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!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February's Miscellaneous Snaps

Here's a look at some of the pictures that didn't make it to the blog or the Facebook page for whatever reason over the course of the month.  Enjoy:


Phoebe napping



Theo getting photo bombed by Madison



Kai and Violet





Harlow and Violet

Theo and Madison

Tabitha and Violet



What it looks like at my house after someone finishes a shower

Winston on a walk

Miss Em

Friday, February 27, 2015

February Month in Review

Again another month has whizzed by.  I can't believe how fast time goes by!

The big thing that happened in February was that the whole gang was seen by the vet and they were all declared healthy!  What fantastic news!!  We have had a few minor health issues - Zoey lost a tooth and Oliver had his squinty eye episode.  Other than that we are golden this month.

We did a bit of travel early in the month which meant boarding for Emma and Winston and camera monitoring for the ferrets and the kitties.  It was the first trip with us away for the new baby ferrets and they did just great.

Winston made exceptional progress on his harness training this month.  He is an old pro now and enjoys going on exploring adventures at his Grandma's house.

Looking forward to March - we are hopeful for better weather and more outside time for piggy and dog. We always hope for continued good health and lots of fun and excitement over the course of the month. Stay tuned....

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Water Dishes and Squinty Eye

So - the spill proof water dish makers never met Winston evidently....its not spill proof at all - he sticks his snout in there and lifts it up and tips it and makes a mess.  Sigh - so now I just put small amounts in there multiple times a day - that way if he spills its only a little puddle.  Thinking of having my father in law build me a wall mount that would hold the bowl in place so he can't spill - little stinker...

On a more positive note - Oliver's squinty eye is almost back to normal.  Evidently he got poked or scratched by Phoebe or by one of the ferrets - not sure which.  After some antibiotic ointment and some TLC tonight he is almost back to normal.  He is quite funny.  I noticed today that when he didn't realize I was watching his eye was almost fully open but when he knew I was looking it was almost fully closed.  I think he liked the extra attention he got so he milked it a bit.  I am certainly glad he is feeling better though - it makes my heart hurt when one of my furries isn't feeling good.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

6 Ferret Vet Visit

So - the little ferrets had their annual check up today.  I have to say that a 6 ferret vet visit is way easier than a 4 kitty vet visit for sure.  The babies were very well behaved - they all hung out together in Winston's carrier and were great in the car.

Once we got there they piled out - kind of like a cute ferret clown car.  They all hopped out to explore.  Madison went first, then Theo, Violet, Harlow, Tabitha and last but not least Kai.  Weights were all stable or up just a smidge.  No signs of ear mites, teeth, eyes and ears looked great - all in all quite healthy little babies.

Theo and Tabitha

Harlow, Violet and Madison




The vet is EXHAUSTING - so - that's Harlow on the left, Tabitha laying in the opposite direction, Violet, Theo at the bottom of the pile you can only see his head and tail, and Madison.  The one face that is missing is Kai - his body is at the top next to Harlow.  They voluntarily got in the carrier and went to sleep after their examinations.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Stories of the Day

Ah - the stories of the day....

First off - its COLD!!  Not loving the winter weather - but that's not really a story.

Ollie kitty has a squinty eye today - not sure why but guessing that when he was playing with Phoebe or the ferrets someone poked him.  I have ophthalmic ointment on hand for such occasions and have given him a couple of doses.  I think he is better tonight - he went from keeping it closed to having it half way open.  I will watch him closely and take him back to the vet if necessary.

I started a new training activity with Winston today.  I have decided to teach him to walk on the treadmill.  Our first session was interesting - it took some coaxing to even get him up there.  Once we did manage to get on he totally did not understand what he was supposed to do and was dumped off the end of the treadmill - with a loud snort.  Then I thought I would try to get him on there with it on going very slowly.  He would put his front hooves on the belt and feel it move and make a hilarious screechy noise.  So we settled for practicing getting on and off for today.  I don't think it will take him too long to pick it up though - once we get the hang of it I will provide a video for sure.

Emma was quite the trooper and went on a walk with the hubs and I this evening in the snow.  It's fascinating to me that she is completely neurotic about walking on a hard wood floor but she is totally sure footed on ice.  Crazy dog.

