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 26, 2016

Coming Out of the Fog

This week has been awful - it started with a stomach thing and turned into a vicious cold that has kicked my butt for the entire week.  I am finally coming out of the fog - feeling better - thank goodness.

Since I have been sick I haven't been spending as much time with my babies as I would like.  Ferrets and pigs can catch human germs so I have been steering clear of them - just doing headcounts and making sure they are okay but no cuddles which really makes me sad.  No snuggles with the piglet before he goes to bed either - boo.  I think today will allow for more interaction - I am no longer feverish so likely not contagious.

Kitties seem well, ferrets are adorable as ever...Winston has been playing outside as we have had lovely weather.  Emma has been keeping me company while I have been feeling icky - she is excellent company. All in all the zoo is well.  There area is a disaster as I have only been doing minimal cleanup with feeling so yucky.  I will tackle that later today.  Fun times.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Catching Up

I have been feeling a bit under the weather the last few days so I haven't been posting much.  Let's catch up....

Emma is well - right now as I type she is hiding under the bed as its a rainy day and it thundered earlier.  She is always good company when I am not feeling well - she is happy just to hang out with me.  She had a good weekend - a long walk on Sunday with her dad.

Winston is doing great.  There is a break in the rain so he is outside rooting in the mud and checking under the bird feeder for any goodies.  He has been pretty well behaved.  I don't like to get too close to him when I am feeling icky as pigs can catch human germs and get sick as well.  He has had plenty of outside time which is good.  Hopefully the rain will hold off for a bit longer today so he can continue to play.

The kitties are all well - hanging out and seemingly happy and healthy.  Zoey is still a bit thinner than I would like but I do think she has put a little bit of weight back on.  They didn't get as much attention as they deserved over the last few days but I did make sure they got their feedings, meds and morning and evening loves each day.

Ferrets are all doing great as well!  I steer clear of them as well when I am feeling bad as they can also catch human germs and with them being so little it can cause issues.  Better safe than sorry.  We did a head count each morning and evening and some pets but no hugs and kisses for them.  Now that I am feeling better I will spend the bulk of the day with them.  I miss those interactions.

The exterminator comes today - he sprays inside and out but we are very careful as to where.  I don't let him spray critter land or any of the doorways that lead to critter land and I don't let him spray Winston's area or his doors either.  So far it seems to work pretty well - no creepy crawlies in either area and it makes me feel good knowing that they are not exposed to the chemicals even though they are supposedly pet friendly.

All in all - the zoo crew is doing well - no complaints.  Hopefully now that I am feeling better I can get some photos posted soon....

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Candy Factory

Remember the I Love Lucy episode with the candy factory?

Well - I just witnessed a ferret re-enactment - sort of....

Tabitha was in rare form this morning.  I was doing critter chores and she was causing trouble - lots of trouble.  I would clean and she would go right behind me and cause chaos.  Little turd - she is the fluffy white turd - not to be confused with Winston - the little pink turd.  Anyway - I swept and mopped the bathroom - she got in the littler box and threw litter all over hell's half acre.  Then I moved the feeder that has the dry cat food so I could sweep and mop their eating area.  Tabby proceeded to dig in the food bowl, spreading about 5 pounds of cat food all over the floor.

Enter Fiona - sweet Fiona - who hates to get in trouble and hates for anyone else to be in trouble.  She is standing next to this giant pile of cat food chewing furiously - her little cheeks puffed out full of food.  She was going to cover for her sister by eating up the mess.  She made me laugh so Tabby didn't end up in much trouble - so in a way her plan worked....

Have I mentioned how much I adore those little weasels??

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Out In the Real World

I am really not a fan of the days where I have to be up early and out and about for the entire day.  I am just not cut out for that anymore...ugh.  Today is one of those days - up at the crack of dawn, showered, dressed and out the door, then into crappy traffic - so not my favorite.  Then a full day of meetings.  Whew - how do people do it?

