Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Rosie Diaries: The Smell of a Hog

I just realized that I have neglected to do a "Rosie Diaries" entry since I initially got Rosie! I mean, I think I have mentioned her in some other posts, but she really does need her own entry. Things with Roise have been up and down, but not nearly like with Reggie. In general, I would say that Rosie and I get along well.

She is relaxed and snuggled up.
I wish we spent more time together. We are ideally supposed to hang out (aka: I should hold her and interact with her) every day, but with both of us having conflicting schedules, it's more like a friend back home who is asleep when I am awake, and vice-versa.

When I get home from work, she is usually still asleep from the day. I refill her food dish in preparation for her night (when she is awake) and occasionally she is sleeping outside her 'house'. When she is, she is especially grumpy when I move or rattle her cage, even in the slightest. She is sensitive! She seems to like to wedge herself in the corner next to her wheel. Most nights, about 5 minutes after I get in bed and turn out the light, I hear her emerge from her slumber and begin noisily munching her food, or even more noisily slurping at her water bottle. I swear she does this on purpose...

In the mornings, I usually wipe out her wheel where poop has accumulated over the night as she runs. I give her half a serving of food to keep her sustained in case she wakes up during the day. I rarely see her at this time, since it is usually cold at night so she goes in her little house where there is a heating pad always warm for her to sleep. If there are any little piles of poop, I scoop those out, but mostly it is just on the wheel. When I finish with her in the mornings, I am sure to put the towel over her cage and slide her cage under the table where she is moderately hidden from view in case Mr. Kim comes in my room during the day.

She is nervous in this picture (probably scared of my iPad taking her pic), because her quills are down over her face!
Occasionally, though, we do get to "play" or "snuggle". Usually "play" means that I coax her into letting me pick her up, and when I get her in my hands up to my chest, she starts squirming around and nosing herself between my arms. Usually, when we are "playing" (aka she is just trying to get away from me) she poops on me. I've even been peed on a few times. That was fabulous. I always prefer when she is in the mood to "snuggle". This means that, once again, I coax her into letting me pick her up, but she is actually calm in my hands. When I hold her against me, she relaxes and rests. I like these times, because then when she squirms, I know she has to "go", so I set her down on the towel on the floor, and she does her business there. When she is finished and her tail goes all the way down, I can hold her again. These "snuggle" moments are unfortunately rare.

Over Christmas, one night I came home around 4:00am. I found her munching and walking around her cage. I sat down and pulled her to me. It was so nice to sit there and pet her, both of us calm and enjoying the company. Another time, only a few days ago, I tricked her by turning out the lights and making sure not to have much noise for about an hour, then I heard her come out of her cage. After giving her about 15 minutes to do her business, I took her out and we snuggled again. It was lovely because I actually sat in bed with her in my arms and read my book on my iPad.

Snuggling together as I read my book. You can tell she was relaxed because her face is not scrunched up!
The one thing that I can't seem to escape is the smell. It's not exactly gross, like her poop smells (THAT is gross!), but it's also not pleasant, either. I try to keep her cage clean and poop-free, but I can't seem to get rid of it. I am beginning to wonder if it is the stuff I wipe out her wheel with (lemon vinegar and baking soda, then rinsed out with water), maybe combined with lingering poop-smell. She does run on her wheel as she poops, so there is bound to be some stuck to her feet. Usually I check her feet though, and I guess she gets it off on the bedding in the cage. So, I'm just not really sure what that smell is...

I've been trying to keep a candle burning while I am in the room to attempt to get rid of it, but when I leave I have to blow the candle out. When I return, the same odd smell assaults me as I enter once again. I just can't figure out what it is. I guess I can just attribute it to the smell of a hog...


  1. Quite descriptive! Glad Rosie is becoming more comfortable! I've never owned a rodent (or whatever she is), but I've had birds, and I had to clean out their cages. No clue on the smell. Maybe someone with Hedgie experience will read this and help!

  2. Katie (your little bug forever)January 10, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Soo excited to meet Rosie!!! :)


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