The ferrets helped me with chores today - I love it when they are up and about during the day.  I did a few chores before my work day started and they were right in the middle of everything I was doing. They are so fun!

Zoey is doing great - she has been on antibiotics for a few days now and I think she is really doing well.  Phoebe and Aggie spent the bulk of the day in front of the fire - can't say that I blame them.  All in all - a pretty good critter day.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Remedies for Pet Peeves

I posted about two of my piggy pet peeves recently - one being the need for the piglet to tip over the chairs in the kitchen and the other being the swampy soggy mess the pig makes when he head butts the water dish. I have decided to try to rectify both of these in an effort to make me a little less crazy.

For the chairs - I bought a wide roll of ribbon - tied one end to one of the legs and wrapped it around the perimeter of the table with the chairs pushed in. I tied the other end in a bow so it can easily be removed.  So far so good - he has tried a couple of time to tip but he has had no luck.  Pig Mommy 1 - Piglet 0.

For the water splashing - I have ordered a supposed spill proof bowl.  It's not here yet but hopefully it will work once we get it.  I will have to keep you posted on that one.

All in all - today has been a pretty good piglet day - he has been a good boy.  Emma has been good as well - only minor scratching on the carpet to report.  They do so much better on a regular schedule....

Sunday, February 22, 2015

General Updates

It's been an entirely way too busy weekend for the humans around here. The critters have had some alone time this weekend and as a result they have been misbehaving a bit when we are around.

Piglet has been doing whatever he can to get attention - tipping chairs, getting in the garbage, not listening - in general being a bit of a brat.  This evening, after some dinner and some lap time he is snoozing in front of the fire and all is right in his world again.

The kitties have been ornery as well - getting into things they shouldn't and causing general havoc.  They also have chilled out since we have spent the afternoon and evening at home.

Emma has been a trooper and has been great.  I think the fact that she did 5 mile walks both mornings this weekend helped.

And last but not least - the ferrets - they are wild and need to be worn out so we can get some sleep tonight - that will be my next task.... wish me luck because they are wound up tight...

All in all they are good babies and I adore them - I will be glad to be back to a regular schedule tomorrow...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Whole Lotta Nothin'

Well friends - I got nothin'.  It was freezing cold here today - really - like 12 degrees cold - ICK.  So - there were limited trips outdoors with the dog and no trips outdoors with the piglet.  I think everyone has a bit of cabin fever - the pig and the dog had all sort of little squabbles today.  They both have pent up energy.

I had a six ferret assist with bathroom chores and bed changing today - that's always exciting.

The kitties results for their blood work came back normal with the exception of Ollie and Zoey needing an adjustment of their thyroid meds.  All in all - much better than I anticipated.  Very thankful that Aggie is doing so well as she nears her 18th birthday.  Phoebe was all within normal ranges as well which is great.  Ollie and Zoey will like gain back the weight they have lost with the adjustment of their meds and I am optimistic that Oliver's heart murmur will subside once his levels are back in check as well.

Other than that really - I got nothin'.  Maybe tomorrow will be more exciting - I think the deep freeze may end which makes me more optimistic....

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Four Kitty Vet Visit

Can I preface by saying that I am really glad this only has to happen once a year....ugh!

The good news:

  • I put Ollie, Zoey and Phoebe in Winston's carrier and they did great - safety in numbers I guess. Since Aggie and Phoebe don't really get along Aggie got her own carrier.  No howling in the car - thank goodness.
  • Physicals for the most part went well - they are a fairly healthy bunch
  • Aggie, Phoebe and Oliver were all well behaved and polite kitties
The bad news:
  • Ollie may need to have his thyroid meds adjusted - he is down in weight and his heart murmur is back which can be caused by outta whack thyroid levels
  • Zoey has some dental issues - in fact she pitched such a hissy fit at the vet that she bit me and lost a tooth while we were there so now she is on antibiotics
  • Zoey is now even more cranky than usual and giving pretty much everyone in the household a really crappy attitude.
So - now we wait for blood results and hope that everyone is okay...will post the details once I have them.  I took a few pics at the start of the appointment.  Once the vet got started no snaps as I am the kitty consoler so its hands on...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow Day

We are experiencing inclement weather today.  ICK!  Luckily we are snuggled up in our toasty house with plenty of provisions.  Even more lucky than that - we have not lost power - thank goodness.