The little critters are fine with me being gone - I gave them their food, meds, gravy, morning loves, etc. bright and early.  They will be fine for the day - they have each other to keep them entertained.  The piglet and the dog - they can do a full day unattended but I hate to do that to them.  So, I decided to ask our pet sitter to pop by mid day, let Emma and Winston out to play for a bit, give them some cookies and some loves, give Winston his lettuce ball and give them a break from being alone.  They will be able to go potty and run off some energy outside.

I will be home later in the afternoon to feed them, take them out and spend some time with them before we settle in for the evening.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Winston's Garden

Our little piglet eats lots of fresh veges and that can get expensive!  I want to feed him the things that will keep him healthy so we have decided to start a garden.  There will be lots of things in there for the humans but we will also have a large section devoted to Winston.

I started a ton of seeds and as of today I have baby lettuce, spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli and turnips.  There are also baby corns and baby peas.  I am excited!

Once this crappy weather finally warms up we will rent a rototiller and prepare the area.  In March we can hopefully start to plant and then we can spend the summer enjoying fresh veges and canning the excess for use in the fall and winter.

I am particularly excited to grow our own veges so we will know exactly what was used on them while they grew.  You never know with things you buy in the store!

I will keep you posted on progress as we go along!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Weekend Recap

We have recovered from Saturday's exciting drywall protection zone installation .  Winston spent some time in our room with us and Emma, just hanging out.  He has had multiple days inside due to extreme cold temps.  He has been pretty well behaved.  Emma too - they have both been good.

The little critters are well - keeping warm and full of playful energy.  The ferrets have been sleeping in a giant pile in their box fort - everyone but Maddie and Vi - they prefer to be sprawled out on the bed under their fleece blankets and comforter.  The kitties have their spots as well.  Zoey likes the cat bed by the water bowl, Aggie prefers the papasan chair, Oliver likes the heated cat bed and Phoebe likes the cat bed that sits on the bed.

Today (Sunday) has been extremely cold.  Piglet and pup could only go outside for short stints and both had to have coats on.  Winston hung out with me while I worked on a craft project - maybe I can finish it up tomorrow - I will post about it when I am done.  We have done lots of piglet games today in an effort to keep him from getting bored.  The ferrets were wild this morning and full of energy this evening as well.  I love seeing them happy and feeling good.  I decided it was time for their monthly dose of colloidal silver.  I offered it straight and had some takers - Theo, Bash, Phoebe.  I put some in their water and some in the kitties canned food.  I use it for many things, routine health is just one of them.

Hubs and I have spent our Valentine's Day hanging out.  We went out for lunch and ran an errand and since then we have been firmly planted at home relaxing and binge watching TV. Winston and Emma have been spending time in our room with us.  Once it got dark we were unaware of the weather and when I went to take the piglet and the dog out for their final potty break, imagine my surprise when I turned on the light and found the ground covered with snow.  ICK!  Winston was cooperative and did his business - he was ready to come back in immediately following.  Emma explored a bit and then headed back under the bed.  Winston is back in his bed, tucked in under his covers.

All in all it was a pretty good critter weekend.  Back to the grind tomorrow as I don't get President's Day off - boo.... tomorrow is supposed to be snowy and icky - another indoor day for the piglet...sigh.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Drywall Protection Zone

So - I have posted several times about the piglet nibbling on the drywall.  I decided to take matters into my own hands and came up with an idea that I handed over to my incredibly handy father in law. He took the idea and ran with it and today - we installed said drywall protection!  Woohoo!!

Prior to install

A purely decorative awning for Winston's closet - it just fits with the picket fence thing

Checking out the happenings in his area - he was behind his baby gate but was very curious about what was happening

Making progress on installation

The wall behind his bench

He's hiding under his blankets - not a fan of the strange noises the drill makes

The small section by the garage door

Winston's new awning
All done

The Divine Miss Em - our lovely assistant
He has tried several ways to fit that cute little snout between the slats but it hasn't worked!  He has tried biting on the fence to pull it away from the wall - didn't work.  He got so frustrated that he took it out on his coat - he hates his coat and every time I put it on he bites it. When we got home from lunch he had pulled his coat off the bench and given it the what for.  Now that they have been up for a few hours - he ignores them.  He is napping under his blanket after getting some cookies in his belly.  Life with a pig is CRAZY!!!  Love him!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Ready for Spring

I think all of us around here are ready for spring....this cold, icky weather is for the birds.

