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!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year In Review

2014 was a reasonably successful year for the humans - but quite frankly - it was a rough one for our little zoo.

Very late in 2013 (December 20th) we lost our sweet hedgehog Nigel to a stroke which started off 2014 with a sadness that we would unfortunately repeat a couple more times over the course of the year.  In July we lost Clooney after discovering he had insulinoma and never being able to find medication to treat him effectively.  And last - in November we experienced a very sudden and unexplained loss of our sweet Finnegan.  We are still recovering from all of these (and in all honesty the loss of Isabel the kitty still stings).

With those incredibly sad losses we did have some fabulous additions.  Shortly after Clooney passed we added our amazing and hilarious piglet Winston and shortly after Finn passed we added the new baby ferrets - Kai, Tabitha and Harlow.  While we are missing our furry babies who have left us - we are enjoying each day with our current menagerie.

I often get asked current ages - so as I type this:

Aggie is 17 - WOW!
Zoey - 13
Oliver - 13
Phoebe - 11
Emma - 12
Madison - 3
Theo and Violet - 2 in January
Kai, Tabitha and Harlow - 5 1/2 months
Winston - 5 1/2 months

Even though 2014 was tough and saw many tears - I wouldn't give up having these sweet critters in my world for anything....I do adore each of them and they bring me an immeasurable amount of joy.  Hoping that 2015 is a tiny bit easier...Happy New Year from the Zoo!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Pig and the Pup

And now.. an update on Emma and Winston.

Emma is doing great - she seems to be a happy, healthy, BentoBall obsessed puppy.  She enjoyed some time with Quincy at my parents over the holiday.  Now we are back into a bit of a normal routine thankfully.  She and Winston get along well - when they aren't squabbling over BentoBalls that is.

Piglet is doing just fantastic!  He did so great with tons of visitors over the holiday and now has settled back into a great routine.  It's been forever since a potty accident and we have moved his potty spot out so now he is 100% litter trained.  He continues to grow a bit - mostly in the weight department - I think he is about as tall and long as he is going to get.  He too is BentoBall obsessed.

All in all they are both doing well!  Here are some snaps - several of Sir Winston (his new minion sleeping bag in some) and only one of Miss Em - she still hates getting her picture taken....

Sunday, December 28, 2014

How Intriguing - 4 Kitty Update

The kitties are doing great!  All of them seem to be pretty darn happy these days.

Aggie - my go with the flow girl is doing just fantastic.  She has been quite interactive and much braver in her old age hanging out downstairs during visits from strangers over the holidays.  Her health seems to be quite good.

Zoey - little Miss Snagglepuss is doing fantastic as well.  She is active and in love with the new toy she got from her Aunt and Uncle for Christmas.  When she is not spinning the ball around the tube she is laying in the center or using the cat scratcher.  She had been coughing - trying to rid herself of a hairball I think - but that seems to have resolved itself.  She is much better and doing great.

Oliver - my ornery boy is doing well.  He has been playing quite a bit with Winston - they are fun to watch. He finds his share of trouble still but he keeps us entertained.  His health seems great with the exception of being my hairball kitty....leaving me all sorts of surprises...gotta love it.  He is enjoying hairball meds in an effort to slow that down.  I guess that's what happens when you are the resident bather of kitties, dogs, pigs and ferrets...

Phoebe - my sweet girl is doing well but suffering from some winter allergies - as are her humans.  She is bright, active and eating well - she is just very sneezy.  I feel her pain as I have been very sneezy myself. When it gets too bad I give her a drop of nasal meds in one nostril to make her more comfortable.  Her sneezes don't produce any gunk - just sneezes so I am pretty sure its allergies.

All in all - things in kitty world are good.  Everyone is due for a trip to the vet so I will be taking them in over the next few weeks along with the ferrets to get everyone checked out.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Six Ferret Update - The State of the Business

The little ferret business is doing just fantastic these days!  Everyone is bright, full of energy and happy it seems...

Madison is her usual funny and affectionate self - full of sweet ferret kisses.  She is quite fond of the new babies and can often be found snoozing with the girls or even giving the boys a run for their money in the wrestling department.

Theo is loving having the little ferrets around. He has constant companionship and lots of playmates and he is really thriving.  He and Kai spend lots of time together - although I am happy to see Kai playing with Vi and Maddie as well lately.  Theo also loves Tabitha and Harlow and can be found cuddled up with them at multiple points every day.  He has turned into a mushy love bug who loves to be held and loved on by his humans!