Snow days don't mean too much to the household really - since I work from home much of the time I will still work a normal day.  So thankful I don't have to go out in this.  The only thing that might be different is we may get a snow day with the hubs at home with us - not sure about that yet....

As for exposing the critters to the ice/snow...  Emma hates it - she will literally run out do her business and high tail it back inside. Winston has never seen snow before but I want to be careful because our front steps are icy and I don't want him to hurt himself outside.  If he gets any exposure at all it may be via the deck. We will see how the day goes.  He is not a big fan of cold so I am not sure he will like it....  No snow for the ferrets or the kitties....

Ready for spring around here for sure....

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Critter Weekend Recap

It was a fairly uneventful weekend here in critter land.  Emma went for 2 very long and very cold walks with the humans.  Winston went on one very long piggy stroll around grandmas place on Saturday.

The kitties are all well - causing trouble - wanting to have constant lap time which at times is rather inconvenient.  The ferrets are good - lots of time spent playing with them this weekend in an effort to wear them out.  Sometimes it works and sometimes not so much.

The one spot of excitement we did have was a power outage on Saturday night.  50 mile per hour winds did a number on the power for lots of people.  We spent a bit of time brainstorming about how we would get the ferrets downstairs to the warmth of the fire if the outage was extended.  Thankfully it only lasted a couple of hours and the temperature inside the house never dropped so no action needed.  It's a good plan to have however - because we are expecting all sorts of crappy weather Monday/Tuesday of this week and I wouldn't be surprised if we have another outage.

This evening has been a bit challenging - I think the gang has a bit of cabin fever.  It's very cold and they are misbehaving for sure.  I think all the kitties but Aggie have been in trouble at some point this afternoon. Winston has quite frankly been a pain in the rump and Emma as well.  Not sure what the deal is but hopefully it is a short lived phase.

All in all - a pretty low key weekend.  This week all four kitties go to the vet...ugh - Zoey and the vet...should be interesting....

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

It's Not All Rainbows and Unicorns

For the most part I enjoy these little critters so immensely but there are days when its not all a bed of roses. Take yesterday as a example.  I had to be in the office yesterday for several meetings which meant the gang was left unattended for a few hours.

A little piglet who shall remain nameless left me this giant mess in the living room:

He pulled a purse off the sofa and proceeded to take all sorts of things out and tear them up.  Garbage is spread all over the living room.  Sigh...

Zoey decided to pee on a blanket rather than in the box.  The ferrets are all on different sleeping schedules so its hard for the humans to get any sleep as there are multiple phases of ferret foot nibbles.  Since the hubs didn't feel great last night I finally gave up and booted them out of the bedroom and closed the door. Around 2 am I gave up completely and took the restless dog downstairs with me to hang with the pig.

So we had multiple messes and no sleep - just one of those days...I bet today will be better....

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Vacuum

Friend or foe - depends on who you ask....

Emma doesn't mind the vacuum - in fact sometimes she barks at it and tries to bite it.  She is a bit leery of the hose attachment though.

Winston HATES the vacuum and goes and hides in his bed whenever you turn it on.

As for the kitties - Aggie immediately leaves the room - she is terrified.  Ollie is uncomfortable and usually heads out as well.  Phoebe is okay so long as she doesn't think you are too close and Zoey loves the vacuum and loves to be vacuumed.  Check out this video of her - crazy cat.

On to the ferrets.  Madison is fairly indifferent, the little boys - Theo and Kai - they are pretty uninterested as well.  Harlow is a bit fearful.  Then you have Tabitha and Violet, both who have absolutely no fear and want to kill the hose attachment.  They bite at it and they don't even care when their whole head gets sucked up the hose opening - they are nuts...

The vacuum comes out at least once a day around here.  There is always hair, litter, etc that needs to be picked up so there is plenty of opportunity for the critters to interact with the beast from the closet....