Speaking of birds - I am still enjoying the bird feeder.  I filled it again this morning and we have had a few new visitors - beautiful goldfinches, some wrens.  Loving it!  The deer have been around a few times today as well.  Emma wants to bark at them but she is pretty good about listening when I tell her she can't.

As for my other indoor babies - everyone is doing well.  Winston is sick of it being cold - he hates it.  He runs outside  and does his business, then he checks under the bird feeder for any goodies that got missed and then he wants back in.  He has been a good boy today though.

The ferrets and the kitties are well - we have had several visits over the course of the day.  I still need to head down to critter land and feed them and give them meds.  I didn't have the same freakish energy to do Saturday chores on Friday.  So - tomorrow I will be doing the deep clean - ugh.   I think the little critters are ready for spring too - they are quite snoozy in the cold cloudy weather.

Sadly - this cold has moved in for a long weekend - we don't thaw til at least Monday.  I will be thinking up fun and exciting pig games for the next few days....

Thursday, February 11, 2016

New Blanket for the Piglet

When Winston was a baby he loved to sleep under the covers.  He would burrow under and sometimes all you could see was a lump.  He kind of outgrew that phase and for many months now he has been content to sleep on top of his covers.  That was - until the last week or so.  It's been cold so when I have been tucking him in I have been covering him up.  Let's just say - I think he likes it.

Winston got a new comforter for Christmas but when I was out today I picked him up a matching fleece blanket.  He likes it and is all snuggled in his bed as I type.  I do adore that crazy piglet!

Speaking of the piglet - in other news - I started a ton of seeds today.  I have part of the garden dedicated to little Mr. since he loves fresh veggies in his lettuce ball.  If everything germinates like it should he should be good to go for the summer!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

More Pics

Yesterday I was missing 5 babies from my photo shoot.  I made sure to get at least one pic of each of them today:

That's Bashy on the left, Violet in the middle and Maddie's nose on the right - I love that they love each other!

The adorable Miss Madison

That handsome boy Theo

My cuddly, sweet boy Bash

Miss Zoey - my snitty kitty girl - Love Her!

My go with the flow girl Aggie - she doesn't look 17 at all!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

A Few February Snaps

I took my cell phone with me to critter land this evening.  I got a few good ones and lots of really blurry ones....  here are a few of the zoo crew:

My sweet kitty girl Phoebe

The ever ornery and always lovable Oliver

The darling girl Fiona

My trust 'helper' Tabby

Sleepy Violet

Cutie pie Kai

The Divine Miss Em

Cutie patootie Winston with his dirty snout and gunky eyes

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Weekend Recap

Not much to report on the critter weekend - its been quite laid back.  Since I did my heavy clean on Friday I got to relax a bit - just doing the regular critter chores.

Saturday we were out in the afternoon so the pig and dog got their dinner an hour later than usual. Winston was actually okay with this as he had his lettuce ball before I left.  Kitties and ferrets had a regular day - full of play time, snoozing, eating - rinse and repeat.

Today has been quite chilly - there is the threat of rain turning to snow later this evening.  Ick!  Since it's cold neither the piglet or the dog wish to stay out for any length of time.  They have both been good about being indoors though!  Winston will get his lettuce ball in a bit.  We just spent some time down in critter land.  Hubs came with me and we gave everyone lots of love and attention.  They love it when Dad comes to visit.

All in all its been a pretty calm and enjoyable weekend -we needed it.  Back to the grind tomorrow...

Friday, February 05, 2016

Saturday Chores on Friday

I was feeling pretty motivated today for some reason - not really sure why.  I got several things off the personal to do list and then blazed through some more stuff on the work to do list so I decided I would use this strange burst of energy to clean up critter land on my lunch break.

I vacuumed and dusted my office, refilled the ferret food dispenser, cleaned and refilled the front bathroom water dispenser, mopped the front bathroom, vacuumed the hallway, picked up 150 toys, vacuumed the critter room, vacuumed and mopped the feeding area and critter bathroom, scooped litter boxes and took out the stinky critter trash.