Violet is still my independent girl but she is much more tolerant of being held and kissed upon these days. She was quite slow to warm up to the babies but now they are all great friends.  She chases them around and wrestles with them and you can hear her chatting with Kai and Tabitha - they are all noisy ferrets and have their own way of communicating.

Tabitha is much like Violet in that she wants to be very independent.  She is full of energy and can frequently be found attacking feet under the covers.  She tends to hang out with the boys as she prefers a more rough and tumble type of play - she is my tomboy for sure.  She is quite happy with the toys in her stocking and spends lots of time chasing them up and down the hallway.

Kai is still my wild child!  That crazy ferret is full on all the time.  He is friends with all the ferrets and is not discriminatory as to who he wallops in wrestling.  He even leaps on the dog!  Kai is fearless and quite gregarious and full of energy.  He is very affectionate and often gives wet sloppy ferret kisses to the humans! If only I had 1/10th the energy I would be super woman....

Last but most certainly not least my sweet Harlow.  My beautiful one is so mellow and laid back.  She likes to cuddle and will let you hold her while she sleeps.  She is quite fond of toys and is much like Finn as she can often be seen running with a toy in her mouth finding a spot to hoard it.  She is fascinated by Emma and Emma is amazingly patient with her.

Healthwise the gang seems to be doing well.  I think we are past the ECE danger period and no one seems to show any signs of that lovely virus thank goodness.  The reinforcements on the upstairs gate/room divider to keep the weasels out of piggy land seem to be working quite well - there has not been an escape since the latest configuration was put in place and the ferrets have been out and about full time for the most part.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Day After Christmas

I love the day after Christmas.  The chaos of the holiday is over and we can start to relax and really feel like we have some downtime.  As I type this the critters are enjoying their new toys...

I can hear Harlow and Violet playing with the stuff from ferret stockings upstairs.  Tabitha was sacked out in the new flower power ferret bed and play area they got from their Aunt & Uncle.  Emma and Winston are happily playing with their BentoBalls.  Emma has hers in her bed and Winston has been playing with his in his new sleeping bag - he finds the ball doesn't get away from him in there.  Zoey has taken up permanent residence on the cat scratcher/ball tube that the kitties got from the same Aunt & Uncle and she is funny.  She plays with the ball in the tube making it go around and around and then naps...then wakes up to give it a kick.  Silly cat.

All in all I think things here are good - critter and humans are content and relaxing which is welcome after 3 whirlwind days.  Hoping you and your family had a happy holiday and will have some downtime as well!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Perfect Gentleman

Last night was our annual Christmas Eve Eve bash and we had a ton of fun!  I was a bit curious how it was going to go with the piglet - we have had friends over but never this big of a crowd and most of the attendees had not yet met Mr. Winston.

We set up the guest room with his potty spot and his toys and bed so we would have a spot to put him while folks were eating.  That worked out well and he was well behaved while he was upstairs - playing with his bento ball and hanging out in his bed.  When he was out and about he did quite well!  he was very social and friendly, no nibbling of toes or fingers, and he was very happy with the treats of watermelon and pineapple that he was given.  He also found some morsels on the kitchen floor which he enjoyed.

As the crowd thinned he came down and just hung out and about 9:30 or 10:00 he put himself to bed - he was a tired piggy who had a big day!  He had several compliments on how well behaved he was and I think he won over the hearts of our friends who thought we were a little nuts having a pig in the house.

We only had one minor disaster on the way upstairs on one of his trips up he managed to knock over the kitty feeder and spill cat food all over the place - it was a pretty minor thing to clean up and we had lots of hands on deck so it wasn't that big of a deal.  All in all - I am thrilled with how well he did!!

I am glad we sent Miss Emma down to my parents - we had inclement weather here last night and she would have hidden under the bed the whole time anyway but she would have been jealous with the amount of attention that the pig had so it was a good call.  I miss her though!  I will pick her up tomorrow morning and will happy to have my zoo gang complete once again.

Tonight we entertain the family with a fancy dinner - hopefully Winston will be as well behaved!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Zoo Christmas Ornament - take two

Ah the best laid plans - I ordered the 2014 zoo ornament several weeks ago.  I wrote about it here. Then we lost our sweet Finn and then we added our sweet babies.  So - the "what we thought it was going to be" ornament is on the tree and I ordered a new 2014 zoo ornament to reflect who we have today.  Here is what it looks like.  I love it but its a bit bitter sweet....

