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, February 28, 2014

February - Month in Review

Um - wow - not sure what exactly happened to February.  It was kind of a whirlwind....

For the critters it was a good month.

Aggie had her first vet visit in years and is super uber healthy - this is fantastic news given her age!!  Not to mention that she was a perfect little lady when we went to the vet.  Phoebe also went to the vet - it hadn't been nearly as long for her and she is very healthy as well - she was diagnosed with hyperthyroid though so we started the ear gel for her this month.  The good news there is she doesn't seem to be having any side effects from the meds.  All good stuff!  Oliver seems to be doing quite well - over all of his UTI symptoms thank goodness.  Zoey is doing great - grumpy as ever but I think she is feeling quite well.

The ferrets are all doing well.  We had some days of upset tummy with my Theo boy...not sure of the cause but once I gave him some Vetasyl (fiber) it fixed him right up and he seems to be good to go now.  Finn is doing just great - so engaged and so easy going.  The girls are fantastic, spending time together playing and snoozing.  Clooney the elder - he is amazing - frisky and full of energy.  Very pleased with how he is doing...we celebrated his 6th birthday this month after all.  He is officially an elderly ferret but you would never know it...I think those crazy babies keep him young.

Emma is well - her health seems good.  Next week we take her to the vet for a quick blood draw to test her liver numbers again.  I am hopeful that will removing access to the kitty food, her supplement and the hepatic dog food now and then that she will be trending down or maybe even back into the normal range....fingers crossed.

We also hit the 60 day mark this month - 60 days since we lost Nigel - I miss him so much!

There was lots of inclement weather here - we are ready for spring.  Looking forward to sharing our March adventures with you so stay tuned....

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Critter Related Gift Idea

For Valentine's Day this year I decided to try something different for gifts.  We had a few folks to buy for this year and I decided to share my love for zoo critters with them by adopting an animal in their name.  I decided to go with my hometown zoo and picked critters I thought each person would like.

In each package you get the following:

  • A card - in this case it says Happy Valentine's Day
  • An information sheet about the critter
  • A photo of your critter
  • A list of info about adopters
  • A certificate of adoption (Not Pictured)
  • A plush stuffed animal

I think everyone liked their gift.  The stuffed animals were really high quality and this was a great gift for folks who "have everything".  Makes you feel good that you know your donation is going to the care and feeding of zoo critters as well....check out your local zoo - many of them have these adoption programs.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Zoo and Aquarium Wish List #2 - Rosamond Gifford Zoo

There are so many zoos and aquariums I would love to see - Minnesota Zoo to visit baby tapir Amirah, National Zoo to peek at baby panda Bao Bao - but I think one of the top zoos on my list at the moment is the Rosamond Gifford Zoo located in Syracuse, New York.

This zoo has an interesting and at times somewhat sad history but they have come back to life with a vengeance. You can read more about their timeline here.  They house over 700 zoo critters and the park is 43 acres. They are a part of the Species Survival Plan for several animals.  Here is a map of the zoo:

In 2013 - among others -  they had baby fennec foxes, baby reindeer and they hand reared a Hoffman's two toed sloth.   They also had snow leopard cubs in 2012 - the first born there in 14 years.

Rosamond Gifford Zoo offers membership and adoption programs as well as a reciprocal zoo program which gives you free or discounted admission.  I strongly encourage you to adopt a zoo animal - its a great gift or something fun for yourself and these zoos need help caring for their critters and keeping endangered species going.  If you don't adopt one of their critters - check your local zoo and adopt one there.

They have a great website - http://www.rosamondgiffordzoo.org/  Check them out - or like them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/syracusezoo

Monday, February 24, 2014


We have seasonal allergies around here and today for some reason there are a few of us suffering.  I am sneezing and having itchy eyes.  My two feline sufferers, Phoebe and Oliver, are sneezing a good bit and Phoebe's bottom lip is a bit swollen.  My two ferret sufferers, Clooney and Theo, are sneezing as well although Clooney is  far more sneezy than Theo is.  Not sure what it is that has everyone set off but its miserable for sure.

Treatment includes face washing with a wash cloth, colloidal silver in their water along with a topical application on Phoebe's lip and an air filter change for the two filters in the house.  Not much more we can do but hope whatever is in the air goes away soon....

Sunday, February 23, 2014


In honor of the close of the Olympic games today...here are the sports I think the critters would compete in if they were human:

Emma - Cross Country Skiing - She loves to play in the snow and has good endurance
Aggie - Biathalon - She is very precise - she would be excellent at the shooting
Zoey - Women's Hockey - I feel certain she would spend a good part of each game in the penalty box
Oliver - Luge - He loves to go fast
Phoebe - Downhill Skiing - She is somewhat fearless and would do well zooming down the mountain
Clooney - Skeleton - He sleeps in the skeleton position all the time - he is ready
Madison - Arial Skiing - I can totally see her flipping all around and sticking the landing
Finnegan - Curling - He is quite strategic and often orchestrates ferret shenanigans - he would be the skip
Violet - Figure Skating - In a beautiful dress with perfect hair - she would stick every jump and be artistic
Theo - Hockey - Oh yeah - my bruiser - and if you piss him off he just might bite him

There you have it...realistically though - my critters would all be summer athletes - we are not cold fans....

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Four Kitty Post

The four kitties are fab!!  It's been a bit since I was able to say that with conviction but it seems like Ollie is doing really well - over his UTI and the throwing up that accompanied it.  Phoebe has been to the vet and deemed hyperthyroid but otherwise extremely healthy.  Zoey had her annual exam and has also been confirmed as healthy.  And last, but most certainly not least, my eldest and healthiest girl with absolutely no ailments - Miss Agatha...  They seem to be pretty content little felines - all good stuff!  Here are some recent shots of them:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Oh Theo!

