Monday, January 11, 2010

Better than TV

Ever since the "Zoo Man" brought baby hedgehogs with him to our preschool, I have been in love with the critters. So when the mother of one of Lily's classmates was looking for someone to watch their hedgehog for a weekend, I jumped at the chance.

Percy moved in last Thursday and leaves on Wednesday, and this is how my children spend most of their waking hours - glued to the side of his cage watching his antics.

But it turns out that hedgehogs, as cute as they are, aren't the most active of pets. They are nocturnal, which means Percy sleeps all day and then hits his little wheel at about 1:00 am for a run. This frustrates the girls to no end, especially Lily. They desperately want to play with him, not watch him sleep. So they tend to sit by his cage and talk loudly in the hopes that he'll wake up and perform. He usually ambles around his cage a little after dinner time, and I pull him out and let him run around the floor, just to entertain the kids.

He is definitely prickly. When he rolls himself up into a ball in my hands, it's feels like I'm holding a bunch of straight pins. It doesn't hurt, exactly, but it doesn't feel good, either. He cracks the girls up by huffing at them when they want to play with him. Percy is trying so hard to look fierce and threatening, but he just looks like a walking pin cushion.

I've considered getting a hedgehog as a pet, but after sitting for one and doing some research, I think I've decided against it. They aren't cuddly animals and have no interest in sitting in your lap and being petted. Then there's the whole nocturnal issue, and their food stinks. So I think we'll just be the occasional hedgehog sitters for Percy.

I've had a hard time getting a good picture of Percy. Turns out the only thing harder to photograph than my children is a reluctant hedgehog. He really does have a cute little face, and he's adorable when he rolls into a ball with just his nose sticking out.

Hmmm. . . maybe I'll be asking for a hedgehog for my 40th birthday after all.


Janice Ellen Wright said...

He really is adorable! It's hard to get good hamster pictures, too, what with the running fast and small size and the whole nocturnal thing. At least you can let him run around without fearing he'll disappear into the radiator or a crack in the wall!

Now I want a hedgehog, too. (But what do they eat that stinks?)

Aww, my verification word is "nestr"

bernthis said...

okay, I am sending my kid to live with you. I am strictly a dog person. Phoebe would really thrive in your household. I'm just saying. Maybe we could even trade one of yours for her, the one that only likes dogs, of course

calicobebop said...

So cute!! My daughter would be all over that too - as it is she is stuck with a old cat who does about as much as your hedgehog.

Cathy said...

it is so cute, but the nocturnal thing would be very annoying. :)

Cookie said...

He is kinda cute! I had hamsters as a kid. They were nocturnal too and kept me up at night. But they were fun to watch when you fed them popcorn.

Becca said...

yeah not an interactive pet,but cute. they are wild in England and I loved watching them in the garden when i went there to visit relatives

Shelly said...

Ugh, no rodents for me.

Wendi said...

I see a Jan Brett book called "Hokgardner's Hedgie" coming soon.

Janice Ellen Wright said...

I came back to see Percy's picture again ... funny comments!