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Time

Holiday prep is in full swing here at the zoo - it should be interesting over the next few days to see how it goes - especially with the piglet.

Emma is going to take a trip to hang out with her BFF Quincy for a few days.  She will leave tonight and we will pick her up on Christmas morning.  She loves hanging out with Quincy and gets spoiled by her grandparents in the process.  I figured that since many of our friends had never met Winston - he will likely be the center of attention and I didn't want her to be jealous.  Additionally - she is just noisy - barking at the doorbell and such.  So - off to Grandma's she goes.

Ferrets will be on lock down in their upstairs rooms - they don't have to be on lockdown in our room but they definitely will be kept upstairs - lots of feet and little ferrets don't mix.  Kitties will go upstairs as well - Oliver loves parties but I think we will put them in with the ferrets as well just so we don't have any escapes.  Phoebe and Aggie hate parties so they will be happy to have a place to hide.

And then there is Winston.  He will hang out in the guest room with his food and water and potty spot for part of the party - we need to give folks a chance to eat without the crazy boy around.  At some point we will let him down.  He has been around a few people at a  time but never this many at once so it should be an adventure seeing how he behaves.

Wish me luck....  :)

Saturday, December 20, 2014


We have had those little baby ferrets for 22 days.  This means we are likely in the clear for ECE for the other ferrets - its typically a 21 day thing.  Woohoo!  Additionally - we have had a chance to get to know them a bit and learn more about their personalities.

Let's start with Harlow.  She is so sweet!  She is a very mellow and go with the flow kind of girl - much like Madison.  Harlow is a bit shy - she loves to play with toys and she and Tabitha can often be found wrestling and playing.  She is happy hanging out with the gang or off by herself.  She is such a cutie.

Tabitha is much like Violet in that she is quite independent.  Tabitha is quite fun - gets very excited when she is playing and is good and keeping up with the boys is no challenge for her.  She is not a huge fan of being held and loved on - also much like Violet.  She is obsessed with water - she gets drenched in the shower and is not afraid to join me in the tub.  She has quite the personality!

Lastly - the wild and crazy Kai.  He is so gregarious and outgoing.  He is a leaper, jumping at everything and everyone.  Kai is fearless - jumps from high up spots without a thought.  He also loves water and when I am in the tub he joins me - sitting on my stomach splashing and playing.  He is the inspector - looking up your nose like Finn used to do - but with much more GUSTO!  Kai truly has two modes - sleeping and wild.  He is a very sweet and very affectionate ferret.

The three elder ferrets are loving having the babies around and the 6 of them get along quite well.  Bringing these new guys into the family has gone well and we adore the whole business...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thought I Was Further Along the Path...

So I thought I was better about the sudden loss of Finn than I am I guess.  Tonight I came upstairs and started the process of corralling the ferrets from their various upstairs rooms into our bedroom for the night.  This can be a slow and tedious task - ferrets are very sound sleepers so getting them to head your way when you call them can be somewhat challenging.  Additionally, the new babies are just starting to learn their own names so you have to hope they respond to the sound of your voice even if they don't know yet what you are saying.

Theo is generally quite good about responding when called.  He is almost 100% about responding to a squeaky toy.  Tonight - nothing - he didn't come when I called or when I squeaked.  It took about 15 minutes for him to awaken and find me - by then I was pretty panicked thinking the worst.  To further add to my panic it took me about 2 hours to find Violet tonight.  Granted - I didn't spend two solid hours looking but from the time I started - with several attempts in between to the time I found her there was a lot of time for me to get myself worked up.  Since Violet and Theo had both escaped and made it to piggy land downstairs I have been watching them like a hawk to make sure they are not showing any signs of distress or injury.  They have both been perfectly fine and tonight they were both perfectly fine.  It's me - I know logically they are both okay - but the broken hearted part of me makes me panic when I can't find them.

I am thankful my little business of ferrets is doing just great - tonight they are all up on the bed playing in the covers.  There is much dooking and happy squeaking going on.  I do love those crazy weasels....

