Two weeks ago I brought home a hedgehog. A week before that I didn’t even know I wanted one. I don’t know why I’ve been looking for a new pet for the past few months. It started with looking at cats, and my friend did an awesome job of talking me down from that ledge. Then I moved on to guinea pigs, but they have more social needs than I can provide. Then somehow I stumbled upon something, somewhere on the internet – and it was about hedgehogs.
Cue the borderline obsessive research into everything hedgehog-related. I don’t remember where it started – it definitely hasn’t ended – but none of that matters now. She’s all set up in my room and I can already tell everything she’s doing by sound. It’s like having a late-night buddy for those times when I can’t sleep.
She’s also adapting really well to her new home. I thought my 85lb ball of codependence (Chewy) would be an issue, but she simply doesn’t care that he’s there. Of course that drives him nuts and makes him want to play with her even more! Funny thing is, no matter how much he bugs her, she rarely hisses at him. What a good hedgie!
We have her out all the time and once the weather warms up it will be even more. I’ve never had such an impulsive (but ultimately well-researched) decision end feeling so right. Who would have thought such a prickly little creature would be so meant to be? But it’s forced me to ask myself why. Why the hell did I buy a hedgehog??
Hedgehogs aren’t pocket pets. Yeah, they’re super cute and they can do neat things and OMG TINY HATS, but they aren’t cuddly the way most mainstream pets are. Case in point – I brought her into the office one day and all kinds of folks were stopping by to see her. She handled the field trip really well, even when my one colleague came in and shouted, “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?” The whole time she happily snuffled along my desk and (mercifully) didn’t poop on my keyboard. She didn’t even hiss when he gave her a quick pet and said “That is NOT what I was expecting!” I still don’t know what he was expecting, but his whole interaction with PokeyNibbles was pretty entertaining.
But why? Why did I bring home this little creature that is adaptable and adventurous enough to always want to be climbing all over me, but insists on pooping on my left shoulder nearly EVERY TIME. She’ll let me pet her through fleece all day, but without it I get the quills. She’s not big on being held – definitely an explorer hedgie – but makes up for it by being so fun to watch.
Maybe it’s not worth trying to find some deeper meaning in something done on a whim. I could say I identify with the hedgie’s personality wrapped in a prickly exterior or something, but I don’t think it’s even that. There wasn’t a single bit of hesitation in making the hedgie decision, even after I tried to research myself out of it, and there’s not a single bit of regret now. It was a right place, right time, balance in the universe type of thing to bring Nico PokeyNibbles O’Shaughnessy into our home and she is perfect.