That means that I will just have my regular routine chores over the weekend!  Woohoo!  For those that were wondering - I did have assistants - Fiona and Tabby "helped" the entire time.

I feel compelled to state that when you live in a household with 13 critters you have to clean with a different mindset.  In the areas where they live I clean with the intent of ensuring that they have a healthy, hygienic, pleasant area to live.  I long ago gave up having a pristine looking house.  There will be spots on your carpets, there will be ick on your baseboards, there will be toys everywhere, hair on things, noseprints on your windows, etc.  I have areas of the house where the critters rarely are allowed to access and I can keep those super clean, dusted, decorated, etc but the places where they live - its really not possible if you want to do anything besides clean up after them.

So glad I did my tomorrow chores today!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Little Pink Turd

Oh my - the piglet is full of piss and vinegar.  He did get a bit more outside time today but we still had passing showers.  We went out for a bit this evening and when we came home little Mr. was full of it for sure.

First my husband was cleaning out the filter on the washing machine and Winston wanted to "help".  Then he was mad that the hubs wouldn't let him eat the ick that came out of said filter.  Ewww.  Then he made a jail break out of his area into our bedroom where he proceeded to chomp down Emma's dog food and spill her water all over the carpet.  When we finally got him back in his space he expected a cookie - which he didn't get by the way.

He has finally settled in to bed - thank goodness.  Little pink turd!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Rain, Rain, Go Away

So - it has been raining all day today which makes for a grumpy piglet.  He really does love his outside time and when he doesn't get it he is bored.  A bored piglet is a danger to himself and others! LOL  Mainly Winston is a danger to my drywall - but not for long - soon we will install a pig proof picket fence on the drywall that won't allow that cute little snout or piggy chompers anywhere near my walls.  Regardless of whether I have drywall armor or not - it pays to keep the bored piglet entertained so here is what we did today:

I let him out first thing this morning to beat the rain - he was able to get in about 1.5 hours of playtime.  Then he came in and had some cookies and curled up in his bed for a nap.  Then outside for a few minutes for a potty break between showers.  That lasted for about 30 minutes and then the rain had him crying at the door.  He got a lettuce ball full of kale and apples which usually keeps him entertained for  30 minutes or so.  Somewhere in there he got some cookies hidden in his toy which makes him have to root around to find them.  He had his dinner and was fussing for something else to do so I put a giant ice cube in his area.  He loves that - pushes it all over til it gets to a point he can get it in his mouth.  That one lasts for a good 45 minutes or so.  That seemed to do the trick because I just checked on him and he is curled up in his blanket sleeping away.

He will have a potty break and nighty cookies a bit later tonight (and maybe another ice cube or two depending on how restless he is).

Emma is firmly planted under the bed - she really hates the rain.  The little critters are all well, very snoozy today due to the weather but happy and healthy.  They have had their dinner, playtime, treats, meds and evening lovies so they are all set.

I will be glad when we dry out so our regularly scheduled programming can resume.....

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


I have been trying to make sure I  spend more time with the little critters (kitties and ferrets) this week.  One of the ways to do that is to actually work in my office/craft room which is in their area of the house.  Yesterday it was quite the novelty to have mom in their space all day.  Fiona hung out with me quite a bit.  Kai, Bash and Theo came in for some wrestles and to nibble on my toes.  The other girls came in to see what was happening.  Even Zoey came in for a visit - leaving her perch in the cat bed by the water bowl - a rare happening indeed.

Today - they could really care less if I am down there.  They checked in a few times over the course of the day but honestly - they have their routine and they are quite content to go on about their business whether I am there or not.  I have officially raised independent, self entertaining critters!  I think the kitties are liking me being there - Phoebe, Ollie and Aggie hang out in my office for the entire time I am there.  Ferrets can take it or leave it.

Everyone in critter land seems happy and healthy.  I just finished feeding, meds and chores.  Winston and Emma have been out for their last potty break and are settled in to their beds.  Now for some down time for the humans....