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Late Evening Returns

Today was a crazy day for the humans which means a crazy outta whack schedule for the critters.  I had to be up and out the door early today and I was gone for the bulk of the morning.  Hubs was out at his regular time to go to the office.  Once I got home I jumped into several back to back conference calls which meant only a bit of attention for the babies.  Then out the door again late afternoon for a holiday party.  We arrived home late and were greeted by happy to see us furries.  The rule we established long ago was hands on every critter every morning and every night before bed.

Winston met us at the door and was quite happy to see us.  Emma was upstairs in the bedroom - I felt it was a good idea to separate them given they were both going to want to play with BentoBalls.  I didn't want them fighting while I was gone.  Emma came downstairs and did some outside business and then both she and Winston had some cookies.

Kitties were all downstairs and doing quite well.  Ear meds were applied to Zo, Phoebe and Ollie and Aggie was given her own dose of lovies.  The ferrets only had a bit of play time in their upstairs rooms today.  I let them out when I got home in the morning and then gathered them up and had them back in the bedroom this evening while we were gone.  I think the latest enhancements we have made to the gate to keep them upstairs are pretty secure - its been several days without an escape but I am not comfortable leaving them out while I am gone.  Would hate for one or more of them to somehow make it past the gate and downstairs to piggy land.  All six ferret babies came out for some attention and now everyone is settling in for the night.  I am hopeful that tomorrow will be a more routine day for them and for the humans as well....

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pet Product Review - BentoBalls

BentoBall - where have you been all my life.  I do lots of pet product reviews and rarely if ever do I say this.... Stop what you are doing - get in your car - drive to the pet store and buy one of these for every dog (or pig)  you have - right now - immediately!

Starmark makes these toys/treats and today I have a happy pooch and a happy piglet for sure and this equals a happy critter mom!  Winston is in love with his "ball".  He likes the everlasting treat on the top - its tough - he hasn't hardly made a dent in it and pig's have incredibly strong jaws.  In addition I broke up and stuck some piggy cookies in the other side - he loves that the plastic is soft and flexible - he sticks his whole snout in there.  It's tough to get them to come out but every once in awhile a cookie magically appears and he gets quite excited - then he goes after the ball some more.  He has played with that thing for hours today. I am thinking it will be a great diversion for him at night - hopefully it will keep him out of trouble....  :)

Emma likes hers as well - she has been chewing away.  I think she will enjoy hers much more when its not rainy and she is not stressed - but she has been pretty interested in it given the circumstances.

Here is what the packaging says:

  • Made with virtually indestructible material 
  • Provides hours of challenging play
  • Great for dental hygiene
  • Dishwasher safe
I have to agree with all of these statements - and I am glad its dishwasher safe - although not sure when I will have a chance to run it through the dishwasher - they literally won't leave it alone....  

This was not designed for a pig - but I am so pleased at how its holding up. Winston can kill a dog toy in about 5 seconds so I am so happy to have found one he can abuse without destroying!  Also the treats that go in the ball are not super high in protein so I feel good feeding it to him.  I bought two packs of additional treats - not thinking I will need them for awhile.  Everlasting is not an exaggeration!

I would give this one 2 paws and 2 hooves up for sure!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Critter Classic - Zoey

Look what I found!!!  I was tidying up a mess that the baby ferrets had made - they got onto my scrapbook shelf and pushed several of the books off.  I am glad they did because as I was stacking I took a look at one of the very old scrap books and I found these - pictures from when Zoey was a tiny baby kitten!!

These first two I think were taken at my parent's old house in Colorado.  The first one is Zoey with the hubs, the second is her back behind a piece of furniture.  These would have to be taken on the first day we got her so she was about 10 weeks old.

This one is truly a find - Zoey in our kitchen - and that is Isabel in the background.  Oh I miss that kitty - its been almost 4 years since we lost her and she is the whole reason I started blogging!

Here she is playing in a shoe....classic kitten material!

And last - her sleeping next to the fridge - crazy cat!

I had forgotten I had these - no idea where the negatives or original digital images might be.  Apologies for the red eye - can't do much to fix when it is a picture of a picture.  So happy to have them and to put them on the blog and into the blog book for posterity!  :)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Worries of Pet Parenthood

Having this many critters is not without incident and there are a few worries.  Zoey has a bit of a cough. This is not totally unusual for her as she is a compulsive bather and often gets large hairballs that sometimes she can't get rid of.  I have given her some hairball meds - and just in case a bit of vitamin C to help her fight off anything.  She seems fine otherwise - eating, drinking, litter box usage, energy levels all normal.  Keeping an eye on her.