Have I told you lately how much I adore my Theo boy?  It's a good thing I do because he has been naughty with a capital N lately.

A few days ago - he managed to get on the kitchen counter.  I couldn't figure out how in the world he got up there - but once he did....produce pushed on the floor, vase with flowers dumped, petals scratched off the flowers leaving only stems, large mess created when he played in the pot that was soaking in the sink...in general he had a fantastic time and left a ginormus mess in his wake.  The following day I figured out how he got up on the counter - wedging himself between the wall and the composter to climb up.  Needless to say the composter has been relocated.

Today - I went downstairs to find that he had hoisted himself up onto a chair in the dining room and found himself a bag that had some crafty things in it.  He helped himself - strewing paper, Easter eggs and paper grass all over the place...sigh.

I new something was up - I scooped him up this afternoon and he was Mr Lovey Dovey - kissing my face and being quite guilty...then I headed downstairs to find his mess.  All is cleaned up and all is forgiven....

Thursday, February 20, 2014

60 Days

It's been 2 months since we lost our pokey hedgie Nigel.  It's interesting - somethings in life feel like they happened yesterday and some feel like forever ago - many times the same event falls into both categories. With Nigel's passing - it feels like forever ago - far longer than 60 days.  Not sure why that is...

I miss him terribly and think about him every day.  I still haven't cleared out his cage - not sure why I am putting that off but I am.  Life here has a bit of a new normal but there are still a few tears now and then and we definitely haven't forgotten about our sweet boy...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mid (ish) February Snaps

Critter-land seems happy and healthy...here are the latest random snaps:

Maddie and Finn

Phoebe ad Oliver












Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Phoebe's Trip to the Vet

Can I just say - hallelujah!  As of today all the critters are current with their vet visits!!  Barring illness (and Emma's upcoming blood test) I should be done til all the ferrets go back in July.

Now - on to Miss Phoebe.  It's been a couple of years since she has been to the vet.  The last time was for a lump she had on her back.  Thankfully that was nothing scary - just a keratin filled cyst.  This visit is just a checkup to make sure she is good to go...

Phoebe hates the car - she is terrified for some reason.  Typically she pants like a dog but this ride was not so bad.  She voiced her disdain a few times along the way but all in all she was pretty good.  No wailing like you get with Oliver.  Once we got there she was very nervous:

Surprisingly she was brave enough to come out from under the bench and check out the surroundings.  She was quick to retreat back under the bench whenever she heard a strange noise or voice.  The techs came in and we got her up on the table.  They did her blood draw - she was so good - no complaining or wiggling.  She was very patient as they did her fecal test and did well on the scale - 12 pounds of kitty.  Then when the Dr. came in she was cooperative.  He checked her eyes, ears (both all clear) and teeth - a bit of tartar on the back ones.  He listened to her heart and lungs - both sounded great!  Then he checked out her lumps - those keratin filled cysts she grows.  They don't bother her so we are going to leave them as they are harmless.  Her blood work came back all normal - just waiting on one more test for thyroid - fingers crossed that one is good to go...

This was an excellent visit - it's great to know that my youngest kitty baby (8 years 5 months) is healthy.  I guess I can't complain - 75% of the kitties are well behaved vet goers - just Miss Zoey - Snagglepuss Extraordinaire is ugly....

Happy to have a break for a bit - ferrets headed for their annuals on July 1....

Monday, February 17, 2014

ZooCam - Vancouver Aquarium Jelly Cam

In it's concept - the aquarium to me is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places on the planet.  Watching beautiful and graceful sea creatures float by is just mesmerizing.  Once you add a zillion humans, SUV sized baby strollers, screaming children, etc to the mix - its not nearly so peaceful.  But - I have found a little piece of tranquility heaven - the Vancouver Aquarium Jelly Fish cam.

Jellyfish are fascinating to me - strange and beautiful creatures devoid of any human physical characteristics. This camera is focused on Japanese Sea Nettles.

The Vancouver Aquarium also has other great cameras - Beluga Whales, Penguins and Sea Otters...you should definitely check them out....

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ollie and Theo - Bath Time

Oliver kitty is my resident bather.  He bathes the kitties, the dog and the ferrets.  Here are some snaps of him bathing Theo:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Bath Mat

Over the years there have been several posts about the bath mat, but it didn't become so prominent until we got Theo.  We originally got the bath mat for Clooney.  When he was a baby he could get into the tub but he could not get out.  The bath mat was his ladder.  For years the bath mat has been just that - a way to get in and out of the tub for the ferrets.  The was BT - Before Theo....

He loves to play with the bath mat - he pulls the suction cups off the tub and drags the thing around.  He is wild - did I mention?  He is also tall enough to get in and out of the tub without the mat so he could care less whether its where its supposed to be or not.

Here is video show Mr. Theo playing with the bath mat once he had gotten it off the side of the tub.  He is crazy...

And here are a few snaps of the other ferrets playing in the mat:

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day from the Zoo

It's Valentine's Day at the zoo...the humans' plans have been delayed one day due to the weather but the critters got a few surprises today.

I got the kitties a new toy - its like one of those old school tubes with the ball inside they could kick around. Instead - this one has a mouse and a leaf they can try to get as they spin.  The mouse squeaks as they touch it.  The two kitties who have seen it approve...the other two have been too lazy to come upstairs...

For the pup - a new toy - the perfect print for Valentine's Day:

For the ferrets - little toys - chewy plastic figure 8 shaped toys they love and some new noisy Angry Cat toys.  Maddie loves the figure 8:

Happy Valentine's Day from the zoo!!