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Silly Zoo-isms

There are lots of silly zoo stories around here - when you have a dozen members of your furry family that happens.  For instance:

  • Did you know all the ferrets have their birthdays on the 6th of the month?  Madison, my eldest, was born on November 6th.  Theo and Violet - January 6th and Kai, Tabitha and Harlow - July 6th. Maddie was born in 2012, Theo and Vi in 2013 and the "little ones" in 2014.
  • Winston knows his name now - he knows Winston, Winnie, Piglet and Piggy and will answer to those.  If you call the other critters, the kitties for instance, he doesn't move a muscle.  When you call Emma (the dog) he immediately gets up though because she might be getting food or getting to go outside and he doesn't want to miss out on anything.
  • Winston hates it when the cats squabble - Ollie and Aggie sometimes have loud kitty fights and the piglet runs to his bed and puts his face in the covers like he can't bear to watch.
  • Kai and Tabitha are water ferrets - they love to get in the tub.  Kai plays in the shower and literally gets right under the spray.  The others play in there but stay around the edges.  It's quite interesting to take a bath with a ferret.
  • Agatha will be 18 years old this year - she is the healthiest cat we have.  She has gone from hating any kind of people food to wanting just about anything you will give to her.  Her favorites - popcorn and potato chips.
  • The kitties got one of those round tubes with a ball in it for Christmas.  They all play with it occasionally but Zoey LOVES it.  She particularly likes it when you play "tennis" with her.  She will kick the ball - you send it back - rinse - repeat.  She will play for a good 30 minutes.
  • The ferrets got a Weasel Ball for Christmas - its a ball with a stuffed toy attached.  You turn it on and it flops all over the room.  Harlow in particular loves it.  The other day somehow the ball flopped its way into a gift bag that was on the floor.  All six ferrets were fascinated with something moving in the bag - very comical to see them all huddled around the bag watching and wondering.  Harlow put an end to it when she grabbed it by the tail and dragged it under the bed.

So there you have it - just a few examples of silly zoo stories....

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Stories of the Day

Today was a relatively quiet critter day.  I woke up way too early and headed downstairs to hang with the pig.  He has outgrown getting up on the sofa with me but he likes to lay right next to the couch so I can give him a rub or a scratch.  He really likes it if I share my blanket and drape it over the side so he gets covered up too - and of course I do.

Hubs and I took Emma for a walk today - we thought it only fair that she get some one on one time since Winston got his exercise yesterday. We went about 5 miles and she loved it.

Speaking of the pig - he thought he was going walking today - bolted right out the front door and headed down the steps.  Hubs got him corralled, turned around and headed back in the door.  He also made a jail break through the gate we use to keep him downstairs.  I bribed him with a cookie to get him back down the stairs.  I moved the dreaded vacuum cleaner in front of the gate - he hasn't been near it since.

Kitties were quite cuddly and I got some time with each of them today.  Same with the ferrets - they have all been out and about over the course of the day and I have had some one on one time with each. Now its nearing time for bed and for the start of a hectic work week....where do the weekends go?

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Walking With Winston...the saga continues

Over the course of the last week we have been working on putting on piglet's harness and going out side when Emma goes out for a potty break.  He did pretty well all week long - he likes going out.

We decided that today we would take him to my parent's where there are some wide open spaces and see how that went.  Harnessing him was no problem.  Outside for multiple potties was fine - getting in the car - not so great.  He does make a fuss.  Once he is in the car he is okay...today we managed to make it round trip with no accidents in the car so that's good.  Once we got there he was not in a hurry to get out of the car and hubs had to lift him out which was noisy and unpopular.

All the car drama aside Winston loved going to a place where he could root around and play in the dirt. We weren't sure what to expect if we took him off the leash so we strategically positioned ourselves in a triangle with the hopes we could keep him somewhat contained - we totally didn't need to at all.  Piglet was fantastic about staying with us and heading to us whenever he was called....he does way better at that than the dog (don't tell Emma I said that).

Speaking of Emma - we did take her with us but there were hunters shooting in the distance and she didn't like the noise so she opted to go inside and spend some time with Quincy instead of playing outside with us.

We had more car drama getting him in the car to head home and getting out of the car in the driveway.  Since we got home little Mister has been sacked out - he really wore himself out running around like a crazy pig.  If we can figure out a way to make the car part less dramatic we could take him out each weekend to run around and burn off some energy.  Maybe we will try his piggy stairs.....

Here are a few snaps from today:

Rooting in the dirt

Running towards me - he is too cute - he makes excited snorty noises when he runs...

He ate the dirt, rooted in the dirt - had lots of dirty piggy fun

Handsome boy!

Muddy face...