Winston found his way into some chocolate.  Luckily not very much before I caught him and he seems no worse for the wear.  From what I can tell from internet research he would have to consume a significant amount for it to be toxic and I would estimate him to have had an ounce - maybe 2 at the most.  Significant would mean one ounce per pound so - 24ish ounces....keeping an eye on him as well but its been 10 hours with no signs of any distress.  He is eating, drinking, using the litter box, playing - etc.  Sigh.

Tabitha snuck into the bathroom while I was cleaning and proceeded to stick her tongue in mopping solution.  Cripes!  Needless to say - she didn't like it - we did lots of water from the water machine to flush her system.  I don't think she ingested any and if she did it was such a small amount.  She has been checked on several times since and is just fine.

And last but not least - the three eldest ferrets made a jail break and made it downstairs to piggy land. This may not be a big deal - they love downstairs and they like to interface with Winston.  My concern is that he will step on them.  I found the breach quickly - they were downstairs for about 5 minutes. When I came down to find them and very excited piglet greeted me.  I have checked them over several times and checked on them every couple of hours since.  No one seems to have any issues.  Theo seemed more intent on getting to the Christmas tree than getting near the pig.  Violet interfaced with him I think - her tail was pretty floofy indicating that she was excited.  She seems fine - no strange gut sounds, normal heart rate, eating, drinking, playing and normal outputs.  Madison seems fine as well - she is not all that interested in the pig so I would guess no time spent together.  Needless to say I am worried - after Finn and his unknown cause of death I am totally paranoid.  I will be checking on my babies over the next few days and if I think any of them need to see the vet I will be taking them in right away.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Casualties

We have had our first Christmas casualties via Mr. Piglet. First he pulled a metal snowman off of a side table and proceeded to knock some of its decor off - he didn't really damage the snowman and from what I can tell - he didn't eat any of the parts so I think we are good there - needless to say that one is going in the garage.

Secondly - a stocking which he pulled down and proceeded to take things out of.  Thankfully he only managed to do a number on the wrapping paper and didn't damage what was inside.  Little turkey... he is busy at night when we are sleeping....

As with many things - we continue to make adjustments to our household and routines as he grows, matures and finds new ways to get into trouble.  Crazy piggy....

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Flea Meds...

Yesterday was the 8th of the month which means it was flea medication application day.  We had an outbreak of fleas a few years ago and it was painful to fix so now I am religious about treating them every month.

Winston doesn't need treatment - for the most part piggy skin is too hard for fleas to penetrate.  I have read that very young piglets can get them but I think he is old enough now that he is safe from fleas.  Emma has a time release collar that we use for her - I am very pleased with how it works.  I need to get her a new one in February as it will have been 8 months.

The kitties are old pros at getting their meds on - it doesn't seem to bother them at all.  Then there are the ferrets.  Violet, Madison and Theo have been getting flea treatments for some time now and lets be honest - they HATE it.  I use Frontline Plus for cats on them and they wiggle and squirm to get away from the medication - sometimes Violet even cries when you put it on.  Poor things...

This was the first application for the baby ferrets and I was figuring that it would be more of the same with them hating it.  Really - only Harlow hated it.  Kai could have cared less and Tabitha didn't even seem to notice much either.

Everyone is well protected and are good to go for another month or so.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Houston....We Have Acceptance

It's official - Violet and Madison love the little babies!!  Yesterday was the turning point where the older girls accepted our new little ones.  I noticed that sleeping partners were different than ususal - Theo and Harlow behind the TV cabinet, Maddie and Tabitha sharing the pant leg of a pair of pants in the closet and - low and behold -  Violet and Kai snoozing in a blanket.

While that was an encouraging sign - it wasn't official until the ferrets were all up and playing and both Violet and Madison were participating - wrestling and chasing and making ferret happy noises!  So happy they are happy!  Theo continues to exhaust himself each day playing with his new BFFs - its such a joy to watch all of them...I think the babies are happy here with each other, their new siblings and a ton of attention and spoiling.  Love those little weasels!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

WTF and Doctors Orders

WTF is what they are saying around here...as I type this the new Mint floor robot is sweeping my kitchen. All of the critters are wondering what in the world that thing is.  The kitties are mesmerized but when it comes close they want out of the way.  The ferrets are interested but not afraid and when it comes close they step on it or over it.  The pig wants to play with it - tip it over with his snout so he has to be coaxed out of the room its working on.  I am pretty happy with it so far - there is no way it will be able to clean up pet messes from 12 critters but it does great finish work so I am pleased!

Doctors Orders -

Many of you will remember that Finn was our resident Dr - checking out your nose, mouth, eyes and ears daily and finding any little cut or "defect" that wasn't normally there.  I find that Winston is somewhat the same way.  I managed to get a blister on the top of my foot and he is obsessed with trying to make it go away - he has licked it which wasn't all that great feeling - and then later he tried to scrape it off with his teeth.  The hubs sprained his ankle a few weeks ago and he has been wearing a brace.  Winston and especially the ferrets are quite keen to remove that - it should be there in their minds.

Kai - our new boy ferret - is going to grow up to be an audiologist.  That ferret is obsessed with ears - human ears, critter ears - he sticks his nose in there and has a look around.  He will lick your ears when you are sleeping and if he is really excited he will add a new piercing on your lobe if you are not careful - crazy ferret.

All is well on this blustery Sunday here at the zoo - hope its a great day where you are!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Week in Review

This was a pretty great critter week!  It was our first week with the new baby ferrets.  Honestly it seems like they have been here longer than one week - they fit in beautifully and bringing them into the fold was such a non event.  They are hilarious - so full of crazy baby ferret energy.  As for my three older babies - they are great.  I am particularly pleased for Theo - he was the reason we got new babies as I really felt he needed a boy to play with.  I was right and he and Kai are really inseparable.  He also adores the baby girls and they all get along and play so well together.  Madison and Violet have been a bit slower to warm up to the new gang but I did catch Maddie and Harlow playing together yesterday and Violet can be found snoozing with the new babies often.

As for the kitties - they are all doing well.  Oliver and Phoebe are adjusting to my decision to sleep kitty free. They hang out with us in the bedroom in the evenings but once its time to go to sleep they get booted. Since we have the room divider that goes across the hallway we can keep them away from the bedroom door which is nice.

Emma is doing well.  We tried to let her sleep downstairs with Winston - that didn't work so well - she wants to be with us.  She has been a pretty good girl this week - no major complaints...

Winston is still going through his naughty phase - pushing the envelope.  He is into everything and each day we find new things we need to move, adjust, etc based on the fact that he is growing both larger and stronger.  On Friday little Mister managed to tip over the bin that has the cat food.  It did what it was supposed to and stayed secured until the little smarty pants figure out how to open the latch.  I was out - luckily just for a quick errand - but he ate quite a bit in my absence.  He spent the afternoon with an upset belly and late last night  he was throwing up the cat food.  Poor little dude.  He is perfectly fine now - feeling frisky this morning.  Cat food and dog food have been relocated upstairs and pig food has been put in a high up storage spot.  He seems to like being a downstairs piglet.  I am on the fence about that - I like it but I do miss having him with us at night.  We sure sleep a lot better!

All in all its been a great week (minus the upset tummy for the pig).

Friday, December 05, 2014

Pushing Boundaries

We have several furry babies that are testing their limits at the moment....

First the baby ferrets - Kai, Tabitha and Harlow are all pushing their boundaries as they learn what they are and are not allowed to do.  Kai as with all the boy ferrets we have had is a bit bitey - we are working on it and he understands the word "gentle" and is quite responsive.  He is not nearly as hard of a biter as Theo or Finn who we had nicknamed the vampire when we brought him home.  Kai is quite exuberant - as is Theo - I love watching them do everything with great gusto.  Harlow is a pretty mellow baby but she does like to investigate and is obsessed with the headboard of our bed - she wants up there so bad - NOPE.... she is independent and very much enjoys playing with her toys.  Tabitha is the shyest of the three for sure - she hasn't really tested much but I think as she gets more and more comfortable she will be checking things out.

Winston is going through an incredibly naughty phase at the moment.  He is in to some kind of trouble several times each day.  Yesterday he got hollered at for tipping over the treat box.  Then when he did it again he got sent to time out in his bed.  He went and stood on his bed and squealed the entire time until I told him he could come out.  It's hard to stay mad at him for long.  I think he is going through some adjustment to sleeping downstairs on his own - which he loves but it also means he is without the humans and the dog.  I tried leaving Emma down here with him the other night.  She lasted til 3 am and then proceeded to wake the household by barking at the pet gate until I got up and let her upstairs.  Winston is also adjusting to a tiny bit less time with me....work has really heated up and my meeting schedule has been insane - so - even though I am with him he knows I am busy and he has to entertain himself.  Also - we are going upstairs a bit earlier to spend adequate time with the ferrets.  So - I think part of his bad behavior is adjusting to a new normal.

