after a snack of worms and some pets, Emma is sacked out under the bed and we are wrapping up this Monday for the night....
On to Critter Tuesday!  :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Front Door

The front door is an interesting spot in our house.  Used to be we were worried about kitty escapees but now we worry about ferret flee-ers.

It used to be that Oliver was the top escaper.  Now he is solidly an indoor kitty - if you leave him a wide berth with the open door for an extended amount of time he will take you up on it.  But for the most part he is happy to hang inside.  Emma will not go out without permission.  Zoey likes to go on the porch but won't stray any further.  Aggie is afraid of outside and Phoebe has been eyeing the door lately - I think we have to keep an eye on her.

Clooney runs up to the door but typically won't go through....but then we have Madison and the babies.  OMG - Madison has gotten just awful.  She runs full throttle to try to get through the door - she is fast.  Violet is not much better and if you have both of them at the same time in the same spot - good luck to you.  Finn is the least ornery of the three when it comes to the door but he still does try to make a break for it.  I am considering setting up the playpen around the door for the time being so you can get in without worry that a little one will escape.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Baby Finnegan

Our baby boy Finn - he is chocked full of personality!  He is into everything and plays with gusto.  He is quite the leaper and during play time leaping is a requirement for him.  He is somewhat afraid of noises from an unknown origin and will hide if he can't figure out what it is.  He has a great appetite and is a tiny bit of a chunk at the moment.

Finn loves Violet and Madison.  He wants to love Clooney but Clooney is so mean to him it's difficult.  He also loves to play with Oliver and he tries every day to make friends with the other kitties as well.  He is just not sure about Nigel and he loves Emma's tail - when she wags, he leaps.

We have had them 4 weeks today - they are growing like crazy.  Here are some Finn snaps to share: