Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Home for a Hedgehog...

I was going to have a hedgehog of my very own!  (Okay, he would also be my husband's... but mostly mine!) I was over the moon.
The first thing we had to do was come up with a name. So many choices...what should we name him? The great search began. Mr. Pricklepants? Hedgie von Hedgeburg? Bob? My husband vetoed all the names I came up with. He wanted a name that would match the regal hedgehog we would be adopting. Plus, he wanted him to have a Pakistani name, since he would now be a Pakistani-American hedgehog like us. So he came up with Chotay Khan Saab, the Urdu equivalent of a stuffy British name like Sir Nigel Smythe-Pemberton III. I liked it. We would call him Chotu for short. (Something you call small children, which roughly translates to Little Cutie.) Done!
Our next step was to collect all the supplies needed to take care of a pet hedgehog. Not easy. Hedgehogs aren't exactly common pets, which makes finding supplies made specifically for hedgehogs nearly impossible. 
Quest #1: A home for our hedgehog. This was a long and complicated process, because a decision had to be made: would we make his home ourselves, as we had seen online on blogs and youtube videos, or would we follow the books we'd read that say a large cage is perfectly acceptable for a hedgehog? After some deliberation, we decided that, rather than have him live in a makeshift home we've created, requiring the use of measuring, drilling, and cutting up a plastic container, the best (and neatest) home for our hedgehog would be bought from a store.
Quest #2: Food for our hedgehog. Hedgehog food isn't available anywhere. Instead, you can feed them dry cat food; the best is to create a mixture of many different kinds to give them balanced nutrition. We found out that we could buy that through the breeder we were getting our hedgie from. They can also be given fruits and insects as treats. I'm willing to share my strawberries and grapes with our little guy, but it was going to take a while to get used to feeding him insects. I'd deal with that hurdle later...
Quest #3: Toys! This part was fun. We went to Petsmart and went crazy. We needed a food dish, water bottle, something to sleep in (I found a cute realistic looking tree stump), wheel to run on (this was the only thing I found that was actually for hedgehogs...and chinchillas and guinea pigs), tube to crawl through, pet bedding (the challenge was finding one that wouldn't make me sneeze), a few mini tennis balls to push around, and some stuffed toys for him to snuggle with (I settled on a mini teddy bear and small puppy with floppy ears). Needless to say, I had lots of fun and left with lots of bags.
When we got back to our apartment, my husband built the cage and I did the interior decorating.
We were ready. Our hedgehog had a home!

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