Emma and the kitties are well.  The cats seem to be doing well with being on the other side of the hallway room divider at night - and the humans are sleeping better as a result.  No real boundary testing from these guys but they range in age from 10 - 17 so they have had plenty of time to test along the way....

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

New Baby Christmas Stockings

At our house each baby gets a Christmas stocking.  Some of them are handmade, some hand decorated, some purchased.  Our mantle is always full with critter stockings and they are one of my favorite Christmas decorations.  This year was sad for me as I pulled the stockings out of the storage bags. Nigel's handmade stocking that I sewed from scratch, Clooney's hand decorated stocking with his name and paw prints sewn on it by my mom, and Finn's hand decorated stocking would not get used this year.  It was a bit of a cruel reminder of how rough 2014 has been for our little menagerie.

But - on to more happier things - I needed to find or make stockings for the new babies.  Low and behold I got a Cyber Monday coupon that allowed me to order these stockings for MUCH cheaper than I could have made them.  I love how they turned out and I hope my new little ones will love the toys that we will fill them with.

Tabitha actually got up on the bed and checked out her stocking - I think she liked it!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

General Updates

Today was a bit of a whacky day with having to be gone for a good portion of the day doing work things at the office.  The critters are spoiled - used to having someone home with them all the time so I heard about it when I got home - especially from the piglet.  My creatures are most definitely creatures of habit so when our schedule gets changed for whatever reason they are not happy campers.

So - in general - everyone seems good - happy, healthy and for our newcomers, settling in quite well. The kitties spent today like every other day lounging around.  Oliver and Winston spent some time playing this afternoon.  Phoebe spent the bulk of her afternoon in our bedroom with the ferrets.  Emma didn't have a great day today because it was stormy here.  She spent the time I was gone hiding in the laundry room - its her backup place when she is downstairs and it storms.  Once I got home I let her in to the bedroom and she spent the rest of the afternoon and evening under the bed.  Piglet is fine - noisy but fine.  He is quite the character and we spent some time playing and cuddling before the humans headed upstairs for the evening.

Ferret updates - first - no signs of squabbling, illness or any other icky things that can happen when you introduce new ferrets into your family.  Everyone is bright and active and good to go.  Theo is in heaven - enjoying having another boy to play with and trying to make sure that Kai understands that Theo is boss around here.  They play and wrestle like little maniacs and are quite fun to watch.  Theo also loves the girls - he has always been close to Vi and Maddie and now he has two more BFFs in Harlow and Tabitha.  When I got home today we had Maddie, Vi and Tabitha sharing the dresser drawer and Harlow, Kai and Theo sacked out behind the TV cabinet.  They are making friends quickly!!  Violet is still a bit uncertain, as is Madison but I am guessing in another few days they will be one big happy ferret family.  I took a bath tonight which was and adventure - the little babies were up on the side of the tub investigating.  Kai is fearless and decided that he didn't care that there was water in the tub - he just decided to climb on in and sit on my tummy.  Crazy boy!  The new babies have infused a new energy to our household.  I am very pleased for Theo in particular - he is insanely happy and completely exhausted every day.

Christmas stockings for the new little babies arrived today - I LOVE them - will post about them with some photos tomorrow.  The critter Christmas cards have arrived - but they were off to print before we had the new babies so I have an idea for a fun modification - will be working on that over the next few days so that cards are ready to go by end of the week - envelopes are already addressed - just need to modify and stuff.  I will be posting what this year's card looks like later this month.

Tomorrow I may let the ferrets out so they can burn off some energy exploring their 2 additional rooms upstairs - we will see....

I think that might be it for critter related updates for today....

Monday, December 01, 2014

Baby Pics

Here are some pictures of the new babies - and some pics of the existing babies as well:

Violet and Madison

Tabitha snoozing





Kai - love this one

Harlow playing in the ferret tunnel with a duck cat toy that makes noise

Kai sleeping on Santa


Tabitha and Harlow




Theo (left) and Tabs (right)



Violet and Madison