Thursday, April 28, 2011


by Allison Pang

I have a penchant for collecting animals. I always had the normal sort growing up - both cats and dogs, fish, a bird or two (including a dove, at one point.), hermit crabs, sea monkeys, whatever.

I lived out in the boonies in NJ, right in the pinelands, so we also had a ton of wildlife always trotting in and out of the yard at any given time, which meant I did my fair share of rescuing baby birds and turtles.

At one point, I played around with becoming a vet and did an internship at a wildlife hospital. (Where I was bitten by just about every animal in the north east, and taloned by a red-tailed hawk in a rather unfortunate set of circumstances. Translation: I am an idiot.)

Anyway, fast forward a few years to where I'm supposed to be a grown up or something. I'm currently the proud owner of two cats (plus at least one stray), two birds, two kids and a hedgehog. And sea monkeys. (And apparently we are now feeding a mother possum and her several clingy babies, as of this morning.)

I did have a 75 gallon salt water reef take for several years as well, but ended up selling it the last time we moved, alas.

However, as far as weird pets go, I have to give props to the hedgehog up there. Also known as Tumbleweed, she's definitely a bit grumpy, but cute as a button for all that. Not one for social graces, there's still nothing quite like putting her in the giant hamster ball and letting her pad all about the house. (I'd let her free roam, but with the kids and their toys, it's just asking for trouble...)

Hedgehogs, by the way, are mostly nocturnal. And they run. A lot. Like between 3 to 8 miles a night. She has a giant wheel and from about 7 PM to 4 AM or so, that's what she's doing. Of course the part they don't tell you? Hedgehogs also crap and piss themselves while they run. Which means by morning she's got what I've fondly come to refer to as "poop boots."

So, foot cleaning becomes a bit of issue from time to time. It involves a toothbrush, if you're interested.

The rest of my pets aren't nearly so interesting, though my old man cat (15 years old next week) Killian, was the direct inspiration for some of Phineas' actions. He's definitely a bit of a bastard overall, and had a delightful tendency to drag my bathrobe around the house, where he'd invariably find some sordid corner and hump the shit out of it.

No, I *don't* want to go there.

I say used to, because he's mostly outdoors these days. (He's fixed, but he sprays. Vomits on stuff. Pees on stuff. Figured out how to open doors by turning doorknobs. In short? Bastard.)

My kids aren't quite as interesting as all that, although Lucy does have her own Twitter page (@LucyisTweeting in case you choose to follow). I haven't updated it in a bit, but she really does say the weirdest stuff.

But then, so do I. :)


  1. Tumbleweed!! Such a charming push-my-dinner-worms-through-the-exercise-ball bit of prickly fun.

  2. Wow ok didn't know about the poop boots thing. We just got some in town and I was tossing around the idea of getting one. I think not now. Maybe after we move back east.

  3. Awwwww! What a cute little thing. She's adorable!

  4. Toothbrushes are useful for so many things not necessarily in the design specs...

  5. You know, I have a 14-year-old cat we recently had to vote off the island (put outside) because of her peeing on everything. She's a mighty bitchtress who keeps trying to kill us when we open the front door. I wonder if cats just get cranky and don't care where they do their business when they're that old.

    And Tumbleweed is cute, although the poop boots...I'm not sure about those.

  6. How cute is that!! I love her. hehe

    And your cat cracks me up. I love kitties!

  7. You're feeding possums? Will they be moving in? You could set up a possum station next to the hedgehog cage -