I definitely romanticised how the first week of having Chai, the African Pygmy Hedgehog, would be before she arrived. I’d imagined spending evenings eating banana pancakes with her; watching her trying out cardboard mazes; running into the sunset together with joy in our eyes; never getting poked by her quills because we’d fall instantly in love…
That’s not quite how our first week has gone…
I learned all about the Ball of Never which soon became a Nope Ball With Suspicious Eye.
Which then, over time as we persisted with handling and offering her food and playtime out of her vivarium on the floor the Ball of Nope (and suspicion) began to change into a little hog who is happier to have her quills down while she’s trying to find a cosy spot to nap.
And just as we start to think we’ve finally cracked it and our hands no longer need to be en guard against a pop of quills… she decides that it’s time for another lesson. Lessons where the consequence of making a mistake is pain.
Because Chai hasn’t been waking up in the evening with us yet – choosing to hide or sleep in her vivarium until we go to bed – we need to wake her up at about 8PM to spend time with her. I’m hoping that this will change and we’ll get to a point where she’s been awake in her vivarium before we handle her – her post-wake up poo is happening on us with increasing regularity now! It’s quite surprising the first time it happens.
We’re still all getting to know each other; she’s learning that the cats are easily scolded and that her two human housemates just need to be told off when they overstep their new boundaries.