Pet of the Day

April 20, 2005

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Keely, the Pet of the Day
Name: Keely
Age: Four and a half years old
Gender: Female
Kind: African Pygmy Hedgehog
Home: Bowling Green, Ohio, USA
   This is Keely, my beautiful baby. She's a total grouch, but I love her. Keely is the second hedgehog that I have owned. My first hedgie, Spike, was given to me by a family who didn't take proper care of him. He was very sweet, but very sick when I got him so he did not live very long. But even the short time that I had him made me realize what wonderful pets hedgehogs are so I contacted a breeder in Akron, Ohio and purchased Keely. When I picked Keely up, she was about six months old. She was pretty grumpy and the breeder said that Keely was like that when someone woke her up.

    I have since realized that Keely is always like that. Unlike the other hedgehogs that have been featured on your site, Keely is most decidedly not affectionate. She is a royal grouch. With that said, if my house was on fire, I would run in to get her. In spite of the distinct lack of affection on her part, I love her with all of my heart. She may not have the most pleasant disposition, but she definitely has a distinct personality and I wouldn't changer her (well, maybe I would make her a tiny bit sweeter.)

    She likes to sleep and boy does she like to hiss and pop and make her displeasure known. I have bought her toys in the past but she hasn't particularly liked any of them. She does like her toilet paper tubes and is quite good at the "tubey head game." It's fascinating to watch and I never get tired of it. She puts her head in the tube and runs around for a bit. Then she spends a good minute or two trying to get her head out of the tube, looks around for a split second, and then puts her head right back in the tube. It's even more fun to watch her with a paper towel tube which is nearly twice the length of her body. She's a riot.

    She loves to eat meal worms and inhales them in .2 seconds. She also likes chicken, broccoli, eggs, and most kinds of meat. She also likes to nibble on my hair when I hold her because she likes the smell of my shampoo. And I know that I am in trouble if I hold her after I have used cucumber scented lotion. She keeps licking my hands and then she nibbles them and then she chomps down hard.

    When she really likes the smell of something, she self anoints. I was amazed the first time I witnessed this and I continue to be amazed each time. She contorts her body into the most bizarre shapes to lick froth onto her quills that it's almost like she has no bones. She twists in such a way that she looks like a towel being wrung out. She can also turn her head upside down and lick the back of her neck!!!

    Keely is not a friendly, sweet hedgehog, but she suits me. When I say something about her being a grouch, my husband says, "Like mother, like daughter." Even if Keely is not nice, I love her so much and wouldn't trade her for anything. Now that husband of mine with comments like that may